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The Migrant Chef by Laura Tillman
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The Migrant Chef

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The Migrant Chef by Laura Tillman
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May 23, 2023 | ISBN 9780593791165 | 406 Minutes

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For her compelling, well-written biography of the chef and restaurateur Eduardo García, known as Lalo, the author spent five years reporting, researching and traveling . . . Threaded through [Lalo’s] story and that of his family is in-depth information that broadens the scope of the book: Ms. Tillman discusses the history of Mexican food, farmworker conditions in the United States, Mexican politics and earthquakes, and the inequities and challenges of the restaurant business.—Florence Fabricant, New York Times

In The Migrant Chef, five years of meticulous reporting passes into art. Laura Tillman illuminates not only the life of a remarkable chef but the world around him in which we all live. —Suzannah Lessard, author of The Architect of Desire and The Absent Hand

What makes the internationally renowned Mexican chef known as “Lalo” so extraordinary is inseparable from what makes him so ordinary. His hardscrabble childhood in the Mexican countryside, the traumas and challenges of immigration, the unbreakable work ethic and personal values rooted in faith and family, a brave and resilient character, brought his very individual genius to full flower. Laura Tillman, an exceptionally observant and gifted writer, tells both stories, the extraordinary and the ordinary, with amazing vividness, drama, empathy, and understanding.—Francisco Goldman, author of the Pulitzer-finalist novel Monkey Boy

The Migrant Chef tells the history of a culture and cuisine, and also the story of a gifted Mexican cook and his family, enduring and surmounting the toils and injustices of immigration to the North. The book has fascination, drama, and heart. It was a pleasure to read. —Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains and Rough Sleepers

Laura Tillman’s compelling chronicle of chef Lalo García’s rise—and fall, and rise again—is a necessary respite from the well-worn path of celebrity-chef-as-hero. Best of all, layered between the stories of his struggles and successes, it offers a subtle indictment of the American dream. Highly recommended.—Tracie McMillan, author of The American Way of Eating

Lalo is a true inspiration. His story will surely encourage every ambitious chef, whatever the challenges they may face and wherever they start from. That’s the magic of this story. The food scene thrives because of people like Lalo, and particularly here in Mexico, he is a great pride for us. He has proved the possibilities of doing truly great things in food, literally starting from scratch, in the most delicious ways.—Gabriela Cámara, chef, restaurant owner, and author of My Mexico City Kitchen

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