Karen Leigh
May 04, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Last Chinese Chef

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Nicole Mones
publisher
Houghton Mifflin
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

After learning that her late husband may have fathered a child while working in Beijing, food writer Maggie McElroy departs for China, hoping to sort out the mess in The Late Chinese Chef. While there, she takes an assignment — a magazine profile of rising culinary star Sam Liang. As she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, traveling from Beijing to Shanghai and the south, an unexpected romance blooms with the quiet chef. Nicole Mones, a contributor to Gourmet, paints a stunning picture of a country caught between tradition and modern life. But her descriptions of Sam’s adventurous Chinese recipes are what will really make your mouth water. A-

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