The Kitchen Wisdom of Cecilia Chiang

The Kitchen Wisdom of Cecilia Chiang

In this inspiring new lifestyle series from New Zealand, celebrity cook, food writer and author Annabel Langbein invites viewers to her idyllic lakeside cabin on the scenic shores of Lake Wanaka, where she creates simple, healthy and delicious meals for family and friends.

Season 1

1: A Legend Is Born

Cecilia Chiang was born almost 100 years ago in a China that no longer exists. In this episode, viewers get an overview of her amazing story from Beijing to San Francisco. Corey Lee, a three-star Michelin restaurant, invites Cecilia into his kitchen where she gives him a lesson in making “jowza,”or what we in America call “pot stickers.”

2: The Long Walk

Cecilia joins Laurence Jossel, chef and owner of Nopa. 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.

3: The Best Chinese Restaurant in America

Cecilia teams up with Nancy Oakes, chef/owner of Boulevard, a belle epoque eatery. Cecilia teaches Nancy and her chef Dana Youkins how to make “minced squab in lettuce cups,” a dish Cecilia created that became one of the signature dishes at the Mandarin.

4: Mother Knows Best

Cecilia cooks with Gary Danko who also learned about food from his mom. In the kitchens of Restaurant Gary Danko, where reservations are coveted like winning lottery tickets, Cecilia and Gary recreate the Mandarin’s crispy Szechuan duck and then Gary shows Cecilia his lemon pepper duck breast with confit duck hash.

5: Last Flight out of Shanghai

Cecilia joins Chef Keiko Takahashi, the first Japanese woman in the world to win a Michelin star. Cecilia shows Keiko the simplicity of the Mandarin’s whole steamed bass with ginger and scallions. Keiko reciprocates with an amazing 12 pound slab of Bluefin “Toro” tuna flown in from Japan.

6: Passing on the Wisdom

Well into her 90’s, Cecilia is still mentoring a new generation of San Francisco’s chefs. Corey Lee, a Korean American comes to her for professional advice; Tyler Florence asks Cecilia how to manage fame; and Belinda Leong, chef/co-owner and creator of b.patisserie is like a daughter to Cecilia and seeks out her counsel daily.