Beijing

THE KITCHEN WISDOM OF CECILIA CHIANG
Mother Knows Best

THE KITCHEN WISDOM OF CECILIA CHIANG: Mother Knows Best

 

In 1961, Cecilia Chiang, introduced America to authentic Chinese food when she opened her internationally renowned restaurant The Mandarin in San Francisco. She introduced Szechuan, Hunan and Beijing cuisine, and revolutionized Chinese cooking in America. In this series, top chefs of the Bay Area invite Cecilia into their kitchens to recreate some of her classic dishes.

 

Mother Knows Best
Cecilia and Chef Gary Danko recreate the Mandarin’s crispy Szechuan duck and then Gary shows Cecilia his lemon pepper duck breast with confit duck hash.

 

THE KITCHEN WISDOM OF CECILIA CHIANG
The Long Walk

THE KITCHEN WISDOM OF CECILIA CHIANG: The Long Walk

 

In 1937, the Japanese invaded China and by 1939 they arrived in Beijing, seizing most of the large family compound and with it, Cecilia’s idyllic and privileged youth. By 1941 there wasn’t enough food for the family so Cecilia and her number five sister (she had nine in total), fled on foot through Japanese occupied territory. They walked more than 1,000 miles and it took almost six months to reach the safety of “Free China.” In this episode, Cecilia joins Laurence Jossel, chef and owner of Nopa. Like Cecilia, South African-born Jossel came a long way to open a restaurant in San Francisco. Cecilia shows Laurence how to make “beggar’s chicken,” a whole, stuffed chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and then clay, and baked for at least two hours. It comes out of the oven with a hard shell that must be smashed with a mallet to open.

 

Soul of a Banquet

 

Director Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) ventures into the world of Cecilia Chiang, the woman who introduced America to authentic Chinese food. Chiang opened her internationally renowned restaurant The Mandarin in 1961 in San Francisco and went on to change the course of cuisine in America. The film is equal parts delectable showcase of gastronomy and touching portrait of Chiang’s journey from a childhood in Beijing before the Cultural Revolution to accidental restaurateur on the west coast of the United States. Featuring interviews with Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl and Chiang herself.