From novels to noodles with Jen Lin-Liu
Play • 37 min

“China is an amazingly diverse place in terms of food” - Jen Lin-Liu

Jen Lin-Liu is a journalist, memoirist and founder of Beijing based culinary school Black Sesame Kitchen. In this episode she talks about life as a journalist abroad and how she discovered cooking while writing her travel memoirs Serve the People and On the Noodle Road. Just before this episode was recorded Jen also opened her second restaurant, Qianmen Kitchen, inspired by her travels across Asia, The Middle East and Europe.

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Topics discussed in this episode:

Cooking and the Chinese Cuisine 

  • I was the typical Chinese-American kid, becoming a chef or a restauranteur was definitely not in my cards. 
  • You rarely do see female chefs in professional kitchens in China.
  • China is an amazingly diverse place in terms of food.

Traveling and Expat-life

  • It's been a great experience for our children to understand that the world is not just their immediate community.
  • I traveled from Beijing to Rome, which is a trip I did overland 6000 miles.
  • I could spend my whole lifetime studying Chinese food.

Resources Mentioned:

Jen Lin-Liu (link)
Black Sesame Kitchen (link)
Qianmen Kitchen (link)
Peter Hessler trilogy (link)
Serve the People by Jen Lin-Liu (link)
On The Noodle Road by Jen Lin-Liu (link)
Missionaries by Phil Klay (link)
The Sellout by Paul Beatty (link)

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