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Emperor Can Wait

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. Emma's evocative reflections are framed by the exodus of the Kuomintang from Mao Zedong's 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 Emma's 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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