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 West. Their lives were as dramatic as the times they lived through. A love of food and a talent cooking pulled each generation through the most devastating of upheavals. Helen Tse's grandmother, Lily Kowk, was forced to work as an amah after the violent murder of her father. She honed her famous chicken curry recipe as she crossed the ocean from Hong Kong in the 1950s, and she eventually opened her own restaurant where her daughter, Mabel, worked from the tender age of seven. 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.
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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 Tse was born in 1977 and grew up in Manchester, UK. She studied law at Cambridge University before working as a finance lawyer in London, Hong Kong, Manchester, and the Cayman Islands. She opened the award-winning restaurant Sweet Mandarin with her two sisters, Lisa and Janet, in 2004, following the culinary footsteps of her mother and grandmother: www.sweetmandarin.com. Sweet Mandarin is Helen's first book.
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Book Description Ebury Press, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 91920191