Have You Eaten Yet? : Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World

Have You Eaten Yet?: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World

Cheuk Kwan
$24.95


From Haifa, Israel, to Cape Town, South Africa, Chinese entrepreneurs and restaurateurs have brought delicious Chinese food across the globe. Unravelling a complex history of cultural migration and world politics, Cheuk Kwan narrates a fascinating story of culture and place, ultimately revealing how an excellent meal always tells an even better story.

Dotting even the most remote landscapes, family-run Chinese restaurants are global icons of immigration, community and delicious food. The cultural outposts of far-flung settlers, bringers of dim sum, Peking duck and creative culinary hybrids like the Madagascar classic soupe chinoise, Chinese restaurants are a microcosm of greater social forces—an insight into time, history and place. From Africa to South America, the Jade Gardens and Golden Dragons reveal an intricate tangle of social schisms and political movements, offering insight into global changes and diasporic histories, as the world has moved into the 21st century.

Author and documentarian Cheuk Kwan, a self-described “card-carrying member of the Chinese diaspora,” weaves a global narrative by linking the myriad personal stories of chefs, entrepreneurs, labourers and dreamers who populate Chinese kitchens worldwide. Behind these kitchen doors lies an intriguing paradox which characterizes many of these communities: how Chinese immigrants have resisted—or often been prevented from—complete assimilation into the social fabric of their new homes, maintaining strong senses of cultural identity, while the engine of their economic survival—the Chinese restaurant and its food—has become seamlessly woven into cities all around the world.

An intrepid travelogue of grand vistas, adventure and serendipity, Have You Eaten Yet? charts a living atlas of the global Chinese migration, revealing the synergies of politics, culture and family.


 
"Once in a lifetime, a book comes along that pulls all the strands of social history, migration, world politics and food into a comprehensive entertaining book that is both enlightening and thoughtful. Have You Eaten Yet? A Journey into the Chinese Diaspora arrives at a perfect time and is more relevant than ever. A must for anyone interested in how politics, culture, family and food merge together to create a most unique global phenomenon."

–Ken Hom, OBE, author, chef and BBC-TV presenter

"This book is aptly titled. Have You Eaten yet? is a colloquial Cantonese greeting akin to "you are well?" Just as food is quintessential to Chinese culture, these stories nourish the soul and warm the heart. With a masterful blending of rich textures, contours, and flavours, Kwan takes us on a lively journey of the omnipresent Chinese restaurant capturing the enduring spirit of the Chinese diaspora. I hear their voices jumping off the pages. This is how history should be told!"

–Dora Nipp, historian, lawyer and CEO of the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario

"In my many decades of traveling across continents and oceans, I’ve come across many enclaves of Chinese immigrants. "Have you eaten yet?" is a phrase I hear often in communities populated by those who came from Canton, the province of my family. More than a casual social greeting, the question conveys to me a sense of familiarity, of culture, history, tradition and of home. It took the keen eye of a great storyteller like Cheuk Kwan to spin all that to a most enjoyable and meaningful book. Have you read the book yet? If not, what are you waiting for?"

–Chef Martin Yan, Host of Yan Can Cook Show on public television, Chef-Owner, M.Y. China Restaurant, San Francisco

"I just finished reading Have You Eaten Yet? And realized how rich, profound and immersive it all is. It is all very familiar to me. I identify with all the people and places and situations."

–Jun Watanabe

"Kwan’s work was ahead of its time in taking the form of the culinary travel documentary but merging it with a deep sense of community histories and the vast networks of diaspora. Chinese food may be everywhere yet through Kwan’s research and storytelling, we realize that in each niche it finds itself, it acquires something unique in its translation."

–Oliver Wang, Associate Professor of Sociology, California State University, Long Beach


Douglas & McIntyre
ISBN: 9781771623155
Paperback / softback
6 in x 9 in - 256 pp
Publication Date: 29/01/2022
BISAC Subject(s): CKB030000-COOKING / Essays & Narratives,SOC043000-SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / Asian American Studies,BIO002020-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American 
 

Description


From Haifa, Israel, to Cape Town, South Africa, Chinese entrepreneurs and restaurateurs have brought delicious Chinese food across the globe. Unravelling a complex history of cultural migration and world politics, Cheuk Kwan narrates a fascinating story of culture and place, ultimately revealing how an excellent meal always tells an even better story.

