The Last Chinese Chef

Nicole Mones


The Last Chinese Chef

The Last Chinese Chef

  • Title: The Last Chinese Chef
  • Author: Nicole Mones
  • ISBN: 9780732287139
  • Page: 371
  • Format: Paperback



A story of food, healing, and loveThis alluring novel of friendship, love, and cuisine brings the bestselling author of Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light to one of the great Chinese subjects food And the hidden world of Chinese high culinary culture.When Maggie McElroy, a widowed American food writer, learns of a Chinese paternity claim against her late husband sA story of food, healing, and loveThis alluring novel of friendship, love, and cuisine brings the bestselling author of Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light to one of the great Chinese subjects food And the hidden world of Chinese 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 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.


Recent Comments "The Last Chinese Chef"

The story goes down like steamed chow mein: Soft and amiable, with nothing too heavy to chew on. Before I realized it, I had finished over half the book. I just kept shoving the words in my brain without stopping to ponder them. The Last Chinese Chef satisfies the Recommended Daily Allowance of insight into China's culinary traditions. In fact, it contains abundant, nearly toxic levels of Chinese food descriptions, all punctuated by our heroine Maggie gloating about how incredible it tastes. Thi [...]

a very quick read, a bit of fluff and not very deepybe i'm a total asshole cynic, but i'm often turned off by sentences like this (last sentence of the summary on the back), "It is here, amid lessons of tradition, obligation, and human connection that she finds the secret ingredient that may yet heal her heart." ok, it's the last 3 words. ughe only part that kept me interested were the descriptions and talk about chinese food, and honestly, it wasn't that enlightening for me. maybe cause i'm chi [...]

This is an amazing book and one of the best books I've read all year. As someone who has limited cooking skills and who is even less adventurous with new food than your average five year old - trust me when I say that this book has made me want to try a world of new things.Maggie is a widow who writes for Table Magazine. Her husband died a year ago in a sudden accident and she's just found out that a claim has been filed against his estate in China, where he frequently traveled for work. A pater [...]

Ένα παραμυθένιο βιβλίο ,γραμμένο με πολλή αγάπη και σεβασμό για την Κίνα και την γαστρονομία της, η οποία όπως είναι φυσικό επηρεάστηκε και διαμορφώθηκε μέσα και από τα ιστορικά και οικονομικά γεγονότα. Η συγγραφέας εξυψώνει το βιβλίο από ένα απλό ρομάντζο σε γαστρονομικό [...]

2.5 stars The story of an American food writer who flies to China to interview an American, of Chinese descent, competing in China's culinary Olympics. The chef, Sam, comes from a long line of famous Chinese chefs and the contest is very competitive. Ten chefs compete for two spots from their region.Maggie, the food writer, is in her late 30's and recently widowed. Her husband had done business in China and now a family is filing for support for a child they claimed her husband fathered. Maggie [...]

I really wanted to like this book, and I did enjoy the tidbits about Chinese culture and food, but stilted dialogue and a generous helping of cliches made it hard to get through without lots of skimming. (Seriously, a drinking game could be crafted around the amount of times the author writes that writers are good at observing.) A very predictable romantic plot didn't help matters much either

Very enjoyable read about the history and culture of Chinese cuisine, which I knew almost nothing about. Unlike Western culture, the Chinese have a very different take on food, it's preparation and presentation. The subtle but important nuances of their cuisine reveal aspects of their political structure, their fine arts, their history, their religion and their reverence to family. This part was fascinating to read about, and the backstories provided an informative and engaging peek into that wo [...]

I've never been a great fan of Chinese food. Now I understand why: I've never eaten Chinese food, only some poor hybrid cousin that is is ubiquitous at strip malls and shopping center food courts from Paris, Texas to Paris, France. I might have come close to the real thing a few years ago in Chinatown, San Francisco, but I think cooking as Mones described can only be found in ChinaMones introduced me to a sublime and seductive world of Chinese cuisine that left me trembling with desire for Pork [...]

The blurbs on the cover and the reviews give you just about everything you need to know about this book going in--it's a combination of mystery/drama and culinary guide to Chinese food. It's a solid book, but given the level of ambition here I felt like I needed a bit more from it. The setup is somewhere between postmodern and magic realist, but the prose is not quite equal to either subgenre. My problem with the novel is this: as trade market novels go it's quite good, but there's potential for [...]

Nicole Mones writes wonderful descriptions of food. Which is not surprising, given her 'day job' is writing for Gourmet magazine. I learned about classical Chinese cuisine, the philosophy behind Chinese cooking methods, and got hungry for many of the dishes she elaborated.But beyond that - it was pretty standard chick-lit fare. The first two chapters set up our protagonists: Maggie the food writer, who has emotionally closed in on herself since her husband died a year ago, and Sam, the Chinese-A [...]

Чудесна книга! Макар и сюжетът да не е нищо особено и по-скоро да е използван, за да бъде поднесена информацията за китайската кухня, това лесно може да бъде преглътнато, при положение, че с всяка следваща страница научаваш нещо ново - абсолютно непознато и интригуващо, като [...]

Maggie McElroy, food writer and newly widowed, is swamped by grief for her husband Matt - dead in a car accident - when she receives some startling news from a colleague of Matt's in Beijing: a Chinese woman has filed a claim for paternity, saying that her little daughter is Matt's. Maggie, shocked and betrayed, has no option but to go to China to sort out this mess and verify if little Shuying is indeed Matt's or not. But when Maggie's editor at Table magazine discovers about this trip, she mak [...]

Because Nicole Mones was/is a writer for Gourmet Magazine, I fully expected beautifully tantalizing textual food to tempt me off the path of my diet. This book delivers in spades-- with the added benefit of being incredibly, emotionally TRUE to what it means to cook and eat Chinese food. This is the Chinese food I grew up with and the Chinese food that I cook. This is food that I have never really been able to verbally articulate to my Western friends, being forced to instead fall back to cookin [...]

One of the main characters, Sam, talks about the striving for simplicity of Chinese food. The Chinese chef should put so many layers into their food that to the observer, the food, like tofu, looks simply like tofu, but when they bite into it, they realize that what is seemingly simple, is very complex and surprising. Mones surprises with her layers of subplots that will appeal to more than one kind of reader. There's the story of Maggie, recently widowed and in China to address a paternity suit [...]

This book was written by the same author as Lost In Translation, Nicole MonesI really liked this book about a woman who is widowed when her husband is run over by a car when is is on a buisness trip to San francisco.She is a food writer and travels often herself. They agreed to never have children, and yet he starts to feel differently, and pressures her to reconsider.He had traveled often to China on business with his law firm. One of the partners from the China office calls to tell her that th [...]

A fascinating look into the Chinese culture, especially regarding the importance of food - and not just eating food, but the whole "guanxi" or relationship of the bonds between those who prepare the food and those who partake of it. Yes, this is a novel, and a major component of the book is the story of newly widowed Maggie as she comes to terms with her husband's death and his possible betrayal of her, which in turn becomes her reason to travel to China. Her assignment as a food writer to inter [...]

This was an interesting history of Chinese cooking and Chinese Empires however I didn't enjoy the love story or even believe in it. I see on most people loved this book so I feel out of step but my main criticism is that I dont' feel it was well written. I couldn't get past that

This book further explains things I experienced while in China. In China it was easy to see the time spent in preparing specialty dishes, but as American's we assumed it was all about the presentation and being pleasing to the customer's eye. The Chinese never let me "grab dinner alone or bring food back to my hotel alone". The were always keen to ensure I ate with someone or in a group and I very much appreciated this so I could be sure to "know what I was eating" and how it was prepared. I eat [...]

Her husband died a year ago in a random street accident while on a business trip. Since that time, Maggie McElroy has been dealing with grief. They had no children – her decision. They both had demanding jobs requiring frequent travel. He was a lawyer. She is a food writer. Then, Maggie receives a call from one of her husband's colleagues, based in Beijing. A Chinese woman has filed a paternity suit and she needs to travel to China to obtain a DNA sample from the child. The narrative up to thi [...]

