Sixteen-year-old Sarah (it’s pronounced SAH-rah, thank you) has a successful blog creating fusion recipes. When Sarah is invited to compete on Cyber Chef, a virtual cooking competition that soars in popularity at the height of the pandemic, her twists on her Baba’s recipes are not enough to pique the palate of the show’s producers. She is pushed to present dishes that represent her Filipinx culture, but these flavours are foreign to her since her parents raised her emphatically Jewish. To survive Cyber Chef and find her cultural identity, Sarah must discover why her mother turned her back on all things Filipinx, and learn the true meaning of fusion.
“Lessons in Fusion is a deep dive into what it means to embrace your identity and decide for yourself who you are; not who the rest of the world sees you to be. In Sarah, Primrose Madayag Knazan has created a fully realized main character who wants to embrace both her Jewish and Filipino heritage, but feels held back and torn between her mother’s complicated past and a television network’s desire for her to be a diversity box they can check off. This is a beautiful story that highlights family, traditions, identity and the strength one girl finds to rise above everyone else’s expectations – all while making us hungry for snacks like Furikake Popcorn and White Chocolate Chai Almond Butter Cookies!” – Sidura Ludwig, author of You Are Not What We Expected