Jason Licker began his career at Jean-Georges in New York before moving to Asia later in life, and itâ€™s this dichotomyâ€”of traditional French cooking techniques and Oriental flavorsâ€”that the talented American pastry chef unites in his glossy new dessert book Lickerland: Asian-Accented Desserts. At its heart, this beautiful tome is a cookbook filled with jaw-dropping recipes for things like Cherry Yuzu Chiffon Cake, Lickerâ€™s ode to layering using a cherry-yuzu mousse; and the Thai-inspired Sang Som Cappuccino, a stack of milk ice-cream, chocolate-coffee crumble, and passion-fruit cream topped with a rum-spiked foam. But thereâ€™s more to Lickerland than drool-worthy recipes and stunning photos courtesy of Jason Michael Lang. Licker takes readers on a journey of discovery, decoding Asian fruits, spices, and techniquesâ€”What are shiso leaves? How should matcha be used?â€”while providing step-by-step instructions for core elements such as toffee and tart dough. At first glance, many of the creations will seem too complicated for the home cook. But Licker is all about trial and error, and begins the book with a number of helpful tips (which he calls â€śLicker Lawsâ€ť) to ensure success in the kitchen: use the finest ingredients, donâ€™t ignore your palate, and, most importantly, cook from the heart.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2017Â print issue of DestinAsian magazine (â€śThe Sweetest Thingâ€ť).