About the book
In 1989, I started a bar in Kathmandu with my mentor Puskar Shrestha, who still runs it today. We called it Tom & Jerry Pub, and it became a home for mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts. While I was there, I met Chef Glenn Hall, who was working for the United Nations Development Program and the Government of Nepal to modernize the Hotel Management School, and I became inspired to study hospitality management in America.
After graduating from Western Culinary Institute/Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, Oregon, I trained with star chefs, including Chef Mark Franz at Farallon in San Francisco and Chef Troy Cannan at Bistro Roxy in Reno, Nevada. After working at a few fine-dining restaurants and luxury hotels, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and saved some money to travel around the world and study international cultures and cuisines. While traveling, I attended cooking schools and studied under chefs worldwide. This made me appreciate how much my own country has to offer.
I have been traveling around Nepal and studying the different ethnic cuisines, cultures, and histories for many years. I have used extensive research and historical documentation of hundreds of years of culinary stories and recipes to create my book. The most memorable part of my studies is working with the local farmers, observing their culture, and celebrating their festivals. Doing a homestay and spending time in the kitchen is a fantastic experience. I am indebted to all these people who share their stories, recipes, and cooking techniques, and I feel it’s important to share my stories and recipes with international food lovers. Our cuisine shows how people from India, China, and Tibet once came together and built a harmonious place and made it into a mystic cuisine.
In this book, I have written how to prepare a wide range of food, from typical day-to-day meals all the way to elaborate festival banquets. I have gone through many trials and errors and years of cooking and teaching these recipes. I find cooking is not that hard if you have fun and enjoy it. My mother used to tell me, “never have a tear when you cook; it will bring bad chi” (bad luck). In the end, food brings friends and family together with pleasure and happiness.
Wildwood Restaurant Founder, James Beard Award-Winning Chef, and Author of "Wildwood" and "Rustic Fruit Desserts.
“Mystic Kitchens of Nepal” is a culinary narrative and guidebook to a naturally intelligent cuisine with insights and descriptions into this ancient model that are relevant to modern day cooking. Connecting nutrition, balance, flavor and how to use less but enjoy more. Bikram's book is a must-have for any evolving culinary bookshelf and dynamic global flavor-based kitchen.”