Cooking with the World’s Best by Murdoch Books – ISBN: 1742669670 [best books list]

  • Full Title: Cooking with the World’s Best: Celebrating 20 Years of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
  • Autor: Murdoch Books
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Murdoch
  • Publication Date: May 1, 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1742669670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1742669670
  • Download File Format | Size: epub | 18,28 Mb
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Since its debut in 1993, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has grown from humble beginnings to one of the world’s premier food and wine events, attracting 400,000 visitors and the most talented Australian and international chefs each year. “Cooking with the World’s Best” celebrates the continuing success of the festival, now in its 20th year, with a unique collection of recipes, photography, quotes and memories. This memento is the perfect gift for lovers of the festival and foodies alike. Key points: a unique and rare collection of recipes from talented Australian and international chefs; this tribute features beautiful photography from the festival’s archives, quotes from contributors and an introduction written by Michael Harden. Contributors include, amongst others: Andoni Aduriz, Stephanie Alexander, Elena Arzak, Sat Bains, Mario Batali, Maggie Beer, Shannon Bennett, Tony Bilson, Roy Choi, George Calombaris, Frank Camorra, Raymond Capaldi, Antonio Carluccio, Donovan Cooke, David Chang, Carlo Cracco, Stefano de Pieri, Jill Dupleix, Margaret Fulton, Peter Gilmore, Bill Granger, Sophie Grigson, Guy Grossi, Fergus Henderson, Nigella Lawson, Cheong Liew, Christine Manfield, Luke Mangan, Karen Martini, Andrew McConnell, Shane Osborn, Neil Perry, Damien Pignolet, Jacques Reymond, Michel Roux, Rick Stein, Tony Tan and Alla Wolf-Tasker.


Editorial Reviews



d have been changed in order to disguise their identities. Any resulting resemblance to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Copyright © 2012 by Marcus Samuelsson Group LLC

All rights reserved.

Published in the United States by Random House, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

RANDOM HOUSE and colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to Alfred Publishing Co, Inc. for permission to reprint an excerpt from “Take the ‘A’ Train,” words and music by Billy Strayhorn, copyright © 1941 (Renewed) by BMG Rights Management (Ireland) Ltd. (IMRO) and Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. (ASCAP). All rights administered by Chrysalis One Music (ASCAP). All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Samuelsson, Marcus.

Yes, chef / Marcus Samuelsson.

p. cm.

eISBN: 978-0-440-33881-9

1. Samuelsson, Marcus. 2. Cooks—United States—Biography.

3. African American cooks—United States—Biography.

4. Swedish Americans—Biography. I. Title.

TX649.S226A3 2012




Cover design:

Chelsea Cardinal


Chant another song of Harlem.

Not about the wrong of Harlem.

But the worthy throng of Harlem.

Proud that they belong to Harlem.

They, the overblamed in Harlem,

Need not be ashamed of Harlem.

All is not ill-famed in Harlem.

The devil, too, is tamed in Harlem.

—ANONYMOUS, circa 1925



Title Page



Part One: Boy

One: My African Mother

Two: My Swedish Mother

Three: Swedish Fish

Four: Helga

Five: With Respect to the Sea

Six: Mats

Seven: All Chips On Food

Eight: Earning My Knives

Nine: Belle Avenue

Part Two: Chef

Ten: Switzerland

Eleven: Stocker

Twelve: A Short Stay In Austria: (That Will Change My Life)

Thirteen: Secrets

Fourteen: New York

Fifteen: France

Sixteen: The Price

Seventeen: Another Glass of Aquavit

Eighteen: Life After Death

Nineteen: Three Stars

Twenty: The Funerals We Miss

Twenty-one: By The Content of My Cooking

Part Three: Man

Twenty-two: Back To Africa

Twenty-three: The Man That I Am

Twenty-four: Making It Right

Twenty-five: Merkato

Twenty-six: For Better and Forever

Twenty-seven: The Break-Up

Twenty-eight: Back in the Game

Twenty-nine: Red Rooster

Photo Insert



About the Author




I have traveled to her homeland, my homeland, dozens of times. I have met her brothers and sisters. I have found my birth father and eight half brothers and sisters I didn’t know I had. I have met my mother’s relatives in Ethiopia, but when I ask them to describe my mother, they throw out generalities. “She was nice,” they tell me. “She was pretty.” “She was smart.” Nice, pretty, smart. The words seem meaningless, except the last is a clue because even today, in rural Ethiopia, girls are not encouraged to go to school. That my mother was intelligent rings true because I know she had to be shrewd to save the lives of myself and my sister, which is what she did, in the most mysterious and miraculous of ways.

