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  • Writer's pictureDominika

The Last Chinese Chef, by Nicole Mones

Then the beggar's chicken. It looked at first like a foil-wrapped whole bird, but he undid it, folded back layers of crinkly baking bags, and broke the seal on a tight molded wrap of lotus leaves. A magnificently herbed chicken aroma rushed into the air.

Maggie couldn't wait. She picked up a mouthful of chicken that fell away from the carcass and into her chopsticks at a touch. It was moist and dense with profound flavor, the good nourishment of chicken, first marinated, then spiked with the bits of aromatic vegetable and salt-cured ham which had been stuffed in the cavity and were now all over the bird. Shot through everything was the pungent musk of the lotus leaf.

At once she knew she should write about this place. She should give this recipe, catch the glorious bustle of this restaurant, describe these tall windows looking over the lake and virgin green hills beyond.

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