Chef: A Novel

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, May 1, 2010 - Fiction - 256 pages
50 Reviews
Kirpal Singh is riding the slow train to Kashmir. With India passing by his window, he reflects on his destination, which is also his past: a military camp to which he has not returned for fourteen years.
Kirpal, called Kip, is shy and not yet twenty when he arrives for the first time at General Kumar's camp, nestled in the shadow of the Siachen Glacier. At twenty thousand feet, the glacier makes a forbidding battlefield; its crevasses claimed the body of Kip's father. Kip becomes an apprentice under the camp's chef, Kishen, a fiery mentor who guides him toward the heady spheres of food and women.
In this place of contradictions, erratic violence, and extreme temperatures, Kip learns to prepare local dishes and delicacies from around the globe. Even as months pass, Kip, a Sikh, feels secure in his allegiance to India, firmly on the right side of this interminable conflict. Then, one muggy day, a Pakistani "terrorist" with long, flowing hair is swept up on the banks of the river and changes everything.
Mesmeric, mournful, and intensely lyrical, Chef is a brave and compassionate debut about hope, love, and memory set against the devastatingly beautiful, war-scarred backdrop of occupied Kashmir.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Amelia_Smith - LibraryThing

I wanted to like this book, but the narrator was too annoying and nothing much happened. I got through about 1/3 of it before giving up -- I skimmed a bit further along, but I saw no signs that it was ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chrisblocker - LibraryThing

This book had great potential. I enjoyed the story of a young chef and his shaky allegiances. The language was vivid and poetic. The scenery lush. I yearned to know more of the supporting characters ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 17
Section 18
Section 19
Section 20
Section 21
Section 22
Section 23
Section 24

Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 25
Section 26
Section 27
Section 28
Section 29
Section 30
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Jaspreet Singh is a former research scientist who holds a PhD in chemical engineering from McGill University. His debut collection of short stories, Seventeen Tomatoes: Tales from Kashmir won the 2004 McAuslan First Book Prize, and his stories have appeared in The Walrus and Zoetrope. Born in Punjab and brought up in Kashmir, Singh now lives in British Columbia.

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