Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Our June/July Selection: Kitchen Chinese

After the past two months of negative press on China, here's something positive!  The food!  When I read Kitchen Chinese, by Ann Mah, last year, her writing impressed me, the food was inspiring and her story quite intriguing, so of course it had to be my Cook the Books Club pick.

As the Publishers say: "Kitchen Chinese, Ann Mah’s funny and poignant first novel about a young Chinese-American woman who travels to Beijing to discover food, family, and herself is a delight—complete with mouth-watering descriptions of Asian culinary delicacies, from Peking duck and Mongolian hot pot to the colorful, lesser known Ants in a Tree that will delight foodies everywhere. Reminiscent of Elizabeth Gilbert’s runaway bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, Mah’s tale of clashing cultures, rival siblings, and fine dining is an unforgettable, unexpectedly sensual reading experience—the story of one woman’s search for identity and purpose in an exotic and faraway land."

The star of the tale is Isabelle Lee, who after her magazine career comes to a halt, finds herself at loose ends and wanting change.  She leaves New York, hoping also to reconnect with her family roots in China. Her older sister is an attorney living there, so she has a place to stay. However, her familiarity with the language and culture is limited to 'kitchen Chinese'.  Luckily, after arriving she is able to land a job at a magazine for the expatriate community in Beijing and find a circle of friends. Isabelle's Beijing immersion provides a refreshing and fun narrative, with insights into modern China and the expatriate experience, making for a truly enjoyable read.  I hope you'll find it inspires your cooking as well!

Anyone can participate in Cook the Books by simply reading our selection, taking inspiration from the book, then cooking and posting about your inspired dish. We look forward to having you read and cook along with us this round. New participants are always welcome! (Leave a comment here or check out our Guidelines page if you have any questions.)

Deadline for contributing your post is Friday, July 31, 2020  Leave a comment below with a link to your post or email me at claudiariley@yahoo.com.

Honey from Rock


Debra Eliotseats said...

I started it last night and am loving it. My copy, however, has sections in weird places. :( Looking forward to this one, Claudia.

Deb in Hawaii said...

I have had it on my Kindle for a few years now so I am glad this is my push to finally read it. ;-) I really enjoyed her novel The Lost Vintage so I am looking forward to this one!

Camilla M. Mann said...

Thanks for hosting. I emailed you my post information.

Simona Carini said...

Looking forward to reading the novel. Thank you for hosting, Claudia :)

CulinUrsa said...

I've been wanting to try making mapo tofu for ages! Reading this novel finally got me to do so -- although I used a different recipe before I realized Ann Mah included recipes at the end of the book! www.culinursa.com/blog/kitchen-chinese-a-novel-amp-mapo-tofu

judee said...

Sounds like a delightful book and I love the cover.

Claudia said...

I hope you'll join us Judee. Debra, are you reading it on Kindle?
CulinUrsa, Mapo Tofu is a favorite of mine.

A Day in the Life on the Farm said...

Hi Claudia, My post went live this morning. Help yourself to any content. Thanks for hosting. https://adayinthelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/2020/07/char-sui-pork-cookthebooks.html