From Publishers Weekly
Although Halvorsen (Catering Like a Pro) has done her homework on Chinese cuisine, history and even philosophy, her chatty, uneven account reads like an enthusiastic but circumscribed school report. After sketching China's provinces and their culinary characteristics, Halvorsen spends most of these pages relating her own trip to China (she visited all five provinces, as well as Hong Kong and Taipei, Taiwan), describing her pleasant experiences in the series of Sheraton hotels and with tourist organizations. The 100 recipes garnered from Chinese chefs punctuate the day-by-day travelogue and, while tantalizing (Lobster Cantonese, sauteed with black beans, garlic and ginger) and sometimes obscure (Shredded Chicken and Snake Soup), for the most part are too briefly explained to do credit to their complexity. Herbal specialties, vegetarian recipes and yum cha (dumplings and finger foods served with tea) receive their own quick chapters. Overall, this effort is too confusing to introduce Chinese cuisine, too breezy to satisfy aficionados.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Don't expect another Chinese cookbook with this title: far richer than its 100 selected recipes is its attention to Chinese culinary history which examines the changing foods and traditions of the nation. Halvorsen's notes from her recent culinary tour of the country pairs authentic regional dishes with observations on Chinese provincial differences. -- Midwest Book Review