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Book Review: Thai Way of Life
(The Dusit Cookbook)
by Lang Reid
It is not often that a hotel chain will produce a
cookbook, but when you think about it, why not? A hotel chain has many
chefs, each with their own favorite recipe. Why not collate these into a
What has made this cook book a little more special is the fact that these
are Thai recipes and the book concept follows that of the hotel chain
itself. As expressed on the flyleaf, Thanpuying Chanut Piyaoui, the Dusit
group founder, declared that her first hotel (the Dusit Thani) should be an
expression of Thailand and its culture. Thai Way of Life (ISBN
974-228-051-7) has then been put together by the Dusit’s chefs, with
particular reference to some of the favored dishes from the Dusit’s
Benjarong restaurant in the Dusit Thani. It has also been edited and printed
in Thailand. At last a book about Thailand that has really been printed and
The book introduces recipes for dishes from Bangkok and Central, North and
Northeast Thailand and the gulf and Andaman Sea, but it is far more than a
collection of recipes. It does attempt to show a Thai Way of Life.
The book begins with a few pages on the burgeoning popularity of Thai
cuisine and expands into its healthy ingredients, citing the fact that there
are at least 250 varieties of edible plants growing wild in the Thai
countryside, many of which have medicinal value, such as ginger, lemongrass,
shallots and garlic. It is believed that the medicinal plants and herbs thus
became stock ingredients in the food of the various regions.
Regional differences in cuisine reflect the ethnic influences that have
played such important parts in shaping this country, and even Buddhism is
shown to have an effect.
From that introduction the book goes into the style of a typical Thai meal
and the importance of desserts and even fruit carving.
The secret in the success of any recipe lies in the way the food is
prepared, and this book in the “Inside a Thai kitchen” section shows why at
times an earthenware mortar and wooden pestle should be used, rather than
the granite mortar, and also why an electric blender is never used! This
section also shows cooking techniques, and goes further into herbs and
The bulk of the book does detail the recipes, beautifully simply, but also
beautifully illustrated. Follow the photographs and you too can present
dishes as they would appear at the Dusit’s Benjarong restaurant.
At the end of the book are several pages showing just how to produce the
pastes, flavorings and stock used for the Thai dishes, followed by some mild
mutual back-slapping publicizing the Deverana Spa, listing the Dusit
milestones, but also a well deserved tribute to the founder, Thanpuying
At a retail price of B. 1395, this is a beautiful coffee table book, and
Dusit and everyone involved in the production deserves the accolades. The
photographic illustrations are first class, as is the paper stock used in
the printing. A superb publication. This would make a wonderful Xmas gift.
Mott’s CD review: Jonathan Kelly
...Waiting On You / Two Days In Winter
Mott the Dog
Jonathan Kelly was one of the great Cats of the early Seventies, which
let’s face it was one of the most prolific ages of music. Jonathan Kelly
only released five albums, but quickly built up a huge reputation on the
musical scene. Jonathan Kelly’s first album release ‘Jonathan Kelly’
(1970) was not so much an album release as it was more a collection of
Jonathan Kelly’s attempts at having a hit single, which makes it a bit
unfair to include in his album collection.
But with the release of ‘Twice Around The Houses’ (1972) Jonathan Kelly
released his Tour De Force, including many songs that bring a smile to
the face now, about love, happiness, fairy tales, protest, home,
personnel foibles and the odd rock ‘n’ roll song about talking
geraniums! Conquering appearances at British festivals and on TV
followed. Superstardom seemed assured. But life is never that easy, is
The follow up album was a much punchier affair: ‘Wait Till They Change
The Backdrop’, but the lyrics had become much heavier and scepticism was
creeping into the young man’s mind. By the time of ‘...Waiting On You’,
Jonathan Kelly’s love affair with the world was temporarily over.
By now Jonathan Kelly had been on the rock ‘n’ roll road for over three
years, and had more or less given up his folk music roots and plunged
head first into the world of rock music. If you are going to do that,
you might as well go the whole hog, which our subject did, surrounding
himself with the top musicians around at the time.
Firstly there was the duel guitar threat of Snowy White (later of Pink
Floyd and Thin Lizzy, as well as a very successful solo career, stand up
all of you who can remember Snowy’s album ‘White Flames’ coupled with
the hit single ‘Birds Of Paradise’) and Chas Jankel (later of Ian Dury
and The Blockheads). Back this up with the bass playing skills of
ex-Audience man Trevor Williams (who in 2004 reformed Audience with two
other original members Howard Werth and Keith Gemmil, but that is a
story for another day) and the young drumming skills of David Sheen,
with the addition of Peter Wood (ex-Sutherland Brothers and Quiver) on
keyboards when required, you certainly had a good pedigree.
