LC Book Club: A Tiger in the Kitchen

Tiger in the Kitchen

Announcement: Discussion dates have been finalized. Please join us for Twitter chats with the author on Saturday, November 5 at 2:00 p.m. EST, and again on Wednesday, November 9 at 9:00 p.m. EST.

Join the LC Book Club as we leave the halls of the CIA, strut briefly down the runways of fashion, then straight on into the daunting kitchens of Chinese-Singaporean “ah-ma”s and aunties. Our current selection, A Tiger in the Kitchen: A Memoir of Food and Family (Voice, Feb 2011) follows Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, a Singaporean ex-pat more comfortable at first in stilettos than with the simplest of sauces. In this beautifully written story, Tan seizes the opportunity of an job layoff to journey repeatedly home on a quest to recreate the dishes of her native land. Along the way, she learns to reconnect not only with family, discovering generations of their secrets, but also with herself.

We’d love to have you read along, and joining the LC Book Club is easy. Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Read the book. (Or, if pressed for time, skim. It’s OK. There are no pop quizzes.)
  2. Think about questions you’d like to ask the author, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, who has generously agreed to participate in our scheduled chats.
  3. Join one or both of our two discussions with the author on Twitter: Saturday, November 5, from 2-3 p.m. EST and again on Wednesday, November 9, from 9-10 p.m. EST.
  4. Conversations take place live via our Twitter stream @LeitesCulinaria, using the new hashtag #LeitesBookClub.
  5. If you’re not a Twitter fan, or just can’t make the dates, that’s OK. Post your comments below and start a new discussion; we’re happy to respond.

We hope you’ll join us to talk about the rich, rewarding world encountered in A Tiger in the Kitchen. In the meantime, if you’re hungry for more delicious literature, why not catch up on these prior LC reads:


    1. Cheryl, we loved chatting with you. You were so generous with your time and attention… especially all the way from Singapore. Looking forward to the second chat session Nov 9 at 9pm EST. Thanks!

    1. Hi, Vicki. Thanks for writing. You know, this will sound like a “play it safe” answer, but it’s also very true: I really like each book in its own way. They all offer something unique, which is what we try to do when selecting the books: mix up the voices, cultures, perspectives that each author can add to the world of food writing.

      I think readers connect in different ways, based on their own experiences and tastes. Blood, Bones, and Butter was very gritty and urban. The Dirty Life was great for escaping that urban setting and getting a taste of farm life. Beaten, Seared, and Sauced gives us a peek at the rigors of a prestigious culinary school, and A Tiger in the Kitchen has a rich cultural theme.

      These are all memoirs, of course, and soon I think we’ll be turning to more fiction. Although not one of our official Book Club selections (the excerpt on the site and the author interview predate the club), I do admit to a soft spot for The Hundred-Foot Journey; we have an excerpt of it on the site.

      Hope you’ll join us on our Book Club journey… for this week, or for our next selection, to be announced in following weeks.

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