American food writer Maggie McElroy, recently widowed, travels to Beijing, China, to settle an unexpected aspect of her late husband's estate. Encouraged by her editor to use the trip to diverse her food tastes, she assigns her to write about the upcoming Chinese Olympic culinary competition, and while she was there to profile a half-Chinese American chef.
Written by Nicole Mones, The Last Chinese Chef delivers more than a look at Chinese cuisine, tradition, and history; the novel also shows that food and its enjoyment has the power to heal -- whether it is a broken heart or a broken family.
The Last Chinese Chef is a simple yet enjoyable read, but be prepared [heh] for a cuisine that saturates live shrimp in wine in order to get them "drunk" before they eat them -- and the Chinese can do more things with eel that we Americans have even thought about doing with chicken or cream of mushroom soup.
Thanks to my friend Celia for loaning me this book. :)