“Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is a picture book biography that tells the story of the powerhouse female Japanese American chef and her rise to fame
As a child and adult, Niki faced many naysayers in her pursuit of haute cuisine. Using the structure of a traditional kaiseki meal, the authors Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak playfully detail Niki’s hunger for success in thirteen “bites” — from wonton wrappers she used to make pizza as a kid to yuzu-tomatillo sauce in her own upscale Los Angeles Michelin-starred restaurant, n/naka.
To anyone who tells her a woman can’t be a master chef, Niki lets her food do the talking. And oh, does it talk. Niki was featured on the first season of Netflix’s culinary documentary series “Chef’s Table.” And Chrissy Teigen proclaimed that Niki’s restaurant was one of her absolute favorites. Niki’s currently a featured teacher on MasterClass.
A smart, strong woman with starpower, Niki is only just getting started — like the young readers who will devour this book, featuring illustrations by Yuko Jones.
Michalak loves how food tells a story and brings people together to create more. She is the author of more than 40 children’s books, including the highly praised Joe and Sparky early reader series, “Frank and Bean,” “Dakota Crumb: Tiny Treasure Hunter,” and more. She lives in Rhode Island.
Florence is a third-generation Japanese American, and the author of the Jasmine Toguchi series and “Keep It Together, Keiko Carter” (Scholastic). She lives in Connecticut.
Jones is an illustrator who believes in the power of imagination. She has degrees in English, psychology, and human development, as well as a career in early childhood developmental research. She lives in western New York.
For more information on n/naka, visit: https://n-naka.com