31 March 2000

Feng Shuicookery

is powerful medicine

IF YOU regard food as fuel and prefer plain no-nonsense grub, Feng Shui Food is probably not for you.

You wont find recipes for steak and kidney pud or Lancashire hot pot. Rather expect to read about vermicelli fried king prawns, yin and yang and something glorying in the title of tempura of tuna with mirin dressing.

But this glossy title is far more than just a cook book. Its introduction modestly promises a host of unexpected benefits. "By applying the art of Feng Shui to preparing, cooking and serving food, you can improve your health, boost your energy, strengthen your relationships and promote household harmony – not to mention get more from your meals."

The ancient eastern tradition of feng shui focuses on manipulating chi; a powerful universal energy that flows through the universe. Apparently. If thats not enough to put you off, youll find a collection of thoughtful, if sometimes fiddly, recipes illustrated by mouth-watering photographs. The recipe for poached pigeon, cider-braised cabbage and port reduction should tempt the most jaded of palates.

And if pistachio parfait with mango coulis is not to your taste, or the ingredients are not readily obtainable, you can always read about how dining room decor, table-layout and magnetic orientation of place settings can add to the physical and spiritual health of your meal.

Behind the new age mist, theres also a good deal of common sense about the joys of eating fruit and vegetables in season.

Theres even a chapter on how to enliven your evenings with passion – in the culinary sense of course. "Naked flames are certain to bring an extra blaze of passion to a meal," it advises. If thats not enough to get the positive energy flowing, then I would like to know a better one.** MS

*Feng Shui Food by Steven Saunders and Simon Brown is published by Thorsons at £14.99.

**If you know a better idea send it to Farmlife Feng Shui, farmers weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS. The two best recipes for a passionate (and printable) night in will receive a free copy of Feng Shui Food. You can also fax your suggestions (0181 652 4005) or email farmers.weekly@rbi.co.uk