The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred-Foot Journey

by Richard C. Morais

Paperback(Media Tie-In)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476765853
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Edition description: Media Tie-In
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile: 1190L (what's this?)

About the Author

Richard C. Morais is the editor of Penta, a Barron’s website and quarterly magazine. An American raised in Switzerland, Morais has lived most of his life overseas, returning to the United States in 2003. He is the author of The Hundred-Foot Journey and Buddhaland Brooklyn. He lives in New York City.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for The Hundred-Foot Journey includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
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INTRODUCTION

Hassan Haji is born in Mumbai and raised among the spices and flavors of his grandmother’s kitchen and his family’s restaurant. But his life is changed forever when a tragedy forces his family to leave their home and the familiar chaos of India in search of a fresh start. Thus begins their impetuous journey across Europe, starting in London and ending in the remote French village of Lumière, where they happen to settle down opposite the haughty Madame Mallory—a renowned French chef with very specific ideas about taste. Young Hassan’s mind is opened by Madame Mallory and his encounter with the world of French cuisine. Yet expanding his palate in Lumière is just the beginning of Hassan’s journey; for in the hundred-foot distance from his family’s home to Madame Mallory’s restaurant, Hassan finds his destiny.

Full of eccentric characters, vivid settings, and delicious meals, The Hundred-Foot Journey recounts the strange and wondrous story of Hassan’s life—from his humble beginnings in the culinary world, fostered on the hectic, curry-scented streets of Mumbai, to his ultimate triumph in the exclusive club of Parisian haute cuisine.

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. The title of the novel is The Hundred-Foot Journey. Discuss the title in relation to where Hassan started and where he ends up—in both the geographic and the psychological senses. Ultimately, which journey do you feel was more important? To which other characters might the title apply, and in what ways? Even characters like Madame Mallory who never leave home are somehow transformed through the course of the novel. Discuss how Hassan’s transformation is different or similar to that of other characters in the book.

2. The Haji family first settles in London before embarking on a whirlwind journey across Europe and eventually settling in Lumière. Discuss Hassan’s time in London. How did his stay there influence his later life? Why do you think Abbas eventually decided his family needed to move on?

3. After Hassan’s hands are burned, Madame Mallory, alone in a small chapel, thinks about her life while staring at the chapel’s fresco: “And in the depths of those glinting little eyes she sees the balance sheet of her life, an endless list of credits and debits, of accomplishments and failures, small acts of kindness and real acts of cruelty” (p. 120). Do you see life in the same terms, as a balance sheet of how we act and what we achieve? Do you think her offer to teach Hassan is a true act of kindness, or because she felt she owed the universe a great debt? Or some combination of both?

4. While Hassan’s father undoubtedly plays an important role in his son’s life, Hassan is strongly influenced by the women around him. Consider his grandmother, his mother, Madame Mallory, Margaret, and even his sister Mehtab. What does he learn from each of these women at various points throughout the novel, both in the kitchen and otherwise?

5. Choose one adjective you think best sums up the character of Hassan and share it with the group. Were you surprised by how others in your group perceived him? What are his strengths and his weaknesses? How is your perception of his character altered throughout the story?

6. Madame Mallory says to Hassan, “Good taste is not the birthright of snobs, but a gift from God sometimes found in the most unlikely of places and in the unlikeliest of people” (p. 235). What do you think about this statement and the particular way she phrases it?

7. Chef Tom Colicchio said that “in The Hundred-Foot Journey, food isn’t just a theme, it’s a main character.” Do you agree? Discuss the relationships between the characters and the food described in the book. How does this novel illustrate the old adage that “you are what you eat”?

8. Did Hassan’s decision to move to Paris, and eventually open a French restaurant, surprise you? Why or why not? Do you feel his experiences in Mumbai—in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant and exploring the city with his mother—were influential in his later work? How?

9. “It was shortly thereafter, sitting in the bathtub, drinking a tea spiked with garam masala and dripping with sweat, all the while thinking of my father, that the name of the new restaurant suddenly came to me” (p. 166). Look up the meaning of “Le Chien Méchant” and discuss its significance as the name of Hassan’s restaurant. Compare it to the other restaurants named in the book, such as Paul Verdun’s Le Coq d’Or, Madame Mallory’s Le Saule Pleureur, or even the Hassan family’s Maison Mumbai. How much (or how little) can be told about each character from the name of their restaurant?

