About Great Food

Ken Hom's "Foolproof Chinese Cookery"

Ken Hom is widely regarded as the world's greatest authority on Chinese cooking. A favorite television host in Great Food's first two seasons, Season Three features Ken cooking from his home in southern France. Over six episodes, Ken sets out to prove that the most favorite Chinese dishes of all time are all easily accomplished at home. Indeed, Ken believes that his step-by-step instructions provides Great Food viewers with "foolproof" Chinese cookery.

"My knowledge and love of Chinese cookery came from watching and imitating chefs at my uncle's restaurant, where I was a young apprentice," remembers Ken. "Later, as a culinary professor, I was struck by the fact that although many of my students had read about various techniques in one or more of the many fine Chinese cookbooks available, it was only when they saw them demonstrated that they really understood them. And only then could they attempt to duplicate what I had shown them. The step-by-step procedures that I developed became the basis of my teaching and I used them extensively as a broadcaster. They form the backbone of the recipes in this book. The cliché about pictures being worth a thousand words is more valid than ever."

"China has one of the world's oldest culinary traditions. Its cuisine is unique because it developed independently of the West. Because of the ancient, insular civilization, poor transportation network, lack of arable land, shortage of fuels and lack of ovens, Chinese chefs were forced to accommodate their art to necessity. Later, as the Chinese moved abroad, they took this culinary heritage with them. If one wishes to understand the essence of Chinese cooking, therefore, it is important to make a cultural leap of faith."

"Chinese cooks are engaged in creating harmony. The size and shape of the food, the fragrances and the contrasting tastes and textures are all part of the final result. Our aim is to attain a balance between all these elements. Often when I demonstrate, people are surprised by the simplicity and logic of this ancient cuisine. The tools we use are remarkably few and simple and the techniques so effective that cooks from other cuisines now use many of them."

"Watching Great Food, my viewers will see that Chinese cooking is really not very complex. The step-by-step instruction and the thoroughly tested recipes will help my viewers achieve success. However, I believe people should be bold. They should trust their own palates. Follow the techniques and recipes, but feel free to add their own touches. Adjust, invent, as Chinese cooks have done for centuries.

"It is my hope that the pleasure Great Food viewers gain from making these foolproof recipes, will give them the confidence of a true Chinese cook."

Ken has been the host of many top-rated television series in the United Kingdom. He is the author of many best-selling books, including "Illustrated Chinese Cookery," "Hot Wok," "Travels with a Hot Wok" and the award-winning "Easy Family Dishes: A Memoir with Recipes." He is the Group Consultant Chef for the Oriental Restaurant Group which includes the Yellow River Café and restaurants.



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