Growing up Cantonese in the racist outer suburbs was hard enough for Jess Ho, but add in a dysfunctional family who only made peace over food, and it was clear that a normal life was never on the menu. Jess emerged from childhood with a major psychological complex and a kick-arse palate, traits that would help them fit right in to the messy world of Melbourne's food scene. In hospitality, Jess found a new family of outsiders who shared their lust for life and appetite for destruction. As the Australian food scene exploded, fuelled by the kinds of 'exotic' foods Jess had grown up on, they became one of the most influential voices in Australia's bar and restaurant scene. But the industry Jess loved had its own dysfunctions: greed, ego, sexual harassment, exploitation and a never-ending fetishisation of Asian food culture. And Jess wasn't one to hold their tongue.
Indie Book Awards longlist 2022