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May 08 , 2009

Emperor can Wait

Memories and Recipes from Taiwan


In Emperor can Wait, well-known Johannesburg restaurateur Emma Chen delicately prepares and serves up reminiscences of her fascinating childhood in the newly formed Republic of China in Taiwan and of her early adulthood in both Taiwan and South Africa.Emmas evocative reflections are framed by the exodus of the Kuomintang from Mao Zedongs communist China, and resonate with the popular Chinese saying Emperor can wait – while we eat, which captures the importance of food. The sights, sounds, smells and characters come alive through short, descriptive vignettes that each centre on a traditional Chinese meal and its meaning to family and friends. Recipes for Emmas renowned dishes are provided at the end of each chapter for those readers who would like to try their hand at preparing them.Through her stories, Emma explores what happens when one is transplanted to a new environment, discovering that nostalgia can be a powerful agent of inspiration.

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