Reviews & "Best Of" Lists


All Under Heaven was a finalist for the 2017 James Beard Awards in International Cookbooks, and Carolyn’s writing was also nominated for the Beard’s 2017 MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.

All Under Heaven is not for the meek… the only other recent cookbook I can think of that parallels Heaven in terms of scope and ambition is Maricel Presilla's masterwork, Gran Cocina Latina…. All Under Heaven is an invaluable resource. And as a work of culinary record, it's a considerable accomplishment.”
Epicurious, “Is This the Best Chinese Cookbook Ever Written?”

“This has the makings of an all-time classic.”
Epicurious, “The 30 Most Exciting Cookbooks of Summer”

Carolyn Phillips is the brilliance behind Madame Huang’s Kitchen,” and her “long anticipated cookbook, All Under Heaven, is the first book to examine all 35 of the cuisines of China… I forgive Phillips for making us wait so long now that I have seen the genius of her work. Phillips’s heart and soul can be felt in every word. This book is sure to be this year’s best cookbook, I have no doubt.
      The Cookbook Junkies

“With All Under Heaven, Carolyn Phillips delivers a remarkable love letter to the infinite variety of Chinese cooking… It is magnificent, and it will make you very, very hungry.”

“The vastness and complexity of the many cuisines of China would be daunting to anyone, yet Carolyn Phillips has produced a monumental work. Scholarly, comprehensive, … seasoned with her own insights of an ancient civilization rediscovering and exploring its own culinary history, this is bound to become a classic.”
      David Kinch,
three Michelin-starred chef and author of Manresa

“Carolyn Phillips brings a bold new voice to the subject of Chinese cooking. All Under Heaven is the result of a lifetime of passion and fascination with Chinese cuisine.”
      Grace Young,
James Beard winner and author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge

“Phillips… offers a comprehensive and thoughtful examination of Chinese cuisine, providing a wealth of appealing recipes for beginner and advanced cooks... This is a broad and discerning approach to regional Chinese cooking... Buy This Book.

“Carolyn Phillips has written one of the best books on Chinese cooking that I’ve ever encountered. This is one of those books that will inspire all of us to get into our kitchens and cook. It is also one of those books that is almost as enthralling as a bestselling thriller. Phillips is a first-rate writer, and has made this a 'must-have' cookbook for inclusion in any respectable recipe collection.”
NetGalley, Five Star Review

What a work of art... I have always welcomed any book that expands the horizons of our knowledge of Chinese food; now comes one of the best I have seen in ages. All Under Heaven is not just a mere cookbookin fact, it may be the most comprehensive work to date on an incredibly complex subject.
      Ken Hom, OBE, celebrity chef and author

A “meticulously researched project.”

“Packed with 300-plus recipes… this unprecedented reference will thrill cooks who want to expand their knowledge and move beyond the mainstays of American Chinese restaurant menus. Those who enjoy the thoroughly researched cookbooks of experts such as Claudia Roden … will appreciate Phillips’s comprehensive treatment, which includes historical information, an extensive ingredient glossary, suggested menus, and useful advice.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

The Field Guide is a pocket-size resource featuring 80 hand-drawn illustrations” that ‘is perfect for bringing on-the-go to your next dim sum outing.” And, “It's not often that an individual author has two books in the roundup! In All Under Heaventhe first cookbook in English to examine all 35 cuisines of ChinaPhillips draws on centuries’ worth of culinary texts, as well as her own years working, eating, and cooking in Taiwan.”

“Carolyn Phillips’s exhaustive study of Chinese food culture is a thing of legend….  Each of the 300 recipes features a detailed headnote, and the author’s... illustrations tell the story visually—in a sort of Wall Street Journal meets Lucky Peach way." 

“Best Of” Lists

All Under Heaven and The Dim Sum Field Guide have— since their publication by McSweeney’s and Ten Speed Press on August 30, 2016—been included on some of the most prominent “best of” lists around, including the most renowned cookbook sellers on the West and East Coasts—Omnivore Books and Kitchen Arts & Letters—as well as:

The New York Times – “The Fall’s Best Cookbooks,” which notes that Heavenfollows the illustrated tradition of books like Shizuo Tsuji’s “Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art” and Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” and therein lies its strength. Ms. Phillips’s simple line drawings cover everything from pulling noodles to removing pig hairs. It’s almost as good as watching over the chef’s shoulder.”

Los Angeles Times – “This fall’s new cookbooks: 27 of our favorites,” which notes that “[Heaven] is as ambitious and comprehensive as it sounds: a compendium of over 300 recipes from all 35 cuisines of the vast and culinarily complex country of China…. Drawings of maps, animals and noodle methodologies accompany the text, making it feel like an illuminated manuscript.”