‘...Waiting On You’ is definitely Jonathan Kelly’s rock album (credited
to Jonathan Kelly’s Outside) with the guys swaggering into such songs as
‘Great Northern Railroad’ and ‘Tempest’, whilst final track ‘Tell Me
People’ fairly smoulders along from the start before burning up the
grooves to reach a rockin’ climax.
Due to Jonathan Kelly’s rock ‘n’ roll excesses his mood had changed
quite dramatically since the carefree days of yore, so although the
musical chops were definitely still there, the timbre of the songs had
changed somewhat. This is easily established by just reading the title
of first song up, simply called ‘Misery’. Not exactly the most uplifting
of beginnings, and by the time you reach fourth song in ‘Sensation
Street’ you kind of feel that perhaps journalists are not at the top of
Jonathan Kelly’s Christmas shopping lists - hit lists possibly, but
certainly nothing nice.
Whereas on ‘Twice Around The Houses’, released only two years
beforehand, had included a couple of protest songs ‘We’re All Right Till
Then’ sticking up for the farming community, and his rallying call to
the masses ‘We Are The People’, Jonathan Kelly was protesting for the
people in songs. Now with songs like ‘Tell Me People’ and ‘Great
Northern Railroad’ he was protesting at the people, a great difference.
It was also strange that although the band was still called Jonathan
Kelly’s Outside, the man himself had shed his stage persona, and gone
back to his real name, calling himself Jon Ledingham. Weird.
But if you agree with his sentiments this is still a very fine
recording, which has travelled over the years with no notice of dating,
but easy listening it is not.
Due mostly to Jonathan Ledingham / Kelly’s unpredictability and mood
swings, the band soon splintered, leaving Jon Ledingham to record one
more album under the Jonathan Kelly banner with only David Sheen
remaining from Outside days. But this album, ‘Two Days in Winter’
(1975), certainly lyrically you have to be in a very stable mind frame
to listen to. If you played ‘Never Do That to Anyone’ or ‘What Can I Do
Now’ to anyone who was in the middle of a relationship breaking up, you
would have a real problem on your hands.
Fortunately Jonathan Ledingham / Kelly was able to see a way out, and
was able to walk away from the music business before it did his head any
more damage, a lot stronger than many of his contemporaries. The story
has a happy ending with Jonathan starting a new life with a new family,
and a new business in the Welsh valleys.
In 2001 good ole’ BGO Records released a double CD collection of ‘Twice
Around The Houses’ and ‘Wait Till They Change The Backdrop’. Great value
and a real treat to the ears. In 2005, due to public demand, the next
two albums were also released as a twofer. Still great value for money
and a real insight into what a singer/songwriter should really be all
about. But of the four albums available now I would start at the
beginning and work your way through.
With the release of these albums Jonathan Kelly is making a modest
comeback with occasional charity appearances, where he is going down the
proverbial storm, and now there is even talk of a comeback CD, thirty
years after his last album. The website will give you all the
information you could possibly want at
http://home.freakfreeuk.net/jonthanled/ There you can get the rest of
the griff on this great personality that has not already been ripped
off, unaccredited by some unscrupulous journalist (Maybe ‘Sensation
Street’ had it’s points!) that is printed in the cover of the second
‘... Waiting On You’/’Two Days In Winter’
Making It Lonely
Great Northern Railroad
I’ll Never Find Another Love
Tell Me People.
Only Your Love
Is It Not A Lovely Day
Reaching For A Star
Now Is The Time
Never Do That To Anyone
Rush On Time
What Can I Do Now
One More Kiss
Jonathan Kelly’s Outside
Jon Ledingham: Vocals, Guitar, and Piano
Trevor Williams: Bass
Chas Jankel: Guitars
David Sheen: Drums
Snowy White: Guitars
Peter Wood: Piano
Two Days In Winter
“This is what it says on the album cover, which perhaps says more than
Jonathan Kelly (That’s right, back to Kelly again): Guitars, Pianos,
Percussion, and Vocals
Kum Harada: Bass guitar, Lead Guitar, Confidence Brewer, Percussion
Dave Sheen: Drums, Guitar, Percussion
Darry Le Que: Congas
Roger Rettig: Pedal Steel Guitar
The Pizza Quartet + Chako: Strings
Brian Gascoigne: Marimba
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