My mother’s family never owned a photograph of her, which tells you everything you need to know about where I’m from and what the world was like for the people who gave me life. In 1972, in the United States, Polaroid introduced its most popular instant camera. In 1972, the year my mother died, an Ethiopian woman could go her whole life without having her picture taken—especially if, as was the case with my mother, her life was not long.

I have never seen a picture of my mother, but I know how she cooked. For me, my mother is berbere, an Ethiopian spice mixture. You use it on everything, from lamb to chicken to roasted peanuts. It’s our salt and pepper. I know she cooked with it because it’s in the DNA of every Ethiopian mother. Right now, if I could, I would lead you to the red tin in my kitchen, one of dozens I keep by the stove in my apartment in Harlem, filled with my own blend and marked with blue electrical tape and my own illegible scrawl. I would reach into this tin and grab a handful of the red-orange powder, and hold it up to your nose so you could smell the garlic, the ginger, the sundried chili.

My mother didn’t have a lot of money so she fed us shiro. It’s a chickpea flour you boil, kind of like polenta. You pour it into hot water and add butter, onions, and berbere. You simmer it for about forty-five minutes, until it’s the consistency of hummus, and then you eat it with injera, a sour, rich bread made from a grain called teff. I k
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re details on smoking on a charcoal grill, a water smoker, or a gas grill, see pages 18 to 23. Everything you’ll need to get started is covered there. You will see that each type of grill works differently. For instance, during long cooking sessions, a charcoal grill will require a lot more fire tending than a water smoker, but really, you can smoke food on any grill.

Many of the other truths I’ve learned are included in the recipes themselves. With each one I’ve written special tips and instructions to help you focus on the required elements for success. In some cases, I draw your attention to a particular way of cutting meat or brining poultry prior to cooking. In other cases, the “secret” is in how to build the fire, when to add the wood chips, or how to determine doneness. As you try more and more of the recipes, you will find that there really is no great mystery about smoking foods; there are just some simple fundamentals to follow.

I think of this book as a course that begins with the basics, helping you get past any confusion or intimidation about the topic, and then teaches you a set of skills and techniques to rely on in almost any smoked recipe. It, of course, also provides you with plenty of options for refining what you’ve learned. You may start with a simple Cedar-Planked Tuna Salad or Oak-Roasted Leg of Lamb, but if you are like many of us who have let a hobby turn into an obsession, it won’t be long before you are tackling recipes like Brined and Maple Smoked Bacon, Smoked Trout and Artichoke Dip, and Peppery Beef Jerky. My hope is that you will emerge on the other side of this course with a thorough understanding, a fearless attitude, and a greater hunger to explore the not-so-mysterious world of smoke cooking.

As much as I adore barbecue, I wanted to write a book about a much wider spectrum of smoked foods and I wanted to share with you many of the quickly grilled items that are improved with a little smoke.


Smoking Basics


Red Meat




Vegetables and Sides


Smoking Basics

The Basics of Fire

Lighting Charcoal

Direct versus Indirect Heat

The Basic Equipment

Must-Have Tools

The Smoke

What Goes with What?

How to Smoke on a Charcoal Grill

How to Smoke on a Water Smoker

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill

Bringing on Even More Flavor

A Smoker’s Pantry and Spice Rack





Top Ten Smoking Tips


At the beginning of man’s history with smoking, the only real choice of fuel was wood. Today some backyard cooks still swear by this fuel, even though wood is actually pretty inefficient for cooking or smoking purposes. It often takes more than an hour for the blazing hot flames to settle down to the point where you get a good, consistent heat, and occasionally, freshly cut logs produce a dark smoke that can taint food with a sooty taste. These negatives and others have led to some excellent alternatives.

