The lonely life of the Chinese chef

Chef Zhang in the CIA kitchens

Recently I went with the head chef of Barshu, Zhang Xiaozhong, to give some presentations at the Worlds of Flavour conference at the Culinary Institute of America (generally known, amusingly, as the CIA). As we were driving back to San Francisco after the event, I asked Chef Zhang about his plans for the Chinese New Year, and he replied with this wistful little poem about the life of the chef, slaving away over a hot stove while everyone else celebrates with their families:

他人家中聚   Other people gather in their homes

我望锅中油   I gaze at the oil in the wok

妙手烹万物   Using my subtle hands to cook ten thousand


厨房度春秋   Working in the kitchen as the seasons pass

4 Responses to “The lonely life of the Chinese chef”

  1. Betty Vázquez

    It was a pleasure to meeto both of you, and just sad to see chef´s eyes and not being able to comunicate, He has a wonderful smile, and a warm look

    my best to both of you,

  2. Paul

    I wish I’d known you were in the States! The “Future Events” link over there –> isn’t working.

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