Cook by the Book: “The Committed”

Cook by the Book:
The Committed

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Please join us for a special Beyond the Book experience as we bring our Cook by the Book series online. We are thrilled to partner with Maite Gomez-Rejon of ArtBites, to present an exploration of the representation of colonialism in art and food as inspired by the novel The Committed by Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen. We may not be able to share a kitchen at this time but we can virtually cook together and share a meal. Our evening will include a lecture over cocktails, and the preparation of dinner, followed by a book club discussion of The Committed, led by Julie Robinson, as we all sit down to enjoy what we have cooked. As a bonus you will receive a complimentary ticket to our Books & Bathrobes event with Viet Thanh Nguyen on April 13th.

A French inspired Vietnamese meal based on the novel. 

You will receive an email with the recipes and equipment needed before the event date.


Thursday, April 15

5:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Your own kitchen and table.

$115 per household.

Space is limited. NO REFUNDS.


The long-awaited new novel from one of America’s most highly regarded contemporary writers, The Committed follows the Sympathizer as he arrives in Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese “aunt,” he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise ― but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen, from the oppression of the state, to the self-torture of addiction, to the seemingly unresolvable paradox of how he can reunite his two closest friends, men whose worldviews put them in absolute opposition.

Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen’s position in the firmament of American letters.


Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. He is the author of The Sympathizer, which was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees, the nonfiction books Nothing Ever Dies and Race and Resistance, and editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California and a recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim and MacArthur foundations. He lives in Los Angeles.


Maite Gomez-Rejón is the founder of ArtBites. She has dedicated her career to exploring the nexus of art and culinary history through lectures, cooking classes, and tastings presented in museums across the country and on her YouTube channel – ArtBites: Cooking Art History. She has been a guest on the Today Show, featured in Food & Wine magazine, and interviewed on KCRW’s Good Food and NPR’s Splendid Table. Her essays and articles have been published in Life & Thyme, Eaten Magazine, Gastro Obscura and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History.