Fuchsia Dunlop, award winning food writer of Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China, Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook and Land of Plenty is releasing a new cookbook on February 4, 2013 called Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking.
These easy to do recipes are a must-have for anyone who wants to cook delicious, authentic, healthy and simple home cook Chinese food. In fact, this book is suitable for those who are on a gluten-free diet and are vegetarians. It’s a great way to discover the simple, healthy and delicious easy to follow homemade Chinese foods and breakaway from the fried sweet and sour Chinese foods we commonly see in Take-outs or most Chinese Restaurants.
As a traveler, food and health enthusiast and writer, I was fascinated with the unusual route the cookbook author took at an early age. Fuchsia Dunlop left all familiarity in England, took up the Chinese language and traveled across to the world to China in the early 90s to learn Sichuan Cooking. How cool is that!
China was still a closed up country with little modern conveniences and Internet was hard to find and cell phones were almost unheard of. How did a young person survive in a totally foreign land and manage to live almost two years in a culture where professional cooking was still dominated by men? And foreigners were forbidden in many places and hotels were limited?
I had the privilege to speak with her through Skype arranged by Diane Drey of Chinese Cooking in China. Diane wanted an article to highlight Fuchsia Dunlop and her new cookbook.
Here is part of the interview (click and listen):
During our conversation I discovered Fuchsia is an adventurous, curious, fun loving and eager learner. Her sense of adventure, curiosity and unparalleled work ethic brought her to her destiny and success. She is an amazing food writer who has won many awards including the James Beard Award for Food Culture and Travel in 2012, and has been shortlisted for four other James Beard Awards.
That is not a surprise since her love of writing started when she was a child where she kept a journal. Even today, you will see her with her journal, camera and iPhone. Fuchsia is a great fan of M.F.K. Fisher, a distinguished American food writer and the many professional knowledgeable chefs in China.
Before arriving in China in the early 90s, Fuchsia thought it was a monochrome regimented country. The chaotic, colorful, exciting culture and lifestyle took her by surprised. The food was far more delicious and exciting and sophisticated than expected.
It takes one to get out there to grasp the magnitude of a culture and its people. Today, China is easier for travelers to travel because of better communication and transportation systems.
Young people today can take a gap year or working holiday to anywhere in the world to discover their passion, destiny without compromising on their education. With the availability of Internet the world is becoming easier to travel. Fuchsia’s advice to young people who want to travel to China or seek a career in cooking:
• Eat everything (of course at a clean place)
• Learn the language
• Be curious
• Work hard
• Travel far and discover great sights
Note: Thanks to Fuchsia Dunlop for taking time out of her busy schedule to speak with me. You can find her at http://www.fuchsiadunlop.com/ and follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/fuchsiadunlop
Remember to get her new cookbook Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking on sale February 4, 2013.