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About the Book


Kirpal Singh is on his way back to Kashmir. He has just received two important pieces of news. First, he has been hired by his former boss, the governor of Kashmir, to cater his daughter’s wedding. Secondly, he has a brain tumor that will end his life in a matter of months. Watching India slide by from his second-class train seat, Kirpal reflects on the circumstances that forced him to leave Kashmir and quit the army fourteen years ago.

Kirpal never intended to join the Indian army, but his father, a decorated major, died in a plane crash on the Siachen glacier above Kashmir, and Kirpal yearns to see his father’s frozen gravesite. He joins the kitchen of General Kumar, a powerful leader who will soon be elected governor of Kashmir. Kirpal’s mentor in the kitchen is Chef Kishen, a radical cook of all kinds of international cuisine. But the army has big plans for Kirpal, and he soon replaces Kishen as head chef. Kishen is exiled to the army base atop the Siachen glacier, where his revolutionary impulses soon come to a drastic climax.

Lonely in the picturesque valley, Kirpal finds himself falling for an enemy woman: a suspected Pakistani terrorist named Irem. When Irem disappears mysteriously, Kirpal discovers the dark underbelly of Indian politics and abruptly quits the army. Now, returning to Kashmir to cook one last meal for the state’s military elite, Kirpal will learn of Irem’s surprising fate, and face the waning days of his own life.

By turns comic and gravely poetic, Chef reveals the taste of corruption within the rich, seductive flavors of Kashmir.

by Jaspreet Singh

  • Publication Date: April 13, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • ISBN-10: 1608190854
  • ISBN-13: 9781608190850