Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Chow is an utterly authentic memoir,"
says Books in Canada

Elegantly presented and delightful is Janice Wong’s Chow, with the subtitle of From Canada to China: Memories of Food + Family. It comes from Vancouver’s Whitecap Books, which specialises in food culture, and has become very good at it. Wong is a sharp observer both in and out of the kitchen, and a writer of real charm. Her memoir is about growing up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, during the 1960s, where her father Dennis ran a pair of restaurants, one Western, the other Cantonese. On the evidence of the book’s recipes, Wong senior was an excellent chef. He was also an interesting and decent human being, and Ms. Wong is a faithful daughter, sticking strictly to his written recipes and passing on the ones she merely remembers.
Her fastidiousness pays off. Chow is an utterly authentic memoir, and the recipes are excellent—including one for Dungeness crab in black bean sauce I happened to have been looking for since I first had it at Vancouver’s On On, which is where Wong hints that it came from.

-Brian Fawcett, Books in Canada

No comments: