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Chinese-American journalist Lin-Liu's delightful mixture of memoir and cookbook records her years living and working in Shanghai and Beijing, when she attended a vocational cooking school and discovered a passion for Chinese cooking and culture. Growing up in the U.S. to Taiwan-born parents, the author admits feeling alienated from her heritage when she first moved to China in 2000; a graduate of an American journalism school, she eventually became the food editor at TimeOut Beijing. Moving between Shanghai and Beijing, she begins her account with her frustrating yet ultimately rewarding study at the Hualian Cooking School in Beijing, where she apprenticed to one of the school's instructors, Chairman Wang, an old-style cook raised during the Cultural Revolution, who taught the author the rudiments of chopping, shopping and how to pass the cooking exam. Despite the flimsy certificate, bias against women working in professional kitchens and the reluctance to hire foreigners, Lin-Liu found work at Chef Zhang's noodle stall serving migrant workers and at the popular dumpling house Xian'r Lao Man; she later snagged a plum internship at Jereme Leung's upscale Shanghai restaurant, Whampoa Club. Incorporating stories of many of the Chinese she worked alongside (and their recipes), as well as trips to the MSG factory in Henan or to the rice-growing Guangxi province, Lin-Liu offers a thoroughgoing, spirited celebration of overcoming cultural barriers. (July)
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Starts out well, but goes down hill after that until you are skimming the middle an last part of the book to get it over with.Published 4 months ago by Peter K.
This was a very interesting trip through China. I learned a lot and learned how to make the food too.Published 16 months ago by Judy Nies
this was a really fun read. we got back from 3.5 months in china, and this book captured the food, the people, the places we saw. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sam
I thought I would just skim this book for the recipes but I started reading it and enjoyed it so much I read every word! Read morePublished on August 1, 2013 by La Boheme
Not a bad read and with some interesting recipes. I thought it would be more updated than it was. The restaurant in China (Black Sesame Kitchen) where the author works is... Read morePublished on July 27, 2013 by Tickled Pink
The author is a Chinese American journalist living in Beijing. It should be noted that she is a fluent speaker of Chinese and it would not have been possible to do the research... Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Matthew B. Christensen
It gives the reader a glimpse of the new China, in depth view of some of the restaurants and its staff .... eye opener, to say the least. Would definitely recommend it to friends.Published on January 22, 2013 by EAT PRAY TRAVEL
I found this to be a whiny and tedious book about the adventures of a rather pampered young girl. This is because I finished Fuchsia Dunlop's similar account in a similar book... Read morePublished on September 22, 2011 by Ivan Ng
I enjoyed the human interest stories as well as excellent recipes and the author's capturing a slice of life during China's transition to a modern restaurant environment. Read morePublished on May 27, 2011 by cybercitizen