Lotus Foods Founders Launch Cookbook, ‘Rice Is Life’


Lotus Foods, a Richmond, California, based company that focuses on importing handcrafted rice from small family farms to the United States, announced the nationwide launch of Rice Is Life, the first cookbook from company founders Caryl Levine and Ken Lee. Written by acclaimed cookbook author Kristin Donnelly and published by Chronicle Books, Rice Is Life celebrates the world’s most important staple food through 65 easy-to-cook recipes.

Additionally, the cookbook features essays on rice culture and the importance of sustainable rice agriculture, showing how rice plays a part in uplifting people across the globe. The cookbook was also written with the goal to encourage consumers to discover more about the stories and people behind their food and how it is produced.

“This book was more than 25 years in the making, a love story of sorts about the incredible diversity of a common grain that sustains half the world’s people,” said Levine and Lee. “We often hear that people are intimidated to cook rice. One of our objectives for Rice Is Life is to help people become comfortable with cooking rice and rice noodles and to provide them with easy, inspiring recipes.”

“Caryl and Ken bring a unique perspective drawn from their deep knowledge of rice and rice cookery over the past two decades,” said Sarah Billingsley, Editorial Director of Food & Lifestyle at Chronicle Books. “Rice is Life is a beautiful exploration of the diversity and versatility of rice with recipes emphasizing easy, weeknight cooking, and embracing a myriad of culinary traditions and new trends.”

Early praise for the cookbook includes:

Tu David Phu, chef, community ambassador, and filmmaker: “Rice Is Life beautifully illustrates the complexities of rice varieties, origins, and history, proving rice is anything but monolithic. It’s more than just white rice.”

Wil Yeung, host of Yeung Man Cooking and cookbook author: “Rice Is Life is an incredibly fascinating cookbook that tells a bit of a love story about rice production, the culture that it encompasses, and the extraordinarily elegant recipes you can create with rice.”

Rachel Conners, author of Bakerita: “Rice Is Life is for rice lovers. This book delves deep into the history of rice and all its varieties, plus how to cook, store, and season them. That’s before we even get into the delicious recipes: twists on traditional classics such as Spring Minestrone with White Beans and Black Rice, Sesame-Ginger Noodle Salad with Green Beans, and Portobello Ramen Burgers with ramen noodles as the bun! Throughout the book are stories of culture and rice’s integral place in societies around the world, and beautiful photos that will have you hopping into the kitchen to cook. This book is a tribute to this incredible grain. You’ll have so much fun delving into the world of rice with Levine and Lee as your knowledgeable guides.”