Sadly, while the term “stir-fry” is part of the American culinary vocabulary, the stir-fry technique remains misunderstood. Stir-fried dishes are often poorly prepared in restaurants and misrepresented in magazines and cookbooks. Grace Young, crowned the “Poet Laureate of the Wok” by her peers, has devoted her career to demystifying the art of stir-frying. Grace shares the odyssey of her culinary detective hunt and the research that went into writing Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. She explains how for centuries stir-frying has sustained the Chinese diaspora, reinventing itself from one immigrant culture to the next all across the globe. She also reveals how chop suey the faux stir-fry enabled the Chinese to overcome racism in America, and she shares some of the extraordinary cooking interviews she has conducted with Chinese home cooks from around the world.
Grace is also the author of The Breath of a Wok, and The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen, which both won the IACP’s Le Cordon Bleu International Cookbook Award. For many years, Grace was test kitchen director and director for food photography for Time-Life Books. She lives in New York City.
Grace is assisted by Chef Rebecca Wheeler, who last year was awarded the Barbara Tropp Memorial Internship in Beijing, China, by Women Chefs and Restaurateurs. Chef “Becca” leads ethnic food tours in Chicago and teaches cooking at Gallery 37 and The Wooden Spoon.
Recorded Saturday, September 25, 2010 at Kendall College.