Culture, food and a tiny bit of science…
Celebrity Chef Christine Cushing takes viewers along as she explores the beginnings, the present and the future of Chinese cuisine in North