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The Last Chinese Chef


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Finalist for the Kiriyama Prize for FictionWorld Gourmand Award Winner "Stunning... will really make your mouth water."
-"Entertainment Weekly" "Entertaining and learned... the perfect leisure read...effortless... profound... delicious."
-"Wall Street Journal" "The most thorough explanation of Chinese food I've ever read in the English language."
-Ruth Reichl, "NPR" "A dazzling journey... a feast... a page turner both exciting and wise."
-David Henry Hwang "Food and travel writing at its best... engaging, inventive, and incredibly informative."
-"Booksense" "It doesn't seem quite fair for an author to be as skilled...as Nicole Mones. Entrances."
-"Seattle Times" "Will transport you... you won't want to put the book down..."
-"NW Asian Weekly" "A masterpiece for Chinese food."
-Edouard Cointreau, judges' panel, World Gourmand Award "Subtle...meticulously researched... will entice. Avoid reading while hungry."
-"Kirkus Reviews" "Sumptuous... tantalizing. Early in her visit, Maggie scoffs at the idea that food can heal the human heart. Mones smartly proves her wrong."
-"Publisher's Weekly" "Crackling with energy and ambition.. will delight... erudite details and butter-smooth prose."
-Diana Abu-Jaber "Maybe you never considered the imperial heights of Chinese cuisine. Nicole Mones can change that with the flip of a page."
-"Charlotte Observer" "Outstanding and beautifully written."
-"Willamette Week" Erudite and entertaining...mouthwatering details on one of the world's greatest cuisines."
-"Northwest Asian Times" "Captivating...evocative... admirably adept...invaluably quirky knowledge about Chinese culture and food. "
-"New York Times Book Review ""Delicious... deftly portrays complexity and passion of a cross-cultural love affair... and the rarefied and competitive world of Chinese haute cuisine, a subtle complex art that reached its apogee in the court of the Emperor and was nearly obliterated in Mao's Cultural Revolution."
Judges' Citation," Kiriyama Prize ""Delicious...reveals the sophistication of an ancient culture but also its corruption, cronyism, and poverty. "
-"Waterstone Review"

A recently widowed American food writer finds solace and love--and the most inspiring food she's ever encountered--during a visit to China in Mones's sumptuous latest. Still reeling from husband Matt's accidental death a year ago, food writer Maggie McElroy is flummoxed when a paternity claim is filed against Matt's estate from Beijing, where he sometimes traveled for business. Before Maggie embarks on the obligatory trip to investigate, her editor assigns her a profile on Sam Liang, a half-Chinese American chef living in Beijing who is about to enter a prestigious cooking competition. Sam's old-school recipes and history lessons of high Chinese cuisine kick-start Maggie's dulled passion for food and help her let go of her grief, even as she learns of Matt's Beijing bed hopping. Though the narrative can get bogged down in the minutiae of Chinese culinary history (filtered through the experiences of Sam's family), Mones's descriptions of fine cuisine are tantalizing, and her protagonist's quest is bracing and unburdened by melodrama. Early in her visit, Maggie scoffs at the idea that "food can heal the human heart." Mones smartly proves her wrong.
Publishers Weekly

"Mones, a contributor to Gourmet, paints a stunning picture of a country caught between tradition and modern life. Grade: A-" - Entertainment Weekly 15MinutesMagazine.com

"It doesn't seem quite fair for a writer to be as skilled at genre hopping as Nicole Mones" -Seattle Times 15MinutesMagazine.com

"Mones has crafted an entertaining and erudite novel cleverly interspersed with mouthwatering details on one of the world's greatest cuisines" - Northwest Aisian Times


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