“Everything I learned about life and cooking was in the kitchen with my mom.” In her latest book, Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook, Chef Katie Chin shares 101 delicious recipes and inspiring stories from her mother’s kitchen.
Chef Katie Chin’s mother, Leeann Chin, moved from China to Minnesota with her husband during the 1950s. She longed for the tastes of her childhood and planted a garden with bok choy and long beans. As a seamstress who made 50 cents an hour, Leeann proved that perseverance will help get you through anything, and she always had a passion for cooking. After catering a party with authentic Chinese dishes she loved from her childhood, Leann Chin was approached by the owner of the Minnesota Twins along with Sean Connery to launch her own restaurant. Leann Chin’s life lessons of perseverance and pursuing your joy still resonate with her daughter, Chef Katie Chin. How special that Chef Katie Chin and her mother both shared the joy of cooking. Double Happiness is a special Chinese character and that is the name of the PBS show which Leann and Katie Chin co-hosted several years ago. Chef Katie Chin continues to share her mother’s legacy and joy of cooking Chinese food on her own cooking show Katie Woks on Nom.
Here are three great takeaway tips from Chef Katie Chin for making Chinese dishes:
- Go to your local salad bar for stir fry vegetables.
- Use neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil for stir fry. The nuttiness of olive oil will interfere with taste of Chinese food.
- Use leftover cooked rice chilled overnight for fried rice. The grains will separate better and be less mushy.
Chef Katie Chin is a dear friend, and I am constantly inspired by her passion for teaching others to cook while honoring her late mother. Like Chef Katie, I too learned so many life lessons in the kitchen. My father’s joie de vivre continues to inspire me in my own culinary journey.
Who inspired you in your kitchen?
Savor the day!