Blonder, Ellen Leong 1950-
BLONDER, Ellen Leong 1950-
PERSONAL: Born 1950; married Nick Blonder; children: one daughter.
ADDRESSES: Home—Mill Valley, CA. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 299 Park Ave., New York, NY 10171.
CAREER: Illustrator, artist, and cookbook author.
AWARDS, HONORS: Award for best cookbook in the American category, International Association of Culinary Professionals, 1999, for Every Grain of Rice.
(With Annabel Low) Every Grain of Rice: A Taste ofOur Chinese Childhood in America, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 1998.
Dim Sum: The Art of the Chinese Tea Lunch, Clarkson Potter (New York, NY), 2002.
Rita Abrams, At Your Age You're Having What?!: TheAdvantages of Mature Maternity, Whatever Pub. (Mill Valley, CA), 1983.
Maida Silverman, Bunny's ABC Box, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1986.
Maida Silverman, Piggy's Good Food: A MealtimeWord Book, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1987.
Parade Pony, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1987.
Harriet Wittels and Joan Greisman, A Bird's-Eye View:A First Book of Maps, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1995.
Wee Wonders of Nature, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1988.
My Very First Things, Grosset & Dunlap (New York, NY), 1988.
Ron Fontes and Justine Korman, The Ghost WhoCouldn't Boo, Random House (New York, NY), 1994.
The Velveteen Rabbit, Random House (New York, NY), 1995.
Todd Karr, Backyard Magic: Be a Magician! UseThings You Find in Your Own Backyard! Demco Media, 1996.
Kay Anne Carson, For Mother with Love, C. R. Gibson Co., 2000.
SIDELIGHTS: Ellen Leong Blonder has been a professional illustrator and designer for more than two decades. Her artwork focusing on plants and gardens has been in great demand for licensing by companies who use it on various products, including stationary, dinnerware, and textiles. She has also illustrated numerous children's books.
Blonder authored her first book with her aunt, Annabel Low, whose father owned the Honk Kong Café in Sacramento, California. The two women are only sixteen days apart in age and grew up more like sisters than as aunt and niece. In their book Every Grain of Rice: A Taste of Our Chinese Childhood in America, Blonder and Low present more than 120 recipes, many of which they remember from their childhood. These recipes include Chinese dishes, which use exotic vegetables, and are rarely found in other cookbooks. In addition to exotic recipes such as Green Loofah Squash with Prawns and Chinese New Year's Cake, the cookbook includes traditional Chinese-American foods. "Just reading about these delights makes one want to rush into the kitchen and break out the wok," wrote Mary Knoblauch in a review in Booklist. Also illustrated by Blonder, Every Grain of Rice features anecdotes by both authors that provide a look into their family lives as children. Calling the anecdotes "personal without being too sentimental," a Publishers Weekly reviewer also noted, "This book is both appetizing and engaging."
Blonder's second book Dim Sum: The Art of Chinese Lunch focuses on the making of dim sums, which are the mainstay of the tradition Chinese tea lunch. Using clear explanations and her own illustrations, Blonder explains how to prepare such dim sum mainstays as Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai and Chinese Chive Dumplings. In addition, Blonder discusses dim sum restaurants, various Chinese teas, and how to set up a steamer and make doughs. Overall, the book contains eighty recipes, including breads, sweets, and condiments. Judith Sutton, writing in the Library Journal, noted that the "recipes are clearly written" and include "step-by-step drawings of various techniques."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 1998, Mark Knoblauch, review of Every Grain of Rice: A Taste of Our Chinese Childhood in America, p. 1579.
Library Journal, February 15, 1998, John Charles, review of Every Grain of Rice, p. 166; March 15, 2002, Judith Sutton, review of Dim Sum: The Art of the Chinese Tea Lunch, p. 103.
Publishers Weekly, April 20, 1998, review of EveryGrain of Rice, p. 61.
School Library Journal, September, 1987, Karen Litton, review of Bunny's ABC Box, p. 170.*