Sunday, January 15, 2006

Fu Pei-Mei: Legend of Chinese cooking

Fu Pei-Mei: Legend of Chinese cooking dies at 73
Those of you who learned to cook Chinese food with cookbooks by Fu
Pei-Mei should know that she passed away in Taiwan on 9/16/04. The
following news article is from So sad!
Apparently, Fu was also a TV Chef personality like Julia Child, having
demonstrated over 4000 dishes in her TV career! And, also like Child,
Fu learned to cook later on in her marriage. Read on:

Legend of Chinese cooking dies at 73

FOOD GURU: Fu Pei-mei, who built a reputation as one of the world's
foremost Chinese cooks through a 40-year career as a TV chef, died
after a battle with cancer

Friday, Sep 17, 2004,Page 4

Fu Pei-mei

Legendary chef Fu Pei-mei died of pancreatic cancer at the Veterans
General Hospital Taipei yesterday at the age of 73.

According to hospital sources, Fu had been fighting liver cancer, and
later pancreatic cancer, for seven years. Thanks to her open-minded
and optimistic attitude, she seldom complained about her diseases, a
family member said.

Despite her disease, the family member said, Fu took great delight in
traveling abroad.

"Travel helped her forget her debilitating illness," he added.

Fu wrote many cookbooks, teaching homemakers cooking skills, recipes
and the fun of family cooking. She is reputed to be the first Chinese
person to gain fame by writing cookbooks, and her works were once
considered vital for a bride's dowry.

Fu used to be the most popular television cooking show host in the
country. Starting in 1962, she hosted many weekly culinary programs at
Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) for almost 40 years, introducing
more than 4,000 different Chinese dishes. The programs have been
exported to the US, Japan, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian

Born in Dalian in northeastern China during the era of Japanese
colonial rule, Fu spoke fluent Japanese, and many Japanese expatriates
in Taiwan liked to study Chinese cuisine with her. Japan's public TV
channel NHK once invited her to host Chinese cooking programs.

During the heyday of her career -- from the 1970s to the 1990s -- Fu
helped promote Taiwan's international presence, as she was often
invited to demonstrate Chinese culinary art and skills in various

Fu also ran a cooking class that attracted many housewives and
brides-to-be. She closed the class some 10 years ago because of family
financial disputes, retired, and was seldom seen in public.

She moved to Taiwan at the age of 19 after the communists took control
of China, first working at a trading company and appearing in TV
commercials promoting electric home appliances. She began to learn how
to cook only after she married.

Fu is survived by two daughters and a son. One of her daughters and
her daughter-in-law are also versed in culinary skills. Despite this
family background, Fu never ran a restaurant.

1 comment:

john said...

How sad to read of Fu Pei-Mei' death. I found one of her books in a charity shop and hae been a 'devotee' of her cooking style ever since. She blazed the way for all aspiring cooks. I'm only glad to have found that book. I urge everyone to do their best to beg, buy or borrow a copy. Regards John