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Taiwan-born TV chef keeping Chinese cooking in spotlight in UK

2011/05/20 17:22:08

London, May 20 (CNA) Taiwan-born Ching-He Huang has built averitable Chinese cooking brand in Great Britain by unraveling thesecrets of Chinese cuisine in her popular TV series and recipe books.

Her most recent work, called Ching's Fast Food, was published inBritain last month and again demonstrated why she has commanded sucha large following in not just the United Kingdom but in manyother English-speaking countries.

"I think Ching's adaptations are really easy and quick. A lot ofthe recipes are sort of 7 minutes to 10 minutes to prepare and 10minutes to cook, " said Carole Tonkinson, a publisher at HarperCollins who has worked with Huang on her three most recent books.

"She's the first, the biggest name in Chinese cookery activetoday anywhere, I think, in English-language territories," Tonkinsontold the Central News Agency.

Huang said she drew inspiration for the book from fans who wroteto her that they loved Chinese food from take-out restaurants andwanted to learn how to cook the dishes at home.

But because Chinese food outlets in Britain cover a broadspectrum of quality levels, Huang decided to simplify the process bywriting a book that taught people the easy and healthy way to preparethe dishes.

She said each of her 110 recipes takes an average of 30 minutesto cook, ideal for the modern lifestyle, according to her publisher.

"People want food they can make after work that's easy andhealthy," Tonkinson said.

Huang, who did not receive any formal cooking training, explainedthat ideas for new recipes can come anytime and anywhere, while onthe road or dreaming in bed.

"I like to experiment, and I enjoy eating. I also like to go toother countries to see what they eat," she said.

Tonkinson said Huang's three books published by Harper Collins,including her most recent work, have sold 250,000 copies in the U.K.and are now available in 20 to 25 countries around the world.

But Huang is now hoping to develop a larger following across theAtlantic Ocean. Ching's Fast Food will be published in the UnitedStates later this year, and she has been invited to do a cookingseries in San Francisco that is expected to be aired in August.

The 33-year-old Huang was born in Taipei but spent most of herearly childhood in South Africa before her parents moved to Londonwhen she was 11 years old.

Educated at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University ofLondon and Bocconi Business School in Milan, she opened a foodcompany after graduation, selling health drinks and adapting Chinesedishes that made inroads into upscale department stores, such asHarrods and Selfridges.

Huang is known for her cookery programs, her first being Ching'sKitchen, which was first shown on UKTV Food in 2005. Her Chinese FoodMade Easy series aired in 2008 launched her to stardom and she hosteda 13-part cookery series on Five in 2010.

Her first recipe book, China Modern, was published in 2006 andwas followed by Chinese Food Made Easy in 2008 and Ching's ChineseFood in Minutes in 2009, the latter two published by Harper Collins.

(By Jennifer Huang and Lilian Wu)
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