PURE HARDWOOD CHARCOAL. Pure hardwood charcoal, sometimes called “lump charcoal,” is made entirely from hardwood logs that have been heated at high temperatures but with very little oxygen so they won’t burn. Instead, the moisture, sap, and resins in the wood are volatilized and vaporized, leaving behind only combustible carbon. The logs eventually break down into black lumps of carbonized hardwood that light faster than wood logs and maintain a relatively even range of temperatures. As hardwood charcoal burns, it releases clean wisps of aromatic smoke reflecting the type of wood used to make the charcoal. However, not all lump charcoal is the same. Look for a kind of wood you like (for example, mesquite, oak, or a combination) and choose bags filled with big lumps, about the size of your fist, that clearly show real wood grain. Some brands will try to sell you “hardwood charcoal” made from scraps of wood flooring or other building construction bits and pieces. These are not nearly as good.

BENEFIT: Lights quickly and produces aromatic smoke that reflects the variety of wood used to make it.

HARDWOOD BRIQUETTES. The compressed black pillows of hardwood briquettes are made from crushed pieces of hardwood charcoal. You wouldn’t want to buy crushed pieces alone because they would burn out too quickly, but in hardwood briquettes those pieces are held together with a natural starch, usually cornstarch. Plus, hardwood briquettes are so densely packed that they actually burn longer and more evenly than oddly shaped lumps of hardwood charcoal that have more surface area exposed to oxygen. One reason why the briquettes are generally more popular than the lump charcoal for smoking is that they burn at predictably even temperatures. The briquettes don’t create as much aromatic smoke, but it is easy enough to add wood chips or chunk
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2 tablespoon breakfast drink mix


Drain Pineapples, and keep the juice

Combine all fruits in one bowl

In separate bowl combine pineapple juice, puddings and drink mix

Add together and enjoy!!


Shrimp Scampi Skewers


1 pound of peeled shrimp

2 lemons, sliced

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 tablespoons of butter

2 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup parsley


Heat a small sauté pan on medium and add butter. When butter is melted add your garlic for 2 minutes.

Turn off heat and stir, add your parsley.

For skewers: (Can grill or cook in a pan on medium heat)

Add Shrimp and lemon to skewers.

Add a dash of black pepper, crushed red peppers and salt to skewers

Place on grill for 4 minutes each side (shrimp should be pink throughout).

Remove Shrimp and brush with your butter.

Squeeze your grilled lemons over your shrimp and Enjoy!

Chicken and Lettuce Wrap


½ pound ground chicken

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 carrot, chopped

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup cilantro

3-4 cups of green lettuce


Heat a large pan and add oil

Add carrot, ginger and onions for no more than 2 minutes

Add ground chicken, vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and cook until chicken is cooked.

Simmer for 5 minutes

Add chopped red pepper, cilantro and jalapeno

Serve on lettuce

Boiled Shrimp Lunch


1 pound of shrimp

8 cups of water

1 tablespoon salt

½ tablespoon black pepper

2 bay leaves (optional)

1-2 apples,

1 bag of pistachios


Fill Pot with water and bring to boil

Add shrimp, salt, pepper and leaves

After 2-3 minutes (shrimp should be pink) drain shrimp

Add apple, and pistachios to meal

Simple Hummus Lunch


1 cup spinach hummus

2 Gluten-free tortillas

½ red pepper, sliced

½ cucumber, sliced

½ cantaloupe, sliced

4 lettuce leaves

1 cup of applesauce

1 cup of strawberries, sliced


Spread hummus on tortillas

Place all ingredients on one side of each tortilla (Start with the vegetable side and roll tortilla tight)

Secure with tooth pick

Add applesauce and strawberries to the plate. Serve

Banana Protein Smoothie


4 bananas, chopped

1 tablespoons honey

1 cup yogurt

1 cup skim, coconut or 2% milk


Enter all ingredients into blender and blend in to smoothie form

Peach Strawberry Meal Replacement Protein Smoothie


2- 3 peach, sliced

4 Handfuls Strawberry, chopped

1 cup yogurt

1 cup of 2% milk or coconut milk


Enter all ingredients into blender and blend


Vegetable Pasta Recipe


8-10 ounces gluten free rice fettuccini

1 dash of salt

2 dried bell peppers

2 ½ cups of corn

2 zucchini, sliced

1 Sliced grape tomatoes

1 cub basil leaves


Fill a large pot with water and salt. Bring pot to a boil.

Add Gluten Free rice fettuccini

Cook pasta for 10 minutes. Constantly check on pasta. Drain when finished.

