Veteran chef serves up his stir-fried life story
On a visit to Hong Kong, ‘all of a sudden I was no longer an alien’, says celebrity Chinese master of cuisine
in the UK
integrating various ethnic minorities. When I go around this country, I’m convinced that they’ve done a better job at it.”
Hom lived in the US during a particularly divisive and difficult time for a Chinese- face warming with the memory. “All of a sudden I was no longer an alien, which is a sensation I had never experienced. There was this kind of resurgence in pride I had, of not only being Chinese but being Cantonese. It’s that kind of feeling, Oh my God, I’m home! Even though we were in Chinatown in the States, we were a small island in a sea of non-Chinese.”
Hom said that, professionally, he has been happy to see not only Chinese food but the work of chefs fall increasingly under the spotlight in the UK.
“Cooking was not really a desirable career when I started out. Now, you can’t turn TV chefs off; you’re inundated. It’s glamorous now. And you see this shift that young people want to become chefs, which was unheard of,” he said.
“The upshot of the whole thing is that the British people have become more sophisticated about Chinese food.”
And he said Brits are now demanding more authentic Chinese food and moving away from the sweet-and-sour stereotype.
“More and more ingredients are available. If you go to some of the emporiums here, they are incredible,” he said. “So, the opportunities are enormous. People are still hungry for it, and ready to take Chinese food to the next level.”
After decades in the kitchen, top chef Ken Hom is ready to share his story. Ken Hom,