Ingeniously interwoven through the recipes is a wonderfully refreshing narrative of real stories, anecdotes, and events from a gentler past. The author’s childhood in the sixties and seventies in a small provincial town in Southern India, and then through the eighties and beyond on an organic farm in the Western Ghats, which will give you an insider’s view of another India. So while you wait for that whistle to blow, milk to boil or your egg to coddle you might just read a story or two!
For the past thirty-six years Morvarid, her husband David, and daughter Katrina have lived on an organic farm deep amid the jungles of the Western Ghats. Though agriculture has always been the family’s mainstay, in 2003 they opened a guesthouse. Working in her ‘Green and Yellow’ kitchen, Morvarid cooks for the many guests from around the world who visit The Hermitage.
This book she has written draws on her experiences of living in a rural community, of forging a deep, unbreakable bond with the surrounding environment, and growing her organic food. Morvarid’s family background, drawn from Zoroastrian, Irish, and Dutch ancestry gave her childhood a delightful insight into a melting pot of cultures, and this reflects in her cooking.
Morvarid loves dogs, and grows ‘heirloom’ vegetables; collects owls, glass bottles and anything that’s old, and when she’s not cooking spends her time doing needlework, craftwork, and gardening.
Mission Chinese Food is not exactly a Chinese restaurant. It began its life as a pop-up: a restaurant nested within a divey Americanized Chinese joint in San Francisco’s Mission District. From the beginning, a spirit of resourcefulness and radical inventiveness has infused each and every dish at Mission Chinese Food. Now, hungry diners line up outside both the San Francisco and New York City locations, waiting hours for platters of Sizzling Cumin Lamb, Thrice-Cooked Bacon, Fiery Kung Pao Pastrami, and pungent Salt-Cod Fried Rice.
The force behind the phenomenon, chef Danny Bowien is, at only thirty-three, the fastest-rising young chef in the United States. Born in Korea and adopted by parents in Oklahoma, he has a broad spectrum of influences. He’s a veteran of fine-dining kitchens, sushi bars, an international pesto competition, and a grocery-store burger stand. In 2013 Food & Wine named him one of the country’s Best New Chefs and the James Beard Foundation awarded him its illustrious Rising Star Chef Award. In 2011 Bon Appétit named Mission Chinese Food the second-best new restaurant in America, and in 2012 the New York Times hailed the Lower East Side outpost as the Best New Restaurant in New York City.
The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook tracks the fascinating, meteoric rise of the restaurant and its chef. Each chapter in the story—from the restaurant’s early days, to an ill-fated trip to China, to the opening of the first Mission Chinese in New York—unfolds as a conversation between Danny and his collaborators, and is accompanied by detailed recipes for the addictive dishes that have earned the restaurant global praise. Mission Chinese’s legions of fans as well as home cooks of all levels will rethink what it means to cook Chinese food, while getting a look into the background and insights of one of the most creative young chefs today.