While pasta is cooking. Season corn and zucchini with salt, paper and olive oil. For 3 minutes. Turning often (Vegetables are done when they are charred on the outside)

Add Vegetables to pasta

Add tomato, basil and stir


The Ultimate Chicken and Broccoli Recipe


3 tablespoon soy sauce

2 Tablespoons wine vinegar

2 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon Cornstarch (Gluten Free Labeled)

1 minced garlic, clove

½ Tablespoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)

2 skinless chicken breast, cut into smaller pieces

½ cup green onions, sliced


Start with a large sauté pan and heat on medium-high.

Add your chicken breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Cook for 5 minutes while stirring until Chicken is brown

Add broccoli to chicken and stir.

Cook for 3 more minutes until Broccoli is a healthy light green color.

Sauce Recipe

While chicken is still cooking. Grab a small bowl

In small bowl add soy sauce, honey, wine vinegar cornstarch, ginger and garlic.

When chicken is done combine all and enjoy!

Down Hom
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lack of sleep, pollution and over-exercising (which causes lactic acid to form). The other major contributor to increasing acidity is age.


Sagging skin, stiff joints, muscle aches, chronic disease, cognitive deterioration, osteoporosis—we have come to accept these things as a part of growing old, but actually many of these problems are signs that your body is becoming too acidic.

Our modern lifestyles and diets cause us to age faster because we’re forcing our bodies to deal with excess acid. In an acidic environment, our cells perform less efficiently and are unable to get rid of toxins. As well, many health issues are caused by acidic environments: it is a long list that includes irritable bowel syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, chronic fatigue, candida, histamine, gluten and other food allergies, diabetes and obesity.


To a trained Mayr doctor, the symptoms of an acidic diet are easy enough to read. These everyday complaints are likely to be symptoms of an acidic diet. Do any of these sound familiar?

Constipation and bloating: both are caused by eating too fast, too much and/or overly acidic meals.

Lack of energy and focus: acid depletes blood oxygen availability and you feel sluggish as your brain and systems are deprived of this vital element.

Weight problems: being overweight suggests that your diet is incompatible with your body’s ability to deal with the food it’s given.

Poor complexion and dry, dull, lifeless skin: excess acid is eliminated through the skin, causing skin corrosion and inflammation.

Gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath: these can be directly related to a high-acid diet, allowing bacteria to develop much more quickly.

Frequent colds and flu: when the body is not being fed the right foods and the flora of the stomach changes, a weak immune system results.

Muscle and joint pains: inflammation can be a sign that the alkaline minerals in your bones and muscles are being extracted to neutralize acidity. Particular acids, like arachidonic acid, which is found in red meat, also trigger inflammation.

Since our bodies’ acidity is affected by what we eat and how we live, we need to make diet and lifestyle changes to alkalize ourselves and stay healthy. The single most effective change you can achieve—and the aim of the Alkaline Cure—is to re-balance your diet by increasing your intake of alkaline foods so that two-thirds of everything you eat on the plate is alkaline and only one-third is acid. We are looking for foods that taste good, that complement each other and that are easy for your body to digest, so you maximize your performance. We are looking for foods that give you good health.

The 2:1 Alkaline to Acid Rule

In order to improve your alkalinity we do not suggest only eating alkaline foods. The best acid-alkaline balance of foods to aim for is two parts alkaline to a maximum of one part acid. Ideally this 2:1 ratio should be on your plate at every meal. Realistically, this ratio is what you should bear in mind over the course of your daily and weekly diet. Be mindful, not fanatical.

Acid in Your Diet

We can classify all the food we eat as either acid-forming or alkaline-forming, meaning the foods release an acid or alkaline residue during the process of digestion. Note that foods that have an acidic taste (such as lemon, vinegar, rhubarb, etc.) are not necessarily acid—forming. So lemon, while acidic to taste, once digested actually has an alkalizing effect on the body. During the book, when we describe foods as “acid” or “alkaline” we will mean acid-forming or alkaline-forming.

The majority of acid-forming foods are basic staples (see here). The more we eat of these foods, the greater the production of acids. The situation can become harmful if the consumption reaches such a level that the metabolism is completely overburdened. There are many different kinds of acid-forming foods and their strength varies from strong to weak. The strongest acids are found in animal proteins as well as alcohol, caffeine, processed foods and sugar. The weakest acids are found in vegetable proteins, such as beans.

