Richard C. Morais and his 100 foot journey
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a fast paced culinary brimming novel that takes you right from the end of WWII on the dusty streets of Napean Sea Road in Bombay, through the low hanging skies of Southhall, London, onward to life changing Lumiere, and then to, of course, gastronomical Paris!
All this through the eyes of Hassan Haji, an Indian Muslim boy who cooks up thick and gooey Goa fish stew, Chicken tikka and heaps of yellow rice, who is later on seen with three Michelin stars prepping his signature Siberian Ptarmigan roasted with Tundra Herbs taken from the birds own crop and served with caramelized pears in an Armagnac Sauce.
Yes, indeed it is a bitter-sweet stew of “Talent”, she (mmd. Malory) said, through the muffled cloth of her serviette. “The talent on can only be born with, not learnt”… “He is an artist, a great artist”.
And we’re not just talking about Hassan here. Richard C.Morais fantastically brings to life searing scenes of food descriptions that are gasp-worthy. He fervently portrays each character, so distinctly—Hassan’s ever ambitious Papa, Mmd. Malory, an arch enemy turned mentor (without whose rage Hassan’s hundred foot journey would have never existed) to even smaller characters in the story; it has all the drama of an Indian sitcom, minus the multiple playbacks.
This eye-opening read is a must for anyone and everyone who is keen to take a chance and discover not just only what lies beyond those hundred feet but those who are willing to experience and savour every inch of that journey— it’s all about the “zinzin”!