Eater – “Deep Dives: the Biggest New Cookbooks of 2016”: “Perhaps the deepest possible deep dive in this list, All Under Heaven tackles thirty-five of China’s regional cuisines and thousands of years of culinary history. The massive, encyclopedic book will appeal to readers whose cookbook collections function not just as recipe inspiration but reference libraries to the world’s great food traditions. English language cookbooks rarely cover Chinese cuisine with such depth and breadth, making this an especially welcome addition.

Epicurious – “The 24 Best Cookbooks of 2016”: “The writer behind the blog Madame Huang's Kitchen… has created a mammoth (over 500 pages) book that feels more like a memoir than encyclopedia, packed with cultural context, clear techniques, and her own hand-drawn illustrations. It’s a voyage unto itself.”

Cherry Bombe – “The Season’s Best Books” (Issue No. 8, page 61): “If anyone is qualified to write a book on contemporary Chinese cooking, it’s Carolyn Phillips.” (as reported on CNN) – “100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating and Drinking,” where Heaven sits alongside such greats as Escoffier and Julia Child.

Mother Jones – In “Five Books That Wowed Us in 2016,” Tom Philpott says, “Here is an ambitious take on a country whose cuisine is both ubiquitous and brutalized here in the United States….for me, All Under Heaven brings home the vibrant, vegetable-forward, umami-laced restaurant cooking I've found in places with large Chinese enclaves, like Manhattan's Chinatown.”

Art of Eating The 2017 Art of Eating Prize Longlist included All Under Heaven as one of the year’s best cookbooks. The announcement notes, “The longlist makes the judges’ most important statement and reflects serious, sometimes intense, often highly specific conversations. As it happens, these 12 books particularly illuminate other cultures. Although the books were chosen not for their subjects but as the strongest food books of the year, the judges wish to voice their support for peoples, places, cultures, and ideas now under attack. These books, as one said, ‘celebrate the Other. But of course there is no Other, only so many beautiful varieties of human being and human experience.’”

Gourmand International All Under Heaven was named Gourmand International’s winner of the title of Best Chinese Cuisine cookbook from the U.S. for 2016.

The Kitchn – In “6 Travel-Inspired Cookbooks for the Adventurous Cook,” Dana Velden points out, “I can't think of a reason why any serious student of Chinese food and culture would not have this comprehensive and informative volume on their shelf. Authentic yet accessibleAll Under Heaven is fascinating and not as intimidating as its heft and breadth would have you believe. The author's simple line drawings help to clarify techniques and ingredients and add charm to the whole experience.”

Chowhound – Amy Sowder writes in “Cookbook Gift Guide for the Holidays” that with Heaven you will be able to “wrap your head around all the varieties of Chinese food in this comprehensive, contemporary portrait of country's culinary geography and history that has shaped it.”

Food52 – Ali Slagle writes in “20 New Cookbooks for Adventurous Ones” that The Dim Sum Field Guide is one of “the year's cookbooks that pushed boundaries and charted into new-for-some territories.”

Leite’s Culinaria – “Best Cookbooks 2016,” which notes that Heaven “is a work of great passion that rewards on so many levels. Every recipe I tried was excellent, there is a wealth of information that will keep your mind occupied for years, and the personality of the author shines through. The book has soul. It’s a unicorn.

Atlanta Journal-Courier – “Best Cookbooks of 2016,” where Wendell Brock notes, “Carolyn Phillips’ All Under Heaven… is at once as heavy as a doorstop and as ethereal as a proper Chinese dumpling. A Mandarin scholar who married into a Chinese family, Phillips spent years mastering her adopted cuisine, and it shows in every recipe and line drawing, which she renders in her own hand with considerable elegance.”

Tasting Table – “The Most Exciting New Cookbooks for Fall 2016” says, “There’s no denying Phillips has done her research, delving into 35 Chinese cuisines in admirable depth.”

1000 Cookbooks – One of the 10 must-have cookbooks according to Jenny Hartin of Cookbook Junkies fame, where she calls Heaventhe definitive book on Chinese cuisine.”

WBUR – “7 Recipes from Resident Chef Kathy Gunst’s Favorite Cookbooks of 2016” lists only four titles, but Chef Gunst goes on to note, “If you, or anyone on your list, love Chinese food, this is your book…. The charming illustrations were drawn by Phillips and even though there’s not a photograph in sight, her writing and very clearly written recipes will make you want to cook your way through China, and this book.”

Eat Your Books – “The Forty Best Cookbooks of 2016” has Heaven tied for the #1 spot and says, “Phillips' heart and soul can be felt in every word.… I've been reading my way through the 500-page book and soaking up Carolyn's knowledge. This is the must have book of 2016 or any year.