The Art of Escapism Cooking by Mandy Lee

This is the MOST gorgeous cookbook. And it’s got a pretty awesome backstory.

Mandy Lee up and left New York for her husband’s job to go live in Beijing and boy did she hate it there! The stifling pollution, autocratic rulers, and bureaucratic government had her pretty unhappy.  And so, she started an “angry food blog.” (

“In 2012, In a form of self-abandonment, I started this food blog, seven years later, I am about to publish a book about this journey.”

Mandy was born in Taiwan, raised in Canada, and eventually ended up in China, and did what she knew best to cope. She cooked. Asian inspired comfort foods with delicious aromas and spices, with hints of all the places she has lived and traveled, became her form of “escape.” It helped her live with her new reality as an expat and to make her feel more “at home.”

The dishes are SO UNIQUE – like flavors I’ve never heard of before being mixed together but still sound so amazing. The recipe categories of the book range from: “for getting out of bed”, “for slurping”, “for a crowd” and everything in between. The layout is clean and so easy to follow and the recipes are not intimidating at all. And her photography is GORGEOUS!

She tells her story in a very candid and real conversational tone that spans each chapter and at times she is raw and revealing – other times, quite hilarious. She also shares her favorite tools, and some fantastic recipes for unique and delicious sauces and seasonings.

I hope you’ll check out this unique cookbook – it’s fierce, it’s funky, and you’re going to be drooling just looking at it!

Thank you to TLC Book Tours, Mandy Lee, and William Morrow Books for having me on this amazing tour! #partner #theartofescapismcooking


  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks (October 15, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062802372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062802378




Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


About the cookbook:

In this inventive and intensely personal cookbook, the blogger behind the award-winning reveals how she cooked her way out of an untenable living situation, with more than eighty delicious Asian-inspired dishes with influences from around the world.

For Mandy Lee, moving from New York to Beijing for her husband’s work wasn’t an exotic adventure—it was an ordeal. Growing increasingly exasperated with China’s stifling political climate, its infuriating bureaucracy, and its choking pollution, she began “an unapologetically angry food blog,”, to keep herself from going mad.

Mandy cooked because it channeled her focus, helping her cope with the difficult circumstances of her new life. She filled her kitchen with warming spices and sticky sauces while she shared recipes and observations about life, food, and cooking in her blog posts. Born in Taiwan and raised in Vancouver, she came of age food-wise in New York City and now lives in Hong Kong; her food reflects the many places she’s lived. This entertaining and unusual cookbook is the story of how “escapism cooking”—using the kitchen as a refuge and ultimately creating delicious and satisfying meals—helped her crawl out of her expat limbo.

Illustrated with her own gorgeous photography, The Art of Escapism Cooking provides that comforting feeling a good meal provides. Here are dozens of innovative and often Asian-influenced recipes, divided into categories by mood and occasion, such as:

For Getting Out of Bed
Poached Eggs with Miso-Browned Butter Hollandaise
Crackling Pancake with Caramel-Clustered Blueberries and Balsamic Honey

For Slurping
Buffalo Fried Chicken Ramen
Crab Bisque Tsukemen

For a Crowd
Cumin Lamb Rib Burger
Italian Meatballs in Taiwanese Rouzao Sauce

For Snacking
Wontons with Shrimp and Chili Coconut Oil and Herbed Yogurt
Spicy Chickpea Poppers

For Sweets
Mochi with Peanut Brown Sugar and Ice Cream
Recycled Nuts and Caramel Apple Cake

Every dish is sublimely delicious and worth the time and attention required. Mandy also demystifies unfamiliar ingredients and where to find them, shares her favorite tools, and provides instructions for essential condiments for the pantry and fridge, such as Ramen Seasoning, Fried Chili Verde Sauce, Caramelized Onion Powder Paste, and her Ultimate Sichuan Chile Oil.

About Mandy

Mandy Lee APMandy Lee founded her award-winning “angry food blog,” Lady and Pups, in 2012 out of sheer frustration after moving from New York City to Beijing. She and her blog have been featured in numerous publications and sites, including Saveur,,, Yahoo, Food52, and She currently lives in Hong Kong with her husband and pups.

Check out her blog, Lady and Pups, and follow her on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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