Ching He-Huang may be a self-taught chef but she was taught by some of the best, her very own family. With a long line of traditional heritage, Taiwanese-born Ching helped out with a lot of the cooking growing up and moves to South Africa and later to London helped mold her tastes and styles but luckily for us (and our taste buds), she came back to her roots which included dishing up delicious Chinese cuisine. These days Ching has a plethora of bestselling cookbooks under her belt, well-loved cooking shows in the UK and the US, a line of utensils and tableware, and even her own mushrooms! Talk about giving Rachel Ray a real run for the money!
Just in time for the big festivities, Ching's Chinese New Year will be premiering February 10th at 5pm on the Cooking Channel offering up simple and tasty recipes, decoration ideas, and backstories on traditions all from beautiful Chinatown in San Francisco. Ching has the scoop on how to accomplish it all and since she is the pro, we had the chance to ask her all about it and then some.
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OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): For those unaware, OK, I'm talking about me, how do the animals come into play with the Chinese calendar?
Ching He-Huang: Well in the Chinese calendar there are twelve animals in the year and they go around in a cycle. None of the animals have a bad meaning so if you are that animal, you take on the characteristics of it. They're all positive traits. Like if you are born in the year of the dragon it means you are powerful and strong, the tiger is one of the luckiest signs, and the rat is very clever and homely and so on. Also right now we are coming into the year of the snake and they have really charming features. They're really social, clever, quick, you know, just like the animal. They're all good things!