Serve the People: A Stir-fried Journey Through China

Front Cover
Harcourt, 2008 - Cooking - 341 pages
8 Reviews

"A beautiful and revelatory book about cuisine, packed with humor and pathos and profound cultural insight."--Frederick Kaufman, author of "A Short History of the American Stomach"

"If you hunger for clear insights into the regular people of China today, read Jen Lin-Liu's tour-de-force "Serve the People."--"William Poy Lee, author of "The Eighth Promise"

As a freelance journalist and food writer living in Beijing, Jen Lin-Liu already had a ringside seat for China's exploding food scene. When she decided to enroll in a local cooking school--held in an unheated classroom with nary a measuring cup in sight--she jumped into the ring herself. In "Serve the People, "Lin-Liu gives a memorable and mouthwatering cook's tour of today's China as she progresses from cooking student to noodle-stall and dumpling-house apprentice to intern at a chic Shanghai restaurant. The characters she meets along the way include poor young men and women streaming in from the provinces in search of a "rice bowl" (living wage), a burgeoning urban middle class hungry for luxury after decades of turmoil and privation, and the mentors who take her in hand in the kitchen and beyond. Together they present an unforgettable slice of contemporary China in the full swing of social and economic transformation.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sbloom42 - LibraryThing

This was a fascinating book, though my experience of it was a bit jumbled because the edition I had was missing pages. Every now and then I'd come across a passage that didn't make sense, only to ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PennyMck - LibraryThing

A young Chinese American woman takes cooking classes and serves apprenticeships in a noodle shop and a high-end restaurant - an inside look at Chinese food, restaurants and culture Read full review

About the author (2008)

Jen Lin-Liu was raised in southern California, graduated from Columbia University, and came to China in 2000 on a Fulbright fellowship. A food critic for Time Out Beijing and the coauthor of Frommer's Beijing, she has also written for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur, and Food & Wine. She is the founder of Black Sesame Cooking School in Beijing.

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