Chao Yang Buwei. Elena Zelayeta. Madeleine Kamman. Marcella Hazan. Julie Sahni. Najimeh Batmanglij. Norma Shirley.
Some of these names are more famous than others, but each has profoundly influenced American food.
This insightful, important, and engagingly readable book profiles seven women, documenting in careful detail their lives and the ways they altered how Americans eat and think about food. In this, his first book, Mayukh Sen, already a James Beard and IACP Award-winner for his journalism, provides rich context for his subjects' lives and work.
Conjuring the places they left behind, as well as the America to which they came, he captures their personalities, their ambitions, the forces which resisted them, and the importance of what they have added to American culture. As outsiders, they rarely faced an easy path, but their persistence made them invaluable.
One can only wish that earlier books had profiled such figures with the same perception and insight.