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In Edo period Japan, Haru is an impetuous divorcée working as a maid. Her sense of taste and declarations at dinner parties serve to embarrass her mistress, but impress Dennai Funaki, a head chef for a warlord’s clan from Kaga. The chef proposes that Haru marries his son and heir, so that the Dennai family might provide a lineage to serve delicacies to future generations of the powerful elite. But when she does agree to marry Dennai Yasunobu, she finds he has no skills in the kitchen and is only distracted by dreams of fighting like a proper warrior.
Haru is charged with showing Yasunobu the nobility of his position and improving the food he serves. It’s a difficult place to build a relationship from, but Haru takes on the challenge. Based on historical events, A Tale of Samurai Cooking: A True Love Story is a sumptuous delight. (Notes by Michael Hayden.)
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