Soul Food of the Chinese Nomads
Our culinary lecture series returns in September with “Soul Food of the Chinese Nomads.”
Linda Lau Anusasananan, author of The Hakka Cookbook, Chinese Soul Food from around the World, traces the diverse cuisine of the Chinese nomads known as the Hakka throughout the world. Beginning in her grandmother’s kitchen in California, Anusasananan travels to her family’s home in China, and from there fans out to embrace Hakka cooking across the globe—including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Peru, and beyond. More than thirty home cooks and chefs share their experiences of the Hakka diaspora as they contribute over 140 recipes for everyday Chinese comfort food as well as festive specialties.
This book likens Hakka cooking to a nomadic type of “soul food,” or a hearty cooking tradition that responds to a shared history of hardship and oppression. Earthy, honest, and robust, it reflects the diversity of the estimated 75 million Hakka living in China and greater Asia, and in scattered communities around the world—yet still retains its flavorful roots. Anusasananan’s deep personal connection to the tradition, together with her extensive experience testing and developing recipes at Sunset Magazine, make this book both an intimate journey of discovery and an exciting introduction to a vibrant cuisine. Her brother, Alan Lau, gracefully weaves a visual trail through the pages with his art.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Linda Lau Anusasananan formerly worked as a food writer and recipe editor for 34 years at Sunset Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for people who live in the West. There she created and tested thousands of recipes and wrote stories for the home cook. In 1987, she produced “From China’s Kitchens to Ours,” the first story written by an American magazine about home cooking in China. Her work has also appeared in Cooking Light, Yoga Journal, Zesters Daily, specialfork.com, and Flavor and Fortune. Anusasananan has been past president of the San Francisco Chapter of Les Dames D’Escoffier and the Association of Chinese Cooking Teachers. She also created the products for JADE, a line of award-winning Asian sauces for TLA Pacific Kitchen, Inc., a company she and her husband manage.
In October 2012 her book, The Hakka Cookbook, Chinese Soul Food from around the World was released. The book was included in “best cookbooks of 2012” lists for Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Associated Press, and Toronto Globe and Mail. In February 2013 it was awarded “Best Chinese Cuisine Cookbook of the World ” by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris. The Hakka Cookbook also appeared in a story by Mark Bittman in the New York Times Magazine May 2013.
A book signing and reception with themed refreshments will follow the talk at approximately 11:30.
Free and open to the public.