This was an opportunity for me to present a different kind of talk about "Sweet and Sour,' and the social history of Chinese family restaurants at a different type of venue and audience. My past audiences for this book have consisted of Chinese who had some direct experience with Chinese restaurants and Chinese interested in the historical development of this business among Chinese.

Now I was with an audience of mostly non-Chinese, and people, for the most part interested in culinary matters. A leading foodie bookstore provided a lovely and intimate setting for the presentation, which unlike other talks where I could use visual images to enhance my points, was completely devoid of slides, photos, and other graphics.  This required establishing good rapport and constant eye contact to engage the audience.  Having the talented poet, Nellie Wong, recite the restaurant poems that she contributed to the book was a special component that captivated the audience.  Overall, the evening was very successful and Nellie and I joined several members of the Culinary Historians for dinner, where else, but a nearby Chinese restaurant.
 


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