Celebrity chef Christine Cushing travels the world in search of knowledge and deliciousness for all things Chinese.
“Confucius Was a Foodie,” airs Friday nights at 9 p.m. beginning April 5. This new eight-part series shows how Cushing uncovers the fascinating traditions, philosophies and history of Chinese culinary culture and its influence on all other food around the world.
Cushing believes that 2,500-year-old Chinese philosopher Confucius was actually a food connoisseur, so she sets out across North America, Europe and throughout Southeast Asia in search of connections to the gastronomics from the great Chinese philosopher.
You’ll also earn 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 baklava. In Paris, she discovers that crepes have Chinese roots.
“Origins of the Beginnings”: Everything has its origins somewhere. When it comes to food, roots are often Chinese – and Chinese beginnings in the culinary and cultural world go back more than 5,000 years. In this episode, Chef Christine looks for the culinary roots of foods such as ice cream, ketchup, pasta, phyllo, baklava and pizza.
“Confucius and the Origin of Food Philosophy”: A great philosopher once said, “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” Christine sets off to compare the thoughts and beliefs of food writers and philosophers.
“Celebration, Ceremonies and the Dumpling”: Christine eats her way through the Chinese Solar Lunar calendar with traditional customs, cuisine and culture. The calendar appears to have a dumpling for every occasion.
“Noodles: Long for Life, Food of Legends”: Birthday parties and baby naming ceremonies all wish for the same thing-a long life. Longevity is symbolized by the noodle in Chinese culinary culture with more kinds of noodles than one can possibly imagine.
“The Big Picture”: Christine meets her Chinese chef mentors and discovers many of her assumptions about the beginnings of this cuisine in North America might not actually be true.
“Cantonese”: Christine’s Cantonese adventure provides one surprise after another making her question what she has previously considered ‘Cantonese’. The history both breaks her heart and excites her for deeper exploration into traditional Chinese cuisines.
“Sichuan”: Christine ventures into the world of Sichuan (Szechwan) cuisine and discovers the surprise of flavor over heat, as well as a rich cultural history from Chinese roots to main street Chinatowns across North America.
“Sweet”: Christine explores the great big flavor of sweet in Chinese immigrant communities in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia.