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Cooking South of the Clouds: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province

by Georgia Freedman

(Kyle Books, September 2018)

China’s Yunnan Province is the most geographically, biologically, and ethnically diverse region in China. Stretching from the Himalayan plateau to the subtropics, the province is home to thousands of species of plants and animals as well as twenty-four of China’s minority groups. As a result, Yunnan is one of the most culinary interesting and delicious places on earth, with a wide variety of cuisines and flavors all packed into one small province.

COOKING SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province, by food and travel writer Georgia Freedman, offers a tour of Yunnan’s many foods, from the famed Crossing the Bridge Noodles to dishes like spiced chicken grilled in banana leaves, which will introduce cooks to a side of Chinese cooking still relatively unknown outside of the country itself.

Each chapter in the book covers a different area featuring its classic recipes such as Tibetan momo dumplings from the north, grilled chicken with chiles and fresh herbs and the famed “crossing-the-bridge” noodles from the south, fried rice with ham, potatoes, and peas from the east, and roasted eggplant salad with tomatoes and herbs from the west, near the Burmese border.

Complete with profiles of local cooks, artisans, and farmers, as well as breath-taking location photography, COOKING SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS takes you on an unforgettable journey through the land of Shangri-La and presents a whole new world of flavors.

“Georgia Freedman unveils China’s best-kept culinary secret, giving us a rare glimpse into the cooking of Yunnan province. More than a cookbook, it’s an intimate journey through culinary traditions almost unknown in the West. Josh Wand’s photos of the region’s countryside, villages, markets, and dishes paint a stunning portrait of Yunnanese cuisine and life. Cooking South of the Clouds deserves a place of honor in every collection of Chinese cookbooks.”
Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

“How thrilling to have Yunnan’s rich food traditions explored and explained in such generous detail, with warmth and understanding. The book is loaded with enticing recipes and photos that will please both cooks and armchair travelers. It’s a great guide to this gateway to southeast Asia, where people of many cultures have found a home and created a multi-layered cuisine that I find endlessly fascinating.”
Naomi Duguid, author of Burma: Rivers of Flavor, and Taste of Persia

“In COOKING SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS, Georgia Freedman presents a thorough primer and loving homage to one of China’s most intriguing and delicious regions. Buy this book if you’ve visited or thinking of visiting Yunnan, or if you want to expand your knowledge of Chinese cuisine.”
Andrea Nguyen, author of Into the Vietnamese Kitchen and The Pho Cookbook

“Employing a traveler’s eye for the unique, a journalist’s attention to detail, and a cook’s antennae for deliciousness, author Georgia Freedman has filled her cookbook with surprising and enticing recipes interspersed with engaging profiles of Yunnan’s cooks, farmers, and food artisans and concise enlightening essays on the province’ history, ethnic and religious cultures, and key ingredients. Freedman’s evident passion for Yunnan, its people and its cuisines, along with her depth of research and breadth of knowledge, place her firmly alongside such recognized Chinese cuisine experts as Grace Young and Fuchsia Dunlop.”
Robyn Eckhardt, author of Istanbul and Beyond and EatingAsia.com

“It takes a person who is obsessively passionate about a cuisine to produce a great cookbook. Georgia Freedman has this passion for Yunnan cooking, a regional Chinese cuisine that has recently been receiving extraordinary attention around the world. In COOKING SOUTH OF THE CLOUDS, Freedman does not simply offer authentic recipes, but also illuminates how the culture, custom and environment influence the cooking from one of the most diverse regions of China. Freedman’s recipes introduce western readers to traditional dishes expertly adapted to the modern kitchen, in itself a challenging feat.”
Kian Lam Kho, author of Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees

Georgia Freedman is a freelance journalist and editor based in the Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Afar, Martha Stewart Living, Rodale’s Organic Life, Roads and Kingdoms, and other food and travel publications including Saveur magazine, where she was previously the managing editor. Georgia has been traveling to China to learn about the country’s food and culture since 2000, and she lived in Yunnan Province for two years. She returns to Yunnan regularly with her husband, Josh Wand, and their young daughter, and she shares stories about their travels at ChinaSouthoftheClouds.com.