Ken is a much-admired chef and the world’s leading authority on Chinese cooking. He is also an author and popular British television presenter.
He was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona–his Cantonese parents emigrated to the US in the 1920s. Growing up, he found American food unpalatable compared with his mother’s cooking, so she sent him to school with a flask of hot rice and stir-fried vegetables, much to the envy of his friends.
In 1969, Ken Hom went to university in California, where he funded his tuition by giving cooking lessons. They proved to be so popular that he was recommended to the BBC by Madhur Jaffrey; Ken’s first Chinese cookery programme followed soon after. Ken has also taught many great chefs, including Charlie Trotter, who went on to open the famous Trotters restaurant in Chicago. Ken has cooked for many politicians, including Tony and Cherie Blair, the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the presidents Taiwan and France, as well as the Sultan of Brunei.
Ken’s TV series, named Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery, was a huge success and the companion book became one of the best-selling cookbooks ever published by BBC Books, selling more than 1.5 million copies.
He has since appeared in a number of prime time BBC TV series that have sold throughout the world. His series for KBS, a five hour documentary on the history of noodle, sold in 23 countries and won the prestigious Peabody award in 2010.
Hom is an author of more than 20 cookbooks. Alongside his best known work on Chinese cuisine, his works also include topics on Cambodian, Malaysian, Thai, Singaporean, and Vietnamese cooking. He has worked as a consultant for hotels and restaurants and cooked personally for presidents, celebrities and royalty.
On 12 September 2007, Hom received an honorary doctorate from Oxford Brookes University, England in recognition of his “outstanding success within the international food world”.
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One of the greats of oriental cooking, Ken Hom is in a league of his own when it comes to presenting and speaking about Chinese food.