Category Archives: Stories

Dumplings & Dynasties – Serving the Banquet

Dumplings & Dynasties Table Setting

When I prepare a dinner party at home I try very hard to put together a plan with menu, ingredients list, preparation schedule, dinner service schedule and all. But I have never been able to put together a foolproof plan. There would always be last minute items I forgot to buy or cook. Warren will always be the one to rescue me by going across the street to Pathmark and get whatever I forgot. Now imagine working with a group of star chefs preparing a six-course Chinese banquet for 250 guests at the James Beard Foundation gala dinner and auction. The logistical problems as you can imagine increased many fold.

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Dumplings & Dynasties – Before the Storm

Chefs at Press Preview

What’d you do when an opportunity comes up to meet star Chinese chefs from all over the world, and work with them in a kitchen presenting a banquet? You jump at it. That was the offer a little over a month ago from a friend at the James Beard Foundation. They needed someone who spoke Mandarin to help escort and assist the chefs from China during their gala auction and conference. I immediately agreed to volunteer. After a full month of coordinating with the foundation, I finally spent four days with the chefs last week. What follows is the story of a journey through the world of star chefs that’s harrowing, entertaining, educational and, most of all, fun.

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Interview with Mitchell Davis of the James Beard Foundation

Dumplings and Dynasties

Recently I conducted an email interview with Mitchell Davis, who is the vice president of the James Beard Foundation. The foundation in staging a three day fund raising event in New York including a Gala Dinner and Auction on November 13th, and a two-day culinary conference on November 14th and 15th. Known as Dumplings & Dynasties the event celebrates Chinese cuisine and culture. As promised, here is the full text of the interview.

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Foodbuzz Publisher Community Launches

Foodbuzz Logo

If you’ve been a reader of food blogs during the last year it is very likely you’ve encountered the Foodbuzz banners. They’re hard to avoid. More than one thousand food bloggers are already Featured Publishers of Foodbuzz. And the main Foodbuzz site is currently one of the top ten Internet destinations for food and dining. The Foodbuzz team has already reached this level of achievement even before the official launch of their Featured Publishers community on October 13th.

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The White Rabbit Candy Incident

White Rabbit Creamy Candy

I routinely read Asian news reports on several Chinese language Web sites, and this Friday morning was no different. But on that morning as I read the alarming and ever expanding number of news reports on tainted Chinese dairy products, I started feeling a growing unease at my regular consumption of Chinese food products. After an announcement on September 21st by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore that melamine was detected in the White Rabbit Creamy Candy from China, the candy was pulled off the shelves in many Asian markets. The Manufacturer finally announced a recall in China on Friday. As it happens White Rabbit Creamy Candy is one of my favorite candies. I’ve enjoyed them since my youth in Singapore and continue to purchase them here in New York’s Chinatown. After discarding my White Rabbit candies at home I wonder how I can keep my food supply safe.

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Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Mid-Autumn Festival Banquet

Dining Under Red Lanterns


Photography by Ron Boszko

In Chinese cultures the Mid-Autumn Festival is the most anticipated holiday after Chinese New Year. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, which fell on September 14th this year. While my family celebrated on that day with a traditional family gathering and an evening of sumptuous food and mooncakes, I am using this opportunity presented by FoodBuzz to celebrate again with my “extended family” in my new neighborhood of Harlem USA.

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Why I’ve Been Making Mooncakes

Foodbuzz 24 24 24

The word is out! There was a reason why I’ve been working so hard at making these mooncakes. Take a look at what I myself and other bloggers will be doing this weekend. Come back on Sunday, September 21, and read all about it. There are more mooncake flavors to come!

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“100 Chinese Foods” from Diana

Chinese Foods 100

Following in the footsteps of the Omnivore’s 100 quiz Diana Kuan, at Appetite for China, has created a “100 Chinese Foods to Try Before You Die” list. Diana listed 100 food items of Chinese or Asian origin to see if you’ve tried. It is probably not fair for me to take this quiz as I grew up with many of these items, and continue to explore them whenever I travel to Asia or China. But it is a fun list! So here it is… I scored 92 and there are two items that I wouldn’t be caught dead trying.

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Random Facts Meme from Bron

Random Facts Collage

I often wondered what I would do when someone tagged me for a meme. I’ve read quite a few memes along my online travel. Although I find them to be fun they can be rather silly. Then Bron at Feast with Bron tagged me. I was amazed by the power of the Internet to connect people. I’ve not heard of Bron before. I don’t even know Bron’s gender. But here is someone who’s been reading my blog and I am now connected to him or her. Not just a reader from New York. But someone from London! Well for that I feel the need to participate.

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Yummy Mummy Got Some Love, I Got an Award

Arte Award

In this world there are those who nurture and those who are nurtured. Kim, the Yummy Mummy, is the poster girl of the nurturers. It was her encouragement that started me writing Red Cook, and she continues to be a champion of my blog. So when she received the Arte Award from NTSC at The Art of the Pig, I thought it was truly appropriate and well deserved. But then I received a complete surprise when she in turn bestowed the same award to me.

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