Mango and Peppercorns: A Memoir of Food, an Unlikely Family, and the American Dream

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From the Publisher

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A powerful memoir of resilience, friendship, family, and food.

From the acclaimed chefs behind the award-winning Hy Vong Vietnamese restaurant in Miami comes a powerful memoir peppered with archival imagery and 20 Vietnamese recipes.

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Introduction: Mango and Peppercorns

As the Vietnam War came to a close in the spring of 1975 with North Vietnam victorious, people began to flee impending Communist rule. Many escaped in boats, enduring days on the open ocean. Those who survived the journey were taken into refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia.

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Introduction: Mango and Peppercorns

The United States, which had supported South Vietnam in the war, sponsored the evacuation of 125,000 Vietnamese refugees, who resettled throughout America. Tung Nguyen was one of the first to arrive. She had fled Saigon as the North Vietnamese Army approached the city. After a harrowing nine-day boat trip and a brief stay in Guam, she was transported to Fort Indiantown Gap in central Pennsylvania. The military base was one of four U.S. processing centers for Vietnamese refugees, taking in more than 20,000 people over a period of eight months.

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Introduction: Mango and Peppercorns

After two months in the camp, Tung, who was twenty-seven at the time, was resettled in Miami by Lutheran World Relief. Katherine Manning, a thirty-year-old graduate student and cashier at the University of Miami, volunteered to temporarily host Tung and eleven other refugees until they found places to live.

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Introduction: Mango and Peppercorns

Tung Nguyen and Katherine Manning went on to become two of Miami’s most successful restaurateurs with the opening of the award-winning Hy Vong. This is their improbable story, along with recipes for some of their most popular dishes.

Mango and peppercorns—so different, yet somehow so right together.

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There is nothing like Hy Vong. I craved its food like no other… I’ve been begging for their recipes for years! Yet even more than their food, I am inspired by their story. What are the odds that these women—unlikely friends, raised on different continents, who didn’t always get along well when they finally did meet—ended up with such magic between the two of them? I can’t tell you what it is, but I wish I had a piece of that magic.

It’s such an American story: A pregnant, hardworking Vietnamese refugee meets a strong midwestern woman with a big personality. Together they open a cherished, widely acclaimed restaurant, creating their success as a business owned entirely by women—all while raising a child. They got more than they expected. We all did.

– From the foreword by Michelle Bernstein, James Beard Award winning chef

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Chronicle Books; Illustrated edition (March 16 2021)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1797202243
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1797202242
Item weight ‏ : ‎ 490 g
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 15.88 x 2.54 x 23.5 cm

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