10. In reworking the menu of Le Chien Méchant, Hassan tells his staff to “go back to your hometowns, back to your roots across France” (p. 204). Do you think that, until this point, he had forgotten the importance of home and family, of roots and past experiences, in his journey to become the best chef he could be?

11. Later, Hassan walks by a small, hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant in Paris and stands at the window for a while. As he leaves, he reflects, “I took one longing last look at Madras . . . leaving behind the intoxicating smells of machli ka salan, an olfactory wisp of who I was, fading fast in the Parisian night” (p. 235). Do you feel this passage is symbolic as well as literal? Did Hassan have to leave behind a part of who he was to keep moving forward? Do you think this was a choice he consciously made? Do you agree with his choice? What did Hassan gain and what did he lose in his journey?

12. In the elite world of haute cuisine, what are the costs of rising to the top? Discuss this idea in relation to Madame Mallory and Paul Verdun, and then to Hassan and his family. Do you think the sacrifices were worth the successes? Do you think that all artists are forced to give up something incredibly vital in pursuit of their passions? Did Hassan manage to avoid the trap of his mentors?

Customer Reviews

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The Hundred-Foot Journey 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
slb62 More than 1 year ago
I loved, loved, loved, this book. Had a hard time putting it down and couldn't wait to pick it up again. I'm not a "cook" by any stretch of the imagination, and really just recently started trying new recipes and experimenting with flavors and spices, so I wasn't sure if this book was going to appeal to me. NO WORRIES! You do not have to know much about cooking at all, but maybe just have an appreciation for the dining experience and love a really well-written, vivid, and passionately told story. The characters were so well written, they just came out of the pages as well as the author's descriptions of the food and the atmosphere of a restaurant/kitchen. I simply fell in love with Hassan and the entire cast of characters. I kept thinking what a great film it would make!!!
Ravenclaw226 More than 1 year ago
I know, bad pun with a book that centers on food, but oh my goodness is this book ever spectacular! Read it before the movie! First of all, definitely a quick, light read, a definite palate cleanser to a lot of the heavy fiction novels out there. I finished the book in two days as I couldn't put it down! Second, the characters, or my goodness the characters! The story focuses on the young boy who we see grow through the story as a chef, he ends up meeting some lively people throughout his journey, many helping him on his way and encouraging him to keep reaching for the stars! Most notably an initial rival to his family Chef Gertrude Mallory. Mallory certainly becomes the biggest influence on the young mans life in numrous ways that I'll let you discover. But these exotic characters definitely come together in this majestic recipe of a book. There are moments I had to remind myself while reading this book that it is a work of fiction, not a biography of Hassan's life. But the story flows in such a way that you feel each of these characters was/is real. Morais' descriptions of the food make you truly hunger for more of the book (as well as a snack for yourself - there were definitely some notable points when my mouth was watering thanks to his beautiful descriptions that only a chef could describe in such detail)! Family, love, and food definitely become the overall focus of this story. It is endearing and heartwarming and fills you in many ways like a delightful 5-star meal. The closing moment of the novel probably being one of the sweetest tie ins of the story line and that moment alone being a huge reason to read this book. Great for someone looking for a light read, but would also make a great book club book (in the copy I possess you even get book club discussion questions and an interview with the author). Definitely one to read before the movie comes out! Also, if you are more preferential to biographies but feel the need to dabble in a little fiction this would be a great place to start as it reads like the bio of young Hassan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you loved the movie about a young Indian chef's rise to fame in the elite world of French cuisine, you may not care for the book, which differs from the movie in many ways. After a rather slow start (which the movie mercifully speeds through), the book focuses on the chef's career and offers interesting, if somewhat overly detailed, insights into the restaurant business in France, especially the impact of the business conditions and the star rating system. While it lacks the romanticism and contrived happy ending of the film, the book brings realism and gravitas to its topic, which some readers may find preferable. Foodies will revel in the mouth-watering descriptions of elaborate dishes, and fans of multigenerational immigrant success stories may find it rewarding. But those who expect a fluffy read should look elsewhere.
CozyLittleBookJournal More than 1 year ago
Richard C. Morais' debut novel, The Hundred Foot Journey, is a travel book for anyone who has ever watched The Food Network and thought, "Wherever that kitchen is, that's where I want to go." Food is the language of this book. The character of Hassan Haji sometimes struggles with issues of identity and belonging as he travels from Mumbai to London to Lumiere to Paris, but always this struggle is phrased in terms of food: to make curry or frogs legs, to seek out tiffin boxes or fish and chips. Even his Muslim identity is mentioned rarely except when relating to diet: to eat pork or not. Ultimately Hassan's true identity is food. His religion is food. His ethnicity is food. His blood runs with curry and wine and butter and garlic and the jus of fresh oysters. It's as though Pi Patel from Life of Pi was experiencing some sort of cosmic opposites day: an Indian boy, instead of trying to find his way home while adrift and alone, is continually travelling further afield while being wrapped in the memories and support of his family; where Pi invented stories to quell his loneliness, Hassan sometimes longs for solitude so he may study the stories of the ancient cookbooks which surround him; where Pi's starvation was his constant companion, Hassan's one constant is food.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely loved this book. Food plays a major role, and the colors and aromas come alive, making my mouth water. But mostly it is about the journey of a family and one boy in particular, adjusting from the hustle, bustle and chaos of his youth in India to the serenity, detail and distance of Europe. Must read!
Atthebeach More than 1 year ago
I totally enjoyed "The Hundred-Foot Journey"! First of all, it's about food and cooking and restaurants and chefs----what's not to love? And it's about the growth and education of one particular young chef from India to England to rural France to Paris and into the Michelen universe. The descriptions of food and recipes and cooking arts intertwined with the fascinating plot made me keep a note pad by my chaise to jot down cooking tips I didn't want to forget. And the wild and wonderful path this young man took on his journey kept me up late trying to finish. The stories about famous chefs and how Michelen stars are earned---and what happens when they aren't---were enthralling. The story of this young man's family, their hopes and dreams for him, and their encouragement and pride added depth to the fast-paced plot. I told a chef friend about the book and he asked me to "donate" it to him. Then he "donated" it to a fellow chef. Even experienced chefs found it a great read.
Frisbeesage More than 1 year ago
The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of Hassan Haji, a young Indian boy who grows up above his grandfather's restaurant in Mumbai. A tragic incident prompts his family to flee to France were Hassan shows an unexpected talent and taste for haute cuisine. The novel follows his ensuing career as a chef and the fate of his family in France. The first part of the book centers on Hassan's family, his history and the importance of food in his life. The writing is lush, very descriptive of the tastes, smells, and sights. The characters are interesting and the plot is fast-paced. However, after Hassan becomes a chef the thread of the story changes. The second half of the book is mostly about the politics of the restaurant world in France. The star system of ranking, the changes in haute cuisine, and the hierarchy among chefs. I didn't like this part nearly as well and I felt like Hassan's progress was stagnant. He seems to stop developing much as a person after a certain point. Still, a pleasant, easy read and not bad at all for a first novel. I'll be interested to see what Richard Morais writes next.
pdplish on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This could have a much better story had the pacing been a little quicker and not so overwritten. While it may be interesting to occasionally hear some of the dishes that were created/consumed etc, it really got to be a bit boring. I found my self skipping whole paragraphs just to get through the book.
amachiski on LibraryThing 10 months ago
My book club loves both food and books so I picked this book thinking it would be a nice change. The story is about Hassan, a young boy whose world revolved around food. I loved his loud, boisterous family. The characters are all wonderfully portrayed with some laugh out loud funny antics. I loved reading about their travels from Mumbai to London to Lumiere to Paris. We all felt this was a nice easy read. Food is the language of this book. You can hear, smell and taste the ambiance of the Indian and French kitchens . I always enjoy an inspiring story about reaching for one's dreams. I thought it was interesting to see inside the world of gourmet restaurants and seeing behind the scenes.
thewindowseatreader on LibraryThing 10 months ago
wanted to like Hassan. I really did. Truth is, however, I did not care what happened to him. There was no connection, and I did not understand his voice and views throughout the novel. A couple of bad things happened to him, and I found myself unsympathetic and uncaring - harsh, I know! I felt more for a couple of his family members than for him (the protagonist), which wasn't a good sign. Several years of Hassan's life are just omitted or barely referenced, so this may have been the cause for my lack of attention on his behalf.Another issue - this read more like nonfiction to me, which is not a compliment in this case. I did not fully appreciate all of the cooking descriptions (very detailed), and I am someone relatively interested in the subject matter. The details were weighty and there were just too many in my opinion.On the bright side, this book was short and could be read quickly if one wanted. I found myself fighting through it, but the writing is simple enough that it would not take most very long. Also, I liked the fact that there were multiple settings and that they were diverse. I liked how Morais handled the discrimination that Hassan faced throughout the story as well; the clash of the cultures was definitely present in this book! If you have a deep interest or appreciation for cooking and you can get past the lack of strong character connections, then maybe you will like The Hundred-Foot Journey more than I did.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing 10 months ago
My family is all about food and cooking. From my Seattle grandmother's elegant party fare to my father's amazing sauces and my own one-pot soups and stews, we have cooked and eaten our way through many cuisines. I grew up in various kitchens and some of my fondest memories are food-related - watching Julia Child with my grandmother, sneaking fried pies out of my other grandmother's kitchen, eating barbecued shrimp in New Orleans with the whole family - the list goes on and on. In my family we're typically eating and talking about what we're going to eat next. We also read. A lot. Every one of us is an inveterate library goer and reader of all kinds of things. Naturally, food porn is an important category and this book fits that need.The story of a young chef and his journey from India to Paris with stops in London and the French Alps, The Hundred-Foot Journey is all about food and the ways eating and cooking it inform and define us. Hassan Haji grows up in the kitchen of his family restaurant in Mumbai, flees with them to London when riots irrevocably change their lives, and finally lands in the French Alps where he meets Madame Mallory who will change his life much as he changes hers.I loved this story's simplicity and joie de vivre and the descriptions of food are among the very best food porn I've read in ages. Whether writing about Indian food or classical French cuisine, Morais demonstrates an understanding of the pleasures of food and of its ability to connect us to each other and to remind us of who we are.
Beth350 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel that reads like a memoir. the main character, Hassan Haji, a native of Mumbai, India, is a chef who initially learned to cook by watching his grandmother and tehn by smell and taste. When his mother dies in a racially motivated fire, the Haji family moves to Lumiere, a French town in the Alps. there they open the first Indian restaurant in the region and Hassan hones his culinary skills. The restaurant captures the attention of local haute cuisine gourmands and one takes Hassan as an apprentice. From there he works his way up to his own 3-star restaurant in Paris. The book is full of food details, marketing, Indian and French food and phrasess.
LiteraryFeline on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Those of you who know me well, know I am not fond of the kitchen. I like to eat (although lately, not so much), but my tastes are rather simple. Therefore, I am not sure I would feel at home in a high class French restaurant. So what was it that drew me to a book like The Hundred-Foot Journey, a novel about a young Indian boy who pursues his dream of becoming a famous French chef? It certainly wasn't the elaborate descriptions of food and slaving over a hot stove. I do, however, enjoy an inspiring story about reaching for one's dreams. And I like going behind the scenes in worlds or lives I am not familiar with, including getting a look inside the workings of a restaurant.The Hundred-Foot Journey is not a deep novel, nor is it one I would label as a light read. Hassan Haji retells his life story, about his beginnings in the family kitchen in India to his eventual training in a haute cuisine French restaurant in Lumiére, just one hundred feet away from his family's own Indian restaurant and then onto strike it on his own in Paris. His family is forced to flee India after a tragic event that destroys everything his family worked. The family's relocation to France is met with some resistance, as is their attempt to establish themselves in the restaurant business there.There was a distance in the telling of the story, and it made getting to truly know Hassan difficult on some level. However, from what I did learn about him and his life, I liked and admired him. He has a natural talent for cooking and even his chief rival cannot deny it.Overall, it was an enjoyable book on one hand, but lacking on the other. I really would like to have gotten to know Hassan more. But there was a simplicity to the novel that was quite appealing. I enjoyed reading the behind the scene descriptions of shopping in the market for the freshest foods, the search for the perfect venue, spending time with Hassan's family, and seeing Hassan go from a young boy still trying to find his way to reaching his dreams.
ccayne on LibraryThing 10 months ago
A different take on the standard foodie story. Hassan's family clawed their way up in India through entrepreneurial efforts centered on food. There was a tragedy and the remnants of the family fled to Europe, first England, then the French countryside. Hassan had a gift for cooking and it was this gift which saved him when tensions between the new Indian immigrants and the French culinary establishment embodied in Madame Mallory exploded. The good parts of this book are the food, Hassan's family struggle and the early relationship with Madame Mallory. Hassan could have been developed more fully. All in all, it was quick and fun read.
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
An interesting book, focused around food. Some character development, but I would have preferred much more.
whitreidtan on LibraryThing 10 months ago
I love food. I love books. And books about food? Well, butter my buns and call me biscuit, or in the case of this book, slather me with creme fraiche and call me a croissant. OK, so the colloquialism doesn't translate from deep south to French food but the sentiment behind it definitely still stands. This is a delightful feast of a book.Hassan Haji's earliest memory is of the smells wafting upstairs to his cot from the restaurant his family ran in India. Is it any wonder then that food and cooking would be in his blood? His early childhood was filled with a raucous family and food. But after the death of his well-respected grandfather, an out of control mob attacked and burned the restaurant, killing Hassan's mother in the process and so the family fled. Spending two years in London, Hassan seemed poised to become another disaffected youth until the family is once again driven onward, this time to Europe, leading a peripatetic life. And then a car breaks down, depositing the Haji family in the small French town of Lumiere, where Hassan's life starts back down the path for which he was born: to become a world class chef.Across the street from the noisy and vibrant Haji family restaurant, located on the ground floor of a gracious mansion, is a quiet, stately two-star French restaurant and its crusty owner, Madame Mallory. Declaring war on the Hajis, Mallory tries everything under the sun to get the better of Abbas Haji, Hassan's father. She is completely stricken when she discovers that Hassan, now the head chef in his family's restaurant despite his youth, has the raw talent that she herself lacks and so she ramps up her campaign to drive the outsiders out. But a near tragedy changes her mind and she offers to teach Hassan to cook traditional French food, grooming him to become what she could not, a rising star in the French culinary world.Taking place from Bombay to London to Paris, the sights and sounds of food and cooking permeate every aspect of the novel. I salivated my way through much of it although I freely admit that I like Indian food a whole lot more than I like French food so I was a bit disappointed that Hassan didn't create a fusion of sorts between the comfort food of his childhood and the elegant French food of his chosen adult life. Morais has managed to capture the essence of the culinary profession, the life in kitchens, and the professional worries that are all part and parcel of a chef's life. The novel is fiction but it reads like a memoir. Certain of the characters like Madame Mallory and Abbas Haji are larger than life, utterly colorful and thoroughly entertaining. The section on London addresses the issue of immigrants better than the later section set in France although there are still moments where racism realistically rears its ugly head. Hassan's character is singularly focused so much of the narrative follows him from kitchen to kitchen, losing a bit of the larger than life quirkiness that defined the Haji family and then life at Madame Mallory's. This was a novel full of joy, contentment, and destiny fulfilled. Hassan found his calling, devoted his life to it, and made the most of his amazing talent, richly rewarded with friends and accolades alike. His early life and family determined his path for him, both personally and in the kitchen, and he embraced his role.The writing here is descriptive and frequently mouth-watering. I only wish there had been more detail, a more complete description of the people so instrumental in Hassan's life in the second half of the book. Overall, this is a book that will appeal to food afficionados, anyone who enjoys reading about the making of a chef, and those who search out books with a hint of the exotic and the vibrant. Morais was a friend of the late Ismail Merchant and this could easily be a Merchant Ivory film, lush and decadent, just as it is written.
frisbeesage on LibraryThing 10 months ago
The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of Hassan Haji, a young Indian boy who grows up above his grandfather's restaurant in Mumbai. A tragic incident prompts his family to flee to France were Hassan shows an unexpected talent and taste for haute cuisine. The novel follows his ensuing career as a chef and the fate of his family in France. The first part of the book centers on Hassan's family, his history and the importance of food in his life. The writing is lush, very descriptive of the tastes, smells, and sights. The characters are interesting and the plot is fast-paced. However, after Hassan becomes a chef the thread of the story changes. The second half of the book is mostly about the politics of the restaurant world in France. The star system of ranking, the changes in haute cuisine, and the hierarchy among chefs. I didn't like this part nearly as well and I felt like Hassan's progress was stagnant. He seems to stop developing much as a person after a certain point. Still, a pleasant, easy read and not bad at all for a first novel. I'll be interested to see what Richard Morais writes next.
jo-jo on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This was such a fun story that brought you to many destinations including, India, London, and Paris. We followed the life of a young Indian man named Hassan and watched him develop as a chef from cooking spicy indian food to authentic french cuisine. I was captivated by the journey that young Hassan had to take in order to find his true calling in life. Even as a young boy living not far from the slums in India, he found himself drawn to the markets where he could sample the various foods that were available. When Hassan's mother is tragically killed he finds himself travelling with his family in search of a place that they could call home.First they settle in London to stay with Hassan's mother's family. This seemed the most confusing time for Hassan and the only thing that he seemed to be sure of was the food that he loved. He lived a carefree and wreckless life in London, which eventually spurred their sudden departure and set them looking for a home once again.After travelling for what seems like an eternity without a specific destination in sight, the stumble upon a french village called Lumiere that appears to have good possibilities for their homestead. Before you know it they have purchased a huge home and start operating an Indian restauraunt on the main floor. Many of the village citizens welcome the new family and restaurant into their community, except for Madame Mallory, who runs a famous french restaurant right across the street. She becomes furious as she sees her regular patrons dining across the street to try something different.Although Hassan is just a young man, his father decides to teach him what is needed for him to become the head chef in their indian restaurant. He catches on quite quickly and enjoys cooking the meals from his home country, but for some reason he finds himself drawn to the cooking that is taking place across the street. When Madame Mallory realizes that Hassan has a natural talent in the kitchen she takes it upon herself to teach him everything that she knows about french cooking. After years of learning and cooking under the world famous Mallory, and some other help from her along the way, Hassan develops into a notable french chef himself. I enjoyed this story with the descriptions of the various foods, the different countries and cultures. With themes of food, loss, anger, forgiveness, fulfilling one's destiny, starting over and moving on, this book really had a lot to offer. I love cultural fiction and this one did not let me down!
Palmcroft on LibraryThing 10 months ago
B-Grade: Re-read worthy. Excellent descriptives, colorful character development that yet remains believable, very good pace for a book whose central topic is esoteric haute cuisine. Some scenes are so well drawn that they continue to haunt me months afterward. The book rushed through the last half of the main character's life, I don't know what the hurry was, but that's my only bone to pick with this one. I wish he'd either limited the timeline or spent more time on the timeline he used. The author had the seeds of a great book here, but he was just too lazy to push his talent farther, to fully render the characters and internecine politics of a global family and the upper-crust food world into a deeper, and ultimately, more satisfying dive. The author gave the story a quick tv wrap-up and moved on with his life, maybe a healthier choice for him personally.I enjoyed every minute spent reading this too-brief book. I just wish the author was less well-adjusted and lived only to perfect his writing!
timtom on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This is the story of Hassan, an Indian cook, recently immigrated in France, and his rapid ascension of the social chain to become the first French cook of foreign origin to receive a 3-star rating in the Guide Michelin. The "hundred foot journey" refers to the distance separating his father's curry house from a French haute cuisine restaurant, where Hassan starts his apprenticeship, and a metaphor of the social and racial divide he had to cross.I found the general idea interesting and was immediately appealed by the settings: a book about India, immigration and food, what could possibly get wrong? Well, a lot, as it appears. I ended up greatly disappointed. I couldn't help but feel that by peppering his tale with bits of Urdu, French and culinary details, Morais desperately tried to hide the fact that he was neither Indian, nor French, nor a cook. The result is an impossible medley of heavy clichés and grammatical mistakes (for the French bits at least) that do more harm than good to the story.Finally, Morais' idealization of French "haute cuisine" as the ultimate cooking nirvana definitely struck a wrong cord in me, who never had any patience with all this haughty nonsense...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I haven't read the entire book but i love the movie I would definantly reccomend either one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago