The Hundred Foot Journey
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais is a stunning novel set in the culinary world and has shot to the top of my favourite books of all-time list.
The story is told by Hassan, a young boy growing up in Mumbai. His family has always been in restaurants, with savvy business plans making them millions, and Hassan has always known that he wants to be a chef.
The first part of the book, set in India, is incredible. Morais’ paints the most amazing world of colour, family and food. It’s so easy to get lost in the wonderful world – and get very hungry too!!
But when tragedy strikes, the family moves to England and then on to France where fate leads them to the doorstep of an old farmhouse for sale in the picturesque town of Lumiere. The family opens an Indian bistro (more descriptions of mouth-watering food!!) right opposite a Michelin star winning French restaurant run by the austere Madame Mallory.
What starts is a feud of food! Each restaurant trying to out-do and sabotage the other until a freak accident gives Madame Mallory a change of heart and she extends an offer to Hassan that he has wanted all his life – training to be the greatest French chef. Hassan is a natural at cooking and he moves through the ranks to start running his own restaurant, with the goal of winning the prized Michelin Star.
Again, the description is stunning: the house, the town, the people and the food are captured perfectly. The book is funny, witty and charming. I loved every page and found I couldn’t put it down!
Seriously, this book is not to be missed, it’s compelling and beautiful.