Dotting even the most remote landscapes, family-run Chinese restaurants are global icons of immigration, community and delicious food. The cultural outposts of far-flung settlers, bringers of dim sum, Peking duck and creative culinary hybrids like the Madagascar classic soupe chinoise, Chinese restaurants are a microcosm of greater social forces—an insight into time, history and place. From Africa to South America, the Jade Gardens and Golden Dragons reveal an intricate tangle of social schisms and political movements, offering insight into global changes and diasporic histories, as the world has moved into the 21st century.

Author and documentarian Cheuk Kwan, a self-described “card-carrying member of the Chinese diaspora,” weaves a global narrative by linking the myriad personal stories of chefs, entrepreneurs, labourers and dreamers who populate Chinese kitchens worldwide. Behind these kitchen doors lies an intriguing paradox which characterizes many of these communities: how Chinese immigrants have resisted—or often been prevented from—complete assimilation into the social fabric of their new homes, maintaining strong senses of cultural identity, while the engine of their economic survival—the Chinese restaurant and its food—has become seamlessly woven into cities all around the world.

An intrepid travelogue of grand vistas, adventure and serendipity, Have You Eaten Yet? charts a living atlas of the global Chinese migration, revealing the synergies of politics, culture and family.


 
"Once in a lifetime, a book comes along that pulls all the strands of social history, migration, world politics and food into a comprehensive entertaining book that is both enlightening and thoughtful. Have You Eaten Yet? A Journey into the Chinese Diaspora arrives at a perfect time and is more relevant than ever. A must for anyone interested in how politics, culture, family and food merge together to create a most unique global phenomenon."

–Ken Hom, OBE, author, chef and BBC-TV presenter

"This book is aptly titled. Have You Eaten yet? is a colloquial Cantonese greeting akin to "you are well?" Just as food is quintessential to Chinese culture, these stories nourish the soul and warm the heart. With a masterful blending of rich textures, contours, and flavours, Kwan takes us on a lively journey of the omnipresent Chinese restaurant capturing the enduring spirit of the Chinese diaspora. I hear their voices jumping off the pages. This is how history should be told!"

–Dora Nipp, historian, lawyer and CEO of the Multicultural Historical Society of Ontario

"In my many decades of traveling across continents and oceans, I’ve come across many enclaves of Chinese immigrants. "Have you eaten yet?" is a phrase I hear often in communities populated by those who came from Canton, the province of my family. More than a casual social greeting, the question conveys to me a sense of familiarity, of culture, history, tradition and of home. It took the keen eye of a great storyteller like Cheuk Kwan to spin all that to a most enjoyable and meaningful book. Have you read the book yet? If not, what are you waiting for?"

–Chef Martin Yan, Host of Yan Can Cook Show on public television, Chef-Owner, M.Y. China Restaurant, San Francisco

"I just finished reading Have You Eaten Yet? And realized how rich, profound and immersive it all is. It is all very familiar to me. I identify with all the people and places and situations."

–Jun Watanabe

"Kwan’s work was ahead of its time in taking the form of the culinary travel documentary but merging it with a deep sense of community histories and the vast networks of diaspora. Chinese food may be everywhere yet through Kwan’s research and storytelling, we realize that in each niche it finds itself, it acquires something unique in its translation."

–Oliver Wang, Associate Professor of Sociology, California State University, Long Beach

Details


Douglas & McIntyre
ISBN: 9781771623155
Paperback / softback
6 in x 9 in - 256 pp
Publication Date: 29/01/2022
BISAC Subject(s): CKB030000-COOKING / Essays & Narratives,SOC043000-SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / American / Asian American Studies,BIO002020-BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Asian & Asian American