HONOR DUTY FAMILY COMMUNITY NATION are words inscribed on the Chinese American Veterans Memorial in Chinatown. Dames Who Read paused in front of the memorial to think about how those words related to the book “The Last Chinese Chef”, then walked through the area to absorb atmosphere and look for symbols which reminded us of parts of this book selection for May.
Then the seven readers sat down to a 9-course meal made up of items mentioned in the book while restaurateur Tony Hu talked to us about his experiences since coming to Chicago in 1993 and now as owner of 12 regional Chinese restaurants.
He discussed the concepts of honor, duty and family as well as community and national pride as we enjoyed the following very authentic dishes, many of which were entirely new to the group.
Cabbage Filled Steamed Buns — Won Ton Soup — Stir Fried Chives from lao Beijing
Ribs in Lotus Leaf — Cumin Lamb — Crystal Shrimp from lao sze chuan
Tofu Skin Rolls with Mushroom —Velvet Chicken with Fresh Herb Sauce — Fresh Fruit from lao you Ju
“Learned lots and ate very well. Fun to try new and authentic foods!” and “When I ate that food, I felt just like Maggie did in the book when she tasted Sam’s food” were comments from participants.
Because some enthusiastic members who were interested in attending could not come on May 6, we will offer this event again in October (Date TBD) so if you haven’t yet read the book but want to enjoy a similar evening, watch for updates.
The next book will be “Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brulee” by Thomas J. Craughwell. It is an historic novel about the President and his kitchen slave and their trip to Paris where they learned about French foods which later became standards in the American kitchen. Join us on September 9 at Union League Club for that discussion and a private tour of their excellent art collection.