A Family’s Journey Told Through Food
Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart is a visually stunning cookbook, one that you’d purchase simply to decorate your kitchen or dining room even if you had no intention or ability to cook the recipes. But you need to look beyond the cover and you shouldn’t take the recipes at face value – they tell more than just how to cook a Vietnamese dish.
“In my family, food is our language. Food enables us to communicate the things we find so hard to say.” —Pauline Nguyen
The book description sums it up this way: “At the heart of each recipe is the power of food to elevate and transform.” The recipes take you through the family’s journey as they experience hearbreak, homesickness, joy and upheaval while giving you insight on Vietnamese culture and history.
With each recipe comes a measure of heart from the Nguyen family.
Secrets of the Red Lantern has also been named the Best Asian Cookbook of 2008 by epicurious.com where a recipe for Salt & Pepper Tofu is shared.
Other titles included in epicurious.com’s Best Cookbooks for 2008 are:
- Fish Without a Doubt by Rick Moonen & Roy Finamore (Best Overall)
- Eat Feed Autumn Winter by Anne Bramley (Best Entertaining)
- A Day at elBulli by Ferran Adrià (Best Cerebral)
- Turquoise by Greg & Lucy Malouf (Best Travelogue with Recipes)
- The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri (Best Baking)
- The Paley’s Place Cookbook by Vitaly Paley & Kimberly Paley (Best American Regional)
- Urban Italian by Andrew Carmellini & Gwen Hyman (Best Italian)
- Cooking with Les Dames d’Escoffier edited by Marcella Rosene with Pat Mozersky (Honorable Mention)