Spanning almost a hundred years, this rich and evocative true story recounts the lives of three generations of remarkable Chinese women. Their extraordinary journey takes us from the brutal poverty of village life in mainland China, to newly prosperous 1930s Hong Kong and finally to the UK. Their lives were as dramatic as the times they lived through. A love of food and a talent for cooking pulled each generation through the most devastating of upheavals. Helen Tse's grandmother, Lily Kwok, was forced to work as an amah after the violent murder of her father. Crossing the ocean from Hong Kong in the 1950s, Lily honed her famous chicken curry recipe. Eventually she opened one of Manchester's earliest Chinese restaurants where her daughter, Mabel, worked from the tender age of nine. But gambling and the Triads were pervasive in the Chinese immigrant community, and they tragically lost the restaurant. It was up to Helen and her sisters, the third generation of these exceptional women, to re-establish their grandmother's dream. "Sweet Mandarin" shows how the most important inheritance is wisdom, and how recipes - passed down the female line - can be the most valuable heirloom.
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"Read this book. It is the story of an amazing family - three
generations of Chinese women and their sweet and sour, hot and bitter
lives" -- Xinran, author of The Good Women of China
"The hiss of the wok and scent of stir-fried vegetables
practically leap out...an excellent read" -- First Magazine
"a griping tale of struggle, laughter, love and food...a must read
book." -- Ken Hom
"a heartrending and tender story of three generations of Chinese
women who transform their lives" -- Wall Street Journal
"an amazing and charming read" -- Woman
"fascinating stuff" -- Metro
In our world of many cultures we seem to focus on those things that separate us. The two very important things that connect us worldwide are family and food. Wherever we go we all wish to be family, and food is the common thread that connects us all. The Tse Family and their beautifully written book, Sweet Mandarin, clearly demonstrates we are all family; and that simply, home-cooked food is the best way to show your love to your family of relatives and friends. In good times and sad times food connects us all. -- Art Smith
Sweet Mandarin is a banquet of family stories that
take us from a small Chinese village to cosmopolitan
Hong Kong and urban Manchester. Along the way, the
ingredients of special dishes and a rich life are
added: a homemade stock of hard life, a pound of
tragedy, a spoonful of daring, a dash of curses, and
dollop after dollop of sheer will. This is a family
memoir of survival and victories, luck and
determination, and perpetual mounds of dirty dishes
waiting to be washed. "
-- Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club
Helen and her identical twin Lisa were born in 1977 and grew up in Manchester UK. Helen's passion for writing began whilst studying law at Cambridge University. She worked as a finance and tax lawyer for Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong. Since then, she has worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers and won the Young Accountant of the Year Award 2006 for her work on helping companies invest in China. Her passions are food, business and people. These interests have propelled Helen and her two sisters, Lisa and Janet Tse to open an award winning restaurant Sweet Mandarin in Manchester and to follow in their mother's and grandmother's footsteps: www.sweetmandarin.com. Together, they have appeared on ITV Granada, BBC, radio and featured in numerous press and magazine articles on topics ranging from women in business, food, restauranteurs, entrepreneurs, immigration, nationality, Chinese culture and investing in China.
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0091913616