Food on BBC Two
Nigella cooks up an Italian feast for BBC Two as raft of new food programming is announced
Eat, Drink, Cook China
This series has been a voyage of discovery for me. It has deepened my love of Chinese food and it has given me great hope for the future of this ancient cuisine."Ken Hom
Set against the backdrop of ancient and modern Asia together they embark on a journey of rediscovery and an emotional homecoming. Through the people they meet, cook and eat with they get beneath the skin of this rapidly evolving and hugely important nation.
Ken and Ching have transformed how we cook, eat and view Chinese food and have deep personal connections to the country. Though neither were born on Chinese soil their love of food has kept them close to their family roots in the nation. They share a creative restlessness that inspires them to innovate and challenge Chinese cooking conventions and whilst in China they delve into the conflict between tradition and innovation that is at the heart of China's food culture.
Their 5000 mile journey will take them from the towering megacities in the east to the forgotten villages of the Wild West. They'll travel back into the country's Imperial Past, tasting the favoured dishes of its Emperors and finding out how the Cultural Revolution tried to eradicate China's culinary heritage. They'll be rolling up their sleeves and whipping out their woks in the kitchens of cutting edge chefs, noodle masters, tribal families and Buddhist monks as they seek to master both classic and regional dishes, from bamboo chicken and twice cooked pork to spicy street snacks and delicious dim sum.
Beginning in the vibrant capital of Beijing - famed for its Peking duck, hand pulled noodles and mouth-watering dumplings - Ken and Ching explore everything from the city that China has presented to the west to the unfamiliar rural outlying areas in the shadow of the Great Wall. They next travel through China's spicy Sichuan heartland, where the chilli pepper is king and hot pot is a hearty classic before exploring the influence and cuisine of minority cultures in Yunnan, and the mystical Northern city of Kashgar, lying on the ancient Silk Road.
Ching says: “I am delighted and thrilled to be traveling across China with Ken Hom (my cooking idol). I am looking forward to learning and sharing as much as possible. It is an exciting time to be in modern China and through food I want to experience the past, present and a glimpse of the potential future and what it means to be ‘Chinese’ in the 21st century.”
Ken says: "This series has been a voyage of discovery for me. It has deepened my love of Chinese food and it has given me great hope for the future of this ancient cuisine. I want to share my experience with the world! It was a coming home for me and my Chinese heritage."
The series (4x60) was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller, BBC Two and Alison Kirkham, Commissioning Editor for Features and Formats BBC One and Two. The Commissioning Executive at the BBC is Tom Edwards and Paula Trafford is executive producing for KEO Films.
Tom Edwards added: "China is one of the most important nations on the planet, but can sometimes appear challenging and remote. Food is a fantastically compelling way to enter this rich, vibrant world and explore the people, culture and even politics of a country that plays a significant role in shaping all of our lives. Plus Ken and Ching's food also happens to be mouth-wateringly good!"
Paula Trafford said: “China is set to become the most powerful country on earth so what better way to understand a culture than through it's cuisine - especially for a nation where food is absolutely at its heart.”
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