Fresh out of journalism school, Chinese-American writer Jen Lin-Liu moves to China to learn about the country her grandparents fled half a century before. In the booming coastal cities and remote inland villages, she discovers a passion for China’s rich cuisine and embarks on a culinary journey to reconnect with her roots. Lin-Liu gives a memorable and mouthwatering cook’s tour of today’s China as she progresses from entry-level lessons in an unheated local cooking school (with nary a measuring cup in sight) to a noodle-stall and dumpling-house apprentice, to an internship at a chic Shanghai restaurant. Along the way, she meets young men and women streaming in from the countryside in search of a "rice bowl" (living wage), a burgeoning middle class hungry for luxury, and mentors who introduce her to Chinese life within and beyond the kitchen. Serve the People presents an unforgettable slice of contemporary China in the full swing of social and economic transformation, and the story of a young woman finding an unexpected path home.