What a fantastic book to finish my reading year. Highly recommended!

As I read "The Last Chinese Chef" I craved every dish described, begged my husband to go out to Chinese food, spent tons of money at Uwajimaya on all sorts of noodles and spices and sauces that I can't read let alone know what to do with, got a really fancy rice cooker for Christmas, and am now trying to figure out how to use cleavers. One dish in particular, in which the chef works the skin off of a whole chicken in one piece and then stuffs the skin with sliced vegetables, pork, and other meat [...]

A treasure! "Food was always to be sharedThe high point of every meal was never the food itself, he taught us, but always the act of sharing it." One of my favorite things to read about is cultural diversity. This was a wonderful story that describes culture through food and its preparation with an extra dollop of a blooming romance. I am not one to like the philosophical passages some books place at the beginning of their chapters but I found these passages in the story quite insightful and use [...]

This was an entertaining little book, but it fell short for me. I do love to cook, to travel and to eat a broad variety of "ethnic" foods, but reading this book often felt like reading a cookbook and carefully studying each ingredient as I plodded along. Mones clearly demonstrated her broad knowledge of Chinese culture and cuisine. She often imparted some new item of information for me about Asian history, intellect and the importance of culinary arts and food sources for these people.The charac [...]

The timing of my reading was auspicious (as the Chinese would say). I was in China at the time. This was one of those rare books that I loved from the moment I picked it up. Normally, I'll go through about 20 pages of a book before I will like or dislike it, but this one had me from page 1. It's about a woman who is grieving her husband and goes to China to work out a paternity suit. While there, she discovers Chinese cuisine. The story is okay, nothing predictable but not too exciting either. W [...]

I read 'Lost in Translation' long enough ago now to have forgotten most of the details, and having only the mist of the story drifting in my memory, so when I began "Last Chef", I was expecting explorations in human relationships and personal truths. These are present, in spades, but I was more than pleasantly surprised to find that these are subsumed underneath, around, and within the more prominant story which is the relationship that Chinese have with their food, and how deeply and thickly st [...]

I found this book by accident browsing the shelves at the library. I like looking for Chinese authors, but I decided to give this a try because of the subject matter. I give it four stars for the fascinating descriptions of Chinese cuisine and the role of food in Chinese culture. (Now I understand why Chinese restaurants always had "Dinner for [2, 4, etc.]" on their menus. Read the book to find out.) The main story, however, seems like your run-of-the-mill chick lit. (I remember when chick lit w [...]

The components seem irresistible: food, foreign travel, a mystery. But, in the end this is a pretty pat novel, though very fun to read. The book was at its best describing Chinese cuisine and the community element in dining. It made me want to cook this food, eat this food and travel to China. The love story and the plot regarding the main character's "unresolved business" in China are rushed and predictable. Nonetheless, good read. Would like to read this writer's non-fiction regarding Chinese [...]

Is anybody else really hungry based on this book!? I really enjoyed the book – I thought the storyline was very creative and I like how raw and honest Maggie and Sam were as characters. The only reason I'm giving 4 stars instead of 5 is that I didn't love the ending.

A lovely story which intertwines the past through Chinese cuisine and the present of relationships. I enjoyed the descriptions of the preparation and presentation of food, and learning about the importance of food throughout.Chinese history.

Nicole Mones has been visiting China for more than 30 years, first as an entrepreneur in the textile industry, then as a food critic writing a series of articles about the nation's inimitable cuisine for "Gourmet" magazine, beginning in 1999. Her protagonist, also a food critic, was therefore crafted close to the heart, and it shows throughout this beautiful story, balm for the reading spirit inundated with dystopian tales and the grim reflections of our time in current literature.This is a love [...]


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    Posted by:Nicole Mones
    Published :2018-09-18T21:38:09+00:00