This lady who became a culinary master was called, by chef Horng, the Julia Child of dumplings and roast duck. But she was so much more, as that earlier tribute indicated. Born in Dailian, in the northeast of China, she spent her first nineteen years there. That was during the Japanese occupation.
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This lady who became a culinary master was called, by chef Horng, the Julia Child of dumplings and roast duck. But she was so much more, as that earlier tribute indicated. Born in Dailian, in the northeast of China, she spent her first nineteen years there. That was during the Japanese occupation. After that, she moved to Taiwan, specifically to Taipei.
She married there, and her culinary career was born. It was after her marriage that she learned to cook. Thereafter, hers was a long career, spanning four decades on TV, alone. It began in , went on to be syndicated, and continued for one year shy of forty years. As its hostess, she introduced more than four thousand different Chinese dishes, most she developed and demonstrated.
Fu was often invited to demonstrate in Japan. She also taught in other countries, mostly in Chinese. On and off the air, she promoted Chinese cooking. She assisted food companies and the airlines to improve their food, and for them and everyone, she was concerned with the taste, texture, and presentation of Chinese food.
Many called her an ambassador of Taiwanese cooking and culture. This was a far cry from the first job she had working at a trading company, or another when she appeared on TV promoting electric appliances for the home. Fu Pei Mei had three children, two girls and a boy. One of her daughters, and sometimes her daughter-in-law, assisted her on TV in her later years.
They were co-authors of a few of her many cookbooks, some of the cooking card sets she put out, and one or the other might join her at her lectures and other appearances. However, Fu Pei Mei wrote most of her cookbooks alone. It started out self-published, and later was done by a commercial publisher. In addition, she produced cookery cards and specific holiday volumes, cooperated with other authors, and helped many put out their own cookbooks.
Her books, with each revision, became more sophisticated. Every edition had a full-color picture, at least half page in size, of each completed recipe. So through words and illustrations, hundreds of thousands--first in Taiwan and then everywhere, could read and follow her recipes and make their efforts match those of this talented self-taught teacher.
Many have cooked from her books done solo, and more recently, others have used those written with her daughter, Angela Cheng. Those written with Theresa H. Lin are those done with her daughter-in-law. Most books were originally published in Taiwan, a few published first in Hong Kong or Singapore. Fu Pei Mei died at age seventy three of cancer and she will sorely be missed. The world has lost a terrific educator and encourager of fine Chinese food. Taiwan has lost a great culinary and cultural ambassador.
Her family has lost a mother and grandmother. Three of her books were illustrated in the hard copy of this issue; they are but a small number of the fifty or so she wrote. Of the total, half are only in Chinese, most others are bilingual. The latest editions of these three have not only a picture of the finished dish, but several others of steps in the process of making it. If you own or purchase them, or saw or get to see any of her TV re-runs of what was a Sunday afternoon ritual watching Fu Pei Mei, you know the talents of this terrific culinary artist.
If you have not, we suggest you honor her memory, by doing so soon; and by buying one or more of her phenomenal cookbooks.
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By: Luke Tsai Then she taught their American kids to cook too. Meet the remarkable Fu Pei-mei. On the bare-bones set of her long-running series, Fu Pei-mei Time, she wears a mom apron and sports a tidy Asian-mom perm. Fifteen years after her death in , Fu remains the most famous culinary figure Taiwan has ever produced. The show aired in Mandarin, but Fu also spoke English, Japanese, and Hokkien, allowing her to spend the latter part of her career traveling the world as a kind of culinary ambassador. She had a Chinese cooking show in Japan for several years.
Pei Mei's Chinese Cook Book, Volume III ['Pei Mei Shi Pu (3)]