Chinese cuisines use sugar very differently from Western cuisines, and Christine starts her comparison in Paris and Athens where she looks at how Westerners interpret sweet. Traditionally, for the Chinese, sugar is predominantly used to achieve balance, but the liberal use of sugars in South East Asia Chinese cuisines are a culinary surprise. Sweet is most traditionally found in the simple and omnipresent ingredient rice, so Cushing is off to the rice paddies of Malaysia follow the process... [see more] of planting and processing. A visit to the night market in Bangkoks China town with food writer Chawadee Nualkhair reveals the Thai sweet tooth. In Singapore, she connects with world famous pastry chef Janice Wong who is turning the sweet worlds of Singapore, Macau and Japan on their ear.
celebrity chef and former Food Network host Christine Cushing takes viewers on a voyage of discovery, uncovering the fascinating traditions, philosophies and history of Chinese culinary culture and its surprising influence on food around the world. Christines motivation to embark on this journey is her discovery that 2,500-year-old Chinese philosopher Confucius was actuallya foodie. From exploring Chinese cuisines in North America to the culinary politics of Taiwan, the tasty richness of Hong Kong, and the blended flavors of South East Asia, Christine finds connections to the gastronomic precepts of the great Chinese philosopher both ancient and modern. Each episode features Christine as a culinary adventurer, fearlessly leading viewers to a deeper appreciation of our world through a gourmand filter. In Italy Christine questions the origins of pizza, in Greece she uncovers the beginnings of her beloved baklava, and in Paris she discovers that crêpes have Chinese roots. Featuring celebrity guests such as Anna Olson, chef Wan, Ming Tsai, Alvin Leung, and Janet Hsieh, CONFUCIUS WAS A FOODIE shakes up foodie myths, and takes a delicious look at the historical and contemporary landscape of Chinese cuisine.