August: The Hundred-Foot Journey

The Hundred Foot JourneyOur August selection is the second book we’re reading this year that shares with us some insight into Indian culture, and in this case, into the life and struggles of a fictional character. The book is The Hundred-Foot Journey, the first novel by journalist Richard C Morais, who has spent most of his career at Forbes.

In this book, the main character, Hassan Haji, a Muslim from India and a talented cook, moves to France after a tragedy. His family opens a small Indian restaurant in a small town… stepping right into the territory and on the toes of Madame Mallory, the local celebrated French chef. After a bit of a culinary war, Mallory takes Haji under her wing and mentors him. Hassan eventually goes to Paris to take on French haute cuisine. The book raises questions of cultural identity and following your destiny… even when it seems a foreign one. The Hundred-Foot Journey has been called a fable, a culinary Slumdog Millionaire, and has been compared to Disney-Pixar’s Ratatouille.

Join us at 6pm on Tuesday, August 9, for a special treat: The Birmingham Indian Food Lovers will demo how to make a homemade curry with rice. Mmm! We’ll meet at LivonFifth, 2201 5th Avenue South (leave a comment to get an email for directions), and we’ll talk about The Hundred-Foot Journey.



Filed under Book club selection

2 responses to “August: The Hundred-Foot Journey

  1. Sue Hulme

    We are a book club in England. We also have food as a large part of our meetings. I found your blog very interesting – check out ours on and leave us a message! We are fascinated that you are able to ‘invite everyone’ to your meetings! How many people are likely to turn up? We struggle to keep our membership down to a manageable number! Sue

    • Hello Sue! So nice to hear from you. I loved the pictures of your club members. (Especially the Chinese picnic in the rain! Not only are you brave, but the food sounds wonderful!) To answer your questions, we have about 50 people signed up to receive our emails. We typically have between 6 to 10 people at each meeting. On occasion we’ve had many more: We have had 25 people at our meeting when we discussed The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, because we met in a cupcake bakery that stayed open late just for our group. We also had the same number when we discussed Trail of Crumbs, because the author, Kim Sunee, joined us. And we had the same number when we read The Billionaire’s Vinegar – one of our club members happened to have worked in the wine department at Christie’s at the time the events of the book was happening – she even brought the catalogs where some of the questionable bottles of wine were pictured. It was fascinating! In September we really are opening up our meeting to everyone! We’re reading Tomatoland by Barry Estabrook. We’re having the meeting at the auditorium at the public library, the author is coming from Vermont to Alabama to participate, and one of our city’s best chefs will do a tomato tasting (that is, if nature is good enough to extend tomato season a little bit). I hope to hear from you again soon… happy reading! Shaun

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