Just in time to usher in the Year of the Rooster, we’ve learned that a new documentary series will explore ancient Chinese cuisine! Confucius Was a Foodie! A new World Adventure in an Ancient Cuisine (13 episode x 1 hour each) is hosted by celebrity chef Christine Cushing and begins airing January 19th.
Confucius Was a Foodie! is inspired by the discovery that the 2,500-year-old philosopher Confucius was in fact a ‘gourmand.” Chinese cuisine has over 5,000 years of history. Each episode offers an in-depth look at the traditions and philosophies and how it has influenced food cultures around the world.
It’s worth scrolling through the show’s official website for morsels of foodie facts and discoveries that Chef Cushing has thoroughly researched through her travels and meetings. Learn about the different regions of Chinese cooking as well as the different types of Soy Sauce, and what utensils and woks are used in the kitchen. Also find great refreshers on food superstitions and etiquette as we head into the New Year feasts! Who else remembers their parents reminding you not to cut your noodles? Speaking of noodles, the site offers a great historical timeline for our much loved noodles. Do you know the difference between “mian” and “fun” ?
The series follows a journey of discovery as Chef Cushing explores Chinese food in North America and, through her three Chinese master Chef ‘guides’, learns about the five traditional Chinese cuisines and the place they hold in North American Chinese cuisine today. In later episodes, Cushing connects the dots between Chinese cuisine and culture with those of Greece, England, Italy, France and North America.
Chef Cushing has long been fascinated by how a cuisine is transported from country to country as a culture’s biggest ambassador and by the power of sharing food. Surprisingly, at every turn Christine discovers how much she and Confucius have in common when it comes to food!
Viewers will recognize many celebrity guests including: Susur Lee, Ming Tsai, Ana Olson, Massimo Capra, Jacob Richler, Alvin Leung, Michael Fagan, Janet Hsieh, Fuchsia Dunlop, Vanessa Yeung, and Rob Rainford.
The show will air in Canada nightly in English on New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD) during the channel’s free preview window on both Rogers (channel 817) and Bell Fibe (channel 727), starting Jan. 19 at 7:30 p.m. ET until Feb. 2 (with a two-day interruption for special nights of Chinese New Year programming on Jan. 28 and 29).
NTD will also premiere a Mandarin version of the series on Chinese New Year’s Eve (Jan. 28) and then run six episodes nightly from Jan. 27 at a time to be announced., followed by six episodes nightly in Cantonese in February. The Chinese title for the series is “老外名廚學中餐,” or literally, “Western celebrity chef learns Chinese cuisine.”
The series will also air on National Geographic People in 87 countries in Asia, the Middle East and Africa from Feb. 23, 2017.