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The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C.…
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The Hundred-Foot Journey (2008)

by Richard C. Morais

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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie version, but the book overwhelms the sense with the excellent use of language in describing food, settings, and characters. The book takes a different path than the movie, and towards the end of the book that path has faltered. The story leads the reader through delectable, but haughty cuisine; and along the way, many memorable characters enhance the senses. Richard C Morais carefully explains many exotic dishes to the reader, and I for one, still prefer the ordinary menu. I enjoyed hearing about the cost, the training, and the competition for top chefs in French, and the status of the Michelin star for a restaurant. ( )
  delphimo | Apr 3, 2016 |
I have this thing for movies and books about food and cooking. They attract me. So while I was book shopping a few months ago, I found this book with a sticker on it saying "Coming Soon" as a movie. I got it and watched the trailer and I was hocked. Can't wait to watch the movie and finish the book.

The movie was amazing! I loved it so much I watched it twice after the first screening, but the book is so disgusting so far, I'm revolted by the book and it's description. The movie is charming, but the book is not. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I have this thing for movies and books about food and cooking. They attract me. So while I was book shopping a few months ago, I found this book with a sticker on it saying "Coming Soon" as a movie. I got it and watched the trailer and I was hocked. Can't wait to watch the movie and finish the book.

The movie was amazing! I loved it so much I watched it twice after the first screening, but the book is so disgusting so far, I'm revolted by the book and it's description. The movie is charming, but the book is not. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
It's not great literature and there's not a lot of drama. It was alright. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
The book was lovely in writing and so descriptive that I could smell and taste the words, but it didn't stay with me like a true 4-look-book does.

The story of Hassan and his family is beautifully painted by Morais from their time in Bombay to their eventual settling in France. The haute cuisine is a character in and of itself, making this a truly amazing journey.

On Bombay:
From the shantytown rose the pungent smells of charcoal fires and rotting garbage, and the hazy air itself was thick with the roar of roosters and bleating goats and the slap-thud of washing beaten on cement slabs. Here, children and adults shat in the streets.

On Harrod's Food Hall in Paris:
The Food Hall smelled of roasting guinea fowl and sour pickles. Under a ceiling suitable for a mosque, we found a football pitch devoted entirely to food and engaged in a din of worldly commerce. Around us: Victorian nymphs in clamshells, ceramic boars, a purple-tiled peacock, An oyster bar stood beside handing slabs of plastic meat, while the grounds were covered in a seemingly endless line of marble-and-glass counters. One entire counter, I recall, was filled with nothing but bacon -- "Smoked Streaky," "Oyster-Back," and "Suffolk Sweet Cure."

This beauty continues throughout the book, as Hassan meets the antagonist-turned-benefactor of the story: Madame Gertrude Mallory. A truly unlikable character, Madame Mallory's range of emotion, thoughts, experiences, and (finally) completely winsome charm is as full-bodied as a fine red wine. She surrounds herself with a variety of characters with whom the reader becomes attached, including Hassan's first lady-love, Margaret.

The journey continues as Hassan becomes famous in his own right, surpassing even his famous teacher. The delight of bringing forth cuisine morphs into the struggles of being in business. Like his father before him, Hassan grows to learn that passion always has a price.

There are so many layers to this book, it is impossible to list them here. Highly recommended. ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
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I, Hassan Haji, was born, the second of six children, above my grandfather's restaurant on the Napean Sea Road in what was then called West Bombay, two decades before the great city was renamed Mumbai.
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Book description
Abbas Haji is the proud owner of a modest family restaurant in Mumbai. But when tragedy strikes, Abbas propels his boisterous family into a picaresque journey across Europe, finally settling in the remote French village of Lumiere, where he establishes an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.Much to the horror of their neighbour, a famous chef named Madame Mallory, the Indian establishment opposite her own begins to garner a following. Little does she know that the young Hassan, son of Abbas, has discovered French cuisine and has vowed to become a great French chef. Hassan is a natural whose talents far outweigh Mme. Mallory, but the tough old Frenchwoman will not brook defeat.Thus ensues an entertaining culinary war pitting Hassan's Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Mme. Mallory, leading the young Hassan to greatness and his true destiny.
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"That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist." And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life's journey in this novel. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, it is a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste. Born above his grandfather's modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumiere, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumiere by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais, that of the famous chef Madame Mallory, and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures. This story is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. It is a fable that is a testament to the inevitability of destiny.… (more)

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