Study Guide

The Hundred-Foot Journey

By Richard C. Morais

The Hundred-Foot Journey Introduction

What do you get when you combine

  • a loud and loving Indian family, 
  • a manic chef whose been stuck in the French Alps collecting dust for ages,
  • a young boy with impressive culinary talent,
  • and the Parisian world of haute cuisine?

A mouthwateringly delicious adventure, Shmoopers, that's what.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is the first novel written by author Richard C. Morais. Despite his rookie status, though, when it was published in 2010, it became an international bestseller, and was even included in the "Editor's Choice" of the New York Times Book Review. While this is certainly impressive, it really isn't that surprising since Morais combines years of experience and travel to create this completely original story that's been compared to Slumdog Millionaire and Ratatouille at the same time. Pretty one-of-a-kind, we'd say.

This is the story of a young Indian boy who—through a series of twists and turns—finds himself training to be a French chef. There are ups and downs along the way, often thanks to prejudice, but since the whole book is seasoned with lush descriptions of food, even the hardest moments take a turn for the delectable. No, really—this book is so tantalizing that you just might want to take the words off the page and eat them.

May we suggest you bring a snack when you sit down to read this one.

What is The Hundred-Foot Journey About and Why Should I Care?

How many books can you read where you'll get to journey through a crowded market street in India as well as get the inside scoop on the down and dirty politics of haute cuisine in Paris? We can't think of any ourselves, but this is part of what makes The Hundred-Foot Journey so special: In addition to being a coming of age tale, it's also a drool-inducing food tour of a big chunk of the world.

The Hundred Foot Journey takes us through three generations of food love and obsession as told by Hassan Haji, the narrator and main character of the story. We get to see what it's like behind closed kitchen doors on three different continents: the competition, the burning pots and pans (hopefully nothing else), and most importantly, the passion that makes it all happen. Cooking is like any other art form, and we learn this alongside our narrator, who shares his journey of food, while more or less savoring every moment.

The Hundred-Foot Journey Resources

Websites

The Author's Website
Richard C. Morais has his own website with lots of info about the book. And other books he's written. Just sayin'.

If You Have A Hankering for Indian Food…
Inspired by the tantalizing descriptions of Indian food? This website's got a wealth of Indian dishes for you to try on your own.

… Or French? Or Both?
Here's another website where you can select a cuisine and find tons of recipes, so you can eat your curry and eat your bouillabaisse, too.

Movie or TV Productions

Larger than Life Food
The Hundred-Foot Journey gets the big screen treatment. We're thinking extra popcorn might be in order for this one.

Articles and Interviews

Diary of a Book Tour Through India
From his own website, check out Richard C. Morais's description of travelling to India on a book tour for The Hundred-Foot Journey.

Finding Home: An Interview with Richard C. Morais
Richard C. Morais talks about the book and inspiration for the characters, food, and writing.

Meet the Cast
Manish Dayal plays Hassan Haji and Helen Mirren plays the infamous Madame Mallory in the film adaption of the book. Get the inside scoop here.

Video

Short Intro from the Author
The author reveals the subject of his novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, complete with cool pictures.

From the Page to the Kitchen
Richard C. Morais visits the kitchen of Chef Floyd Cardoz of New York's Tabla where they prepare a couple of dishes from the book.

Mouthwatering Preview
Check out this trailer for the movie version of the book. It looks like they've taken some liberties with the plot, but man, the food looks good.

Audio

Hear It
If you're one to listen to a book on tape, check out this audio sample.

Images

Our Favorite Cover
Click on through to see our personal favorite version of the cover

Another Take
Do you prefer this version?

Variation on a Theme
One more cover for your consideration…