Alkaline-forming foods contain very little to no acid and do not produce any acids either. Alkaline foods include most vegetables, many fruits, cold-pressed oils, many grains and all herbs. However, the way we process/digest our food also impacts the effect on the body. If we eat something alkaline but rush and don’t chew properly it ends up badly digested and ferments, causing acidity.

You can find tables on acid and alkaline foods in section 4.

The Problem of Protein

Protein is a macro-nutrient composed of amino acids that is necessary for the proper growth and function of t
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d skillet is perfect for frying up a whole bird. Some recipes call for a skillet with a tight-fitting lid; if you don’t have a matching one, do your best by mixing and matching from your home collection.

NOTE: To easily clean a skillet, do not—and we repeat, DO NOT—run it through the dishwasher or even wash thoroughly with hot water and soap. Instead, wipe out any extra oil and loose bits with a soft kitchen towel, then add several tablespoons of kosher salt to the pan and move the salt around with the towel; the salt will help lift any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Then, using a cloth or a paper towel, wipe the inside of the skillet with a thin slick of neutral-flavored oil.

WIRE RACK AND RIMMED BAKING SHEET: An airy rack with plenty of space between rows or grids will allow extra oil to drain away from freshly fried chicken; a rimmed baking sheet set underneath prevents drips from getting messy. Look for both in the baking section of the kitchen-supply store or larger supermarkets.

PAPER TOWELS: If you don’t have a wire rack for draining just-fried chicken, paper towels get the job done just fine—line a plate with a few sheets, put your finished chicken pieces on top, and sprinkle with salt as directed. Use paper towels to clean up oil splatters around the stove—and to wrap a drumstick tip before snacking.

SHARP KNIFE: Use for trimming extra fat from chicken pieces, or for breaking down larger breast pieces in two. (When separating a chicken into pieces, always cut between joints if possible, rather than through them—it will be easier on you and on your knife.)

LARGE, DEEP POT OR DUTCH OVEN: Many chefs and cooks enjoy deep-frying, which yields evenly browned chicken with less hands-on maintenance. For such recipes, we prefer a plain old stockpot or Dutch oven. Use a heavy-bottomed 6- or 8-quart pot.


The recipes in this book call for an incredible variety of oils and fats, each with their own attributes and taste distinctions. Though there’s often a reason for the specific choices, feel free to mix and match based on your preference—and based on what you have in your pantry.

Oil’s temperature drops precipitously with every piece of chicken you add to your skillet or pot, often taking several minutes to return to its desired temperature range. One trick we’ve learned: when deep-frying, heat your oil 20 to 25 degrees above the desired frying temperature. That way, the recovery time back to the optimal temperature will be minimal. But keep in mind that the so-called smoke point of oil is the point at which it begins to burn and develop acrid flavor; when frying, watch your thermometer to make sure to control your oil before it reaches the point of no return; once it’s smokin’, it’s toast.

NOTE: Oil is expensive, so good news: if you maintain the proper frying temperature, yes, you can reuse frying oil. After frying a first batch of chicken, cool the oil completely, then strain it through a coffee filter into a container with an airtight lid. Cover tightly and store in a cool place. This process can be repeated through one or two more uses, at which point the oil should be discarded. Frying oil should only work to crisp the bird efficiently or, in the case of the addition of lard or bacon, lend subtle flavor that enhances the chicken itself. If you’re tasting the oil rather than the chicken, it’s time to introduce a fresh batch.

1 BACON GREASE: The next time you fry up a batch of bacon for breakfast, hold on to that fat! Adding a few splashes of rendered bacon fat to a larger amount of frying oil makes for pleasingly smoky poultry. The smoke point isn’t as important here, as it’s going to constitute only a small portion of the total amount of oil.

2 CANOLA OIL: Smoke point: 400°F. Neutral in flavor, with a stable frying temperature, canola is a reliable choice for deep fryers and large pots of oil (relatively speaking, it’s also the most cost-effective). Reuse two to three times, cooling and straining between uses, before discarding. Other similar oils to consider: safflower, sunflower, vegetable.

3 UNSALTED BUTTER: Smoke point: 350°F. Be inspired by the classic Southern recipe revived and made famous by Edna Lewis, and consider adding a little butter into the frying-oil mix. The creamy, rich touch of dairy only enhances the indulgence factor of any fried chicken preparation. If you have the time, quickly clarify the butter by simmering it, then discarding the foam that gathers on the top as well as the whey that sinks to the bottom. This significantly raises the butter’s smoke point, enabling you to fry freely.

