The Last Chinese Chef

The Last Chinese Chef

[a Novel]

Book - 2007
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This alluring novel of friendship, love, and cuisine brings the best-selling author of Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light to one of the great Chinese subjects: food. As in her previous novels, Mones's captivating story also brings into focus a changing China -- this time the hidden world of high culinary culture.

When Maggie McElroy, a widowed American food writer, learns of a Chinese paternity claim against her late husband's estate, she has to go immediately to Beijing. She asks her magazine for time off, but her editor counters with an assignment: to profile the rising culinary star Sam Liang.

In China Maggie unties the knots of her husband's past, finding out more than she expected about him and about herself. With Sam as her guide, she is also drawn deep into a world of food rooted in centuries of history and philosophy. To her surprise she begins to be transformed by the cuisine, by Sam's family -- a querulous but loving pack of cooks and diners -- and most of all by Sam himself. The Last Chinese Chef is the exhilarating story of a woman regaining her soul in the most unexpected of places.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2007.
ISBN: 9780618619665
Branch Call Number: FICTION MON


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Sep 05, 2018

Wonderful book with a mild love story, but mostly about the whole culture surrounding true Chinese cuisine. Very detailed and yet so well written that it's easy to read.

Jun 12, 2017

Really enjoyed this book. Agree with CharlieO about the pace and plot development. Well crafted and delicious read.

0Charlie Jan 20, 2015

Not something I would normally pickup but it was a Book club selection. I enjoyed the depth of respect that is shown to food and its reflection in the culture of China. Oh, and there's also a plot concerning a widow, a chef, a contest and a paternity suit. The story unravels delicately and without rush. Recommended for food lovers and lovers.

Dec 20, 2014

I have read all of Nicole Mones' books, enjoying them greatly, especially because of personal experience in China. This one was good but not as well written as the others. There are some situations that are not believable, for instance, engaging in a serious conversation on the side line of a crisis preparing the banquet. One can learn a lot about the importance of food in Chinese culture.

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 20, 2014

For anyone interested in Chinese food, history and romance this is a wonderful read. Maggie, a widowed American food writer, finds herself faced with a paternity suit against her late husband. She goes to Beijing to find out if the claim is legitimate and is given an assignment profiling Sam Liang, a rising American-Chinese chef. As she learns about the history of Sam's family and its deep connections to the great imperial kitchens of the past, she finds her senses reawakened and her feelings for all things Chinese intensified.

Jan 03, 2014

Absolutely gorgeous story. I loved the explanations of Chinese culinary history and it's relationship to art, culture, and family. Juxtaposed with a broken heart and a surprising love story, "The Last Chinese Chef" is both an interesting and a beautiful read.

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