The most recommended books on Sichuan province

Who picked these books? Meet our 3 experts.

3 authors created a book list connected to Sichuan province, and here are their favorite Sichuan province books.
Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China

Derek Sandhaus Author Of Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World's Oldest Drinking Culture

From the list on Chinese alcohol and drinking culture.

Who am I?

Derek Sandhaus is an award-winning American author of several books on Chinese history and culture. He worked as an editor, publisher, and tour guide in Shanghai, then moved to Chengdu and turned to drink. In 2018 he co-founded Ming River Sichuan Baijiu with China’s oldest distillery, and now spends most of his time talking about Chinese alcohol to anyone who will listen. He currently lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and a very well-traveled dog.

Derek's book list on Chinese alcohol and drinking culture

Why did Derek love this book?

In China there’s an expression that roughly translates, “It’s not a meal without alcohol.” The converse is equally true: Chinese alcohol yearns to be paired with food. This list would thus be incomplete without a book that seriously delves into Chinese food culture. And in many ways, my own journey into Chinese spirits was an unintentional compliment to Dunlop’s earlier book. We both learned from local experts, followed our respective passions around China, and spent the bulk of our time in the idyllic Sichuanese capital of Chengdu. I especially appreciate Dunlop’s willingness to explore uncomfortable cultural dissonances, and the compelling and poignant case she makes for overcoming them.

By Fuchsia Dunlop,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Award-winning food writer Fuchsia Dunlop went to live in China as a student in 1994, and from the very beginning she vowed to eat everything she was offered, no matter how alien and bizarre it seemed. In this extraordinary memoir, Fuchsia recalls her evolving relationship with China and its food, from her first rapturous encounter with the delicious cuisine of Sichuan Province to brushes with corruption, environmental degradation, and greed. In the course of her fascinating journey, Fuchsia undergoes an apprenticeship at China's premier Sichuan cooking school, where she is the only foreign student in a class of nearly fifty…

Land of Plenty

By Fuchsia Dunlop,

Book cover of Land of Plenty: A Treasury of Authentic Sichuan Cooking

David Waltuck Author Of Staff Meals from Chanterelle

From the list on Chinese cookbooks that have influenced my cooking.

Who am I?

I am a chef, author, and consultant, living and working primarily in New York City,  best known for my restaurant, Chanterelle, which I owned and operated for 30 years. Chanterelle was much loved and highly regarded, receiving numerous accolades including 4 James Beard Foundation awards and 2 four-star reviews from the New York Times. I also wrote 2 cookbooks, Chanterelle, the Story and Recipes of a Restaurant Classic, and Staff Meals from Chanterelle. Though my first love is French cuisine, I have had a long-standing affair with Asian, primarily Chinese food. I love cooking Chinese for myself, friends, and family, and have also incorporated elements of the cuisine into my professional cooking.

David's book list on Chinese cookbooks that have influenced my cooking

Why did David love this book?

Written by another westerner who studied in China and fell in love with the food, in this case the distinctive food of Szechuan. Once again an outsider’s perspective allows for a clear step-by-step introduction to the flavors and recipes of a complex and delicious cuisine.

By Fuchsia Dunlop,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Land of Plenty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The food of the Sichuan region in southwest China is one of the world's great culinary secrets. Many of us know it for its "hot and spicy" reputation or a few of its most famous dishes, most notably Kung Pao chicken, but that is only the beginning. Sichuanese cuisine is legendary in China for its sophistication and astounding diversity: local gourmets claim the region boasts 5000 different dishes.

Fuchsia Dunlop fell in love with Sichuanese food on her first visit to the province ten years ago. The following year she went to live in the Sichuanese capital Chengdu, where she…