4 VEGETABLE SHORTENING: Smoke point: 370°F. Shelf-stable vegetable shortening, often made from cottonseed oil, melts down quickly from its solid form and can be a handy backup to keep in your pantry. As is the case when used in pie crusts, vegetable shortening en
nd popular. Hippocrates ushered in the helpful and reasonable ideas that (a) illness is a natural occurrence (not a vindication by angry gods), (b) illness can be treated with natural (rather than supernatural) substances, and (c) the remedies can be gentle and nonviolent (rather than the violent purges used at the time). He also advanced the notion of “humors” and nearly five hundred years later, the Roman physician and philosopher Galen of Pergamon (129 CE–c. 217 CE) built on Hippocrates’s idea with a strict regimen of formulas and protocols based on the theory of humors. His methods indicated an excess or deficit of one of four “liquids” in the body: black bile (melancholy), yellow bile (choleric), phlegm (phlegmatic), and blood (sanguine). Various characteristics were associated with each, including natural elements of the earth (blood with air, yellow bile with fire); physical qualities (black bile was cold and dry while an illness associated with blood was warm and moist); color; and even emotional and personality changes, including thoughtfulness and kindness. Formulary in this system was based on increasing one humor or decreasing another. The patient demonstrating hot and moist (sanguine) characteristics of illness, for instance, might be instructed to eat cold foods and cooling herbs such as chamomile or roses.

About 1,000 years after Galen, both the physician Trotula of Salerno, Italy, and the mystic nun Hildegard of Bingen, Germany, directed herbal clinics, though they used extremely different methods with varying degrees of success. Paracelsus (1493–1541) based most of his healing philosophy on the theory of humors, and even Arabic medicine, normally rational and pragmatic, succumbed in part to the idea of the humors, calling them temperaments. In 1633 John Gerard published his famous Herball and shortly after, in 1653, astrologically-minded Nicholas Culpeper stamped herbal medicine with his star-struck judgments of health and healing. Purging, lancing, and bleeding became favorite methods for removing excess humors, and doctors dismissed any reasonable attempts at nourishment or support.

In the 1830s, renegade herbalist Samuel Thompson challenged physician-directed medicine with assertions that it caused too much harm—often killing the patient instead of saving him, and at the turn of the nineteenth century, Quaker surgeon and inventor Joseph Lister succeeded in educating the medical profession about preventing sepsis and infection. Though popular medicine was becoming more scientifically oriented, it was still badly misshapen around the edges and quite harmful in the mainstream, with patients dying of hospital-caused infection, loss of blood, and continued ignorance of bodily functions. With the advancement of medicine, anatomy, and chemistry, modern medicine or allopathy was finally able to save lives, but it came with a price: herbal medicine, common-sense folk healing, and even the keeping of a nutritious diet were all disparaged in favor of sleek, scientific pills. Finally, in the 1960s, herbalists such as Euell Gibbons were able to reach healers with information about the intrinsic value of plants and their value as nourishing foods and gentle medicines, introducing to formulary the idea of tonics.

Cultural Formulary

All cultures have perfected their own methods for formulary, and many formulas include not only herbs but also animal parts (such as gall bladders or paws), elemental chemicals, minerals, crystals, animal by-products (such as spider webs), and human body parts (such as hair or fingernails). Here we will deal only with healing by plants, so our formulas will be those in which herbs form the foundation of health. Some of the world’s greatest healing philosophies have strong histories of using plants for this purpose and they have developed a wide following and a solid basis for efficacy.


Ayurvedic methods blossomed in India. Its process for formulary features three human traits expressed by the body as well as by thought and emotion: kapha, vata, and pitta. All of these traits are present in a person, but when they are out of balance, Ayurvedic philosophy teaches that the person will experience changes in his or her structure, function, and emotions. These traits can be measured and illness diagnosed based on the person’s skin tone and color, tongue texture, activity level, mental state, and so on. Formulary is based on balancing these traits through food, massage, materia medica (the “collection” of medicinal plants available to the healer), drink, meditation, and exercise.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

TCM promotes polypharmacy, a practice that uses not just a few herbs but as many as sixty or eighty in a single formula. Traditional Chinese Medicine bases its formulary on a person’s energy and “lines” of the body, assessing qi, or energy, deficient states of organs, and presence of h


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