Saturday, 17 November 2012

Book Review: The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones

Here comes another 30 Day Book Challenge review! This is another great book written by one of my favourite authors, Nicole Mones. The Last Chinese Chef follows a widowed American food writer, Maggie, who travels to Beijing to find out more about her late husbands secrets. Her trip also doubles as work, as she is asked by her editor to profile Sam, a half Chinese American who is the last in a line of gifted chefs going back to the imperial palace. I read this in a weekend and really enjoyed it. I love reading about food and Mones has satisfied my literary cravings. As she describes the food, I feel I'm eating it alongside the character.
" According to the classical pattern he started with a few lacy-crisp deep-fried dishes: pepper-salt eel fillets like translucent little tiles...and an aromatic stir-fry of yellow chives studded with tiny. delicate fried oysters. Back in the kitchen, he stir-fried tender mustard greens with wide, flat tofu-skin noodles and plump, fresh, braised young soybeans. These glistened on the platter in a light crystal sauce. After that there were lamb skewers, delectably grilled and crusted with sesame".
The thing I liked most about this book, was how Mones described traditional methods of Chinese cooking. Publishers Weekly described the book as 'Sumptuous' and this is how I would describe it too.
A satisfying read but have some snacks ready to alleviate the cravings that are sure to happen!
I'd love to hear what you think of the blog or any of the books I've been reading for this challenge. Just leave me a comment here on the blog or send me a tweet @JuliadeRuiter

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