The Seventh Daughter & the perfect meal

Proust got it right: Nothing so vividly conjures up the past as a meal, a scent, a texture. Cecilia Chiang, now, unbelievably, 89 years old, has drawn upon her food memories to tell a personal story, full of suspense and fascinating detail. Yes, each gripping chapter ends with a handful of doable and tempting recipes adapted from The Mandarin, her groundbreaking, elegant northern Chinese restaurant in Ghirardelli Square, but it is the narrative that grabbed me, from her aristocratic childhood in Beijing in the ’20s, to her almost accidental entry into San Francisco’s restaurant scene in 1961. Assistant Lisa Weiss magically caught her voice. I must disclose that Chiang has been a pal of mine for 25 years, but it wasn’t until I read “The Seventh Daughter” that I understood why she remains a force of nature, who in her Chanel suit and pearls, still eats and drinks everyone under the table.

The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco” by Cecilia Chiang with Lisa Weiss, Ten Speed Press, $35

THE PERFECT MEAL

Eat an intriguing, foraged meal cooked by Chez Panisse chef Jean-Pierre Moullé and learn why and how to become a sustainable-food activist at Turning the Tables, a Food from the Park event. Michael Pollan, who created The Perfect Dinner in “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” will speak.

The event is at 6 p.m. Oct. 26 at 1 Fort Mason, San Francisco. Tickets are $150. Visit www.1fortmason.com/michael_pollan.html.

entertainmentFeaturesFood & DrinkFood and Wine

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Public Bank Coalition advocates rallied on Feb. 5, 2019 as the Board of Supervisors considered supporting the creation of a public banking charter. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Apprenticeship instructor Mike Miller, center, demonstrates how to set up a theodolite, a hyper-sensitive angle measuring device, for apprentices Daniel Rivas, left, Ivan Aguilar, right, and Quetzalcoatl Orta, far right, at the Ironworkers Local Union 377 training center in Benicia on June 10, 2021. (Courtesy Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters)
California’s affordable housing crisis: Are labor union requirements in the way?

By Manuela Tobias CalMatters California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed spoke at the reopening of the San Francisco Public Library main branch on April 20. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to The Examiner)
SF reopening more libraries through the summer

After a handful of San Francisco public libraries reopened last month for… Continue reading

A new production of Beethoven’s “Fidelio” directed by Matthew Ozawa and designed by Alexander V. Nichols will be onstage at the War Memorial Opera House in October. (Courtesy Alexander V. Nichols)
SF Opera announces transitional 99th season

Company returns to Opera House with downsized schedule, no fall ball

Most Read