'Clements' love for China's history and cuisine shines through in each chapter, with his evident passion making the book a consistently engaging read.'
'Jonathan Clements' The Emperor's Feast is witty and insightful, taking readers on a journey through China's history from the comfort of the dinner table. It inverts the old maxim by convincingly demonstrating that people aren't just what they eat, but how they eat'
''This book is itself a feast, each chapter a sumptuous course - prepared by a gifted writer and linguist who can synthesize vast amounts of information on Chinese food and history, arrange it in a fascinating way, and spice it up with his own wisdom, wit, and experiences. In the end, his focus on Chinese food gives us a new lens through which we can also view the impossibly long, complex, and rich history of China itself.''
''Cleverly uses food - the part of Chinese culture with which many western people are most familiar - as a way of charting the complex history of China, a vast country made up of many peoples, cultures and cuisines . . . This is a splendid introduction to the cooking and history of China, filled with surprising details on the origins of many famous dishes'
'A tasty portrait of a nation . . . Running through Clements' account is an insistence - smartly and subtly offered, and particularly welcome in our present straits - on the role food plays in binding family and friends together . . . There is something reassuring, even rather moving, about sitting down with others to eat and knowing that you are doing something that would be immediately and intimately familiar to people across countless cultures and generations'