In January 2015 Lynette Lo Tom began writing a monthly column in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser: Back in the Day. The column spotlights old-style dishes of various cultures and traditions. This effort represents a change from Lynette’s many years in journalism and public relations, a change towards her love of food, cooking, and the culinary arts. And who among us wouldn’t love a career change at this stage in our lives?!? Lucky Lynette.
As many of you know, I’m someone who has a passion for food, from beginning to end! I like thinking about recipes, looking for new ingredients, comparing notes with other cooks, cooking up dishes and most of all, sharing it with family and friends. Cooking has been a passion, all my life, passed through some terrific cooks, starting with my mother, Lorna Lee Lo.
Guess what I just finished? My very first cookbook: A Chinese Kitchen. It’s filled with stories and great recipes from my mother, Lorna Lo, maternal grandfather, John Sau Lee, and paternal grandmother, Louise Ho Lo.
I also got to talk to lots of Chinese cooks, and got more great stories and recipes from the community.
A Chinese Kitchen shares 112 recipes and is 212 pages with colorful photos and stories about growing up Chinese in Hawaii. It is the fourth in the series of ethnic cookbooks by Mutual Publishing and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. In addition to recipes, it includes stories about the history of the Chinese in Hawaii and interesting tidbits about popular restaurants and dishes.
The book will be formally “launched” through signing and events organized by Mutual Publishing (see below). I am also going out in community with fundraising events, signings, samplings and talk stories. I’m starting with a book celebration and pick up on Saturday, September 19th from 10am to 2pm. My mom and I will be at the ChefZone, a great food warehouse store. There is lots of parking there.
A Chinese Kitchen has a retail price of $21.95, but for family and friends, the price on pick up day is $15, includes tax. Because of the special price, I need to know many you would like, (there’s 20 in a case if you want to buy for your neighbors!) I’m happy to autograph any that you buy. Please mail the A Chinese Kitchen Order Form to Bright Light
Marketing, PO Box 235865, Honolulu, Hawaii 96823. Make checks out to Bright Light Marketing. Or fill out the charge card information. If you can’t make it on the 19th, your books will be held for you at Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii (Maile Meyer’s ’75 store), at Ward Warehouse for pick up until the end of September.
I’m hoping A Chinese Kitchen will make a good gift for your friends on the mainland and for the holiday. In writing the book, I learned so much about the Chinese in Hawaii and in my family. I appreciate your support. Please send in orders as soon as possible if you’d like to pick up the book on September 19.
Meet author Lynette Lo Tom
» Sept. 16: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mutual Publishing, 1215 Center St. (with her mother, Lorna Lo)
» Sept. 19: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., ChefZone, 2888 Ualena St. (with Lorna Lo)
» Sept. 27 (Maui): 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Chinese Moon Festival at Bailey House Museum, 2375-A Main St., Wailuku
» Oct. 3 (Hilo): 1 to 3 p.m., Sig Zane Designs, 122 Kamehameha Ave. (discussion of Chinese food with Sig Zane)
» Oct. 28 (Kauai): 5 p.m. book signing, 6 p.m. talk, Lihue Public Library, 4344 Hardy St.
» Oct. 7: 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Windward YMCA, 1200 Kailua Road, reservations required, call 261-0808
» Oct. 17: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., lesson on Chinatown Crispy Roast Pork and Cake Noodles, CookSpace Hawaii at Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., $80 (includes cookbook), register at cookspacehawaii.com (with Lorna Lo)
» Oct. 27: 11:45 to 12:45 p.m., Mililani YMCA, 95-1190 Hikikaulia St., reservations required, call 625-1040
» Nov. 14: 11 a.m., Native Books Na Mea Hawaii at Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
Note: This recipe for Pickled Mustard Cabbage (Tsin Choy) comes from the kitchen of Esther Lo Chinn. She’s Lynette’s aunt and Bruce and Brian Chinn’s mom. The book’s acknowledgements list three classmates: Carrie Chang Talwar, Lei-Sanne Doo (for two art pieces), and Taren Taguchi (for encouragement). Lookin’ good ’74! … or should I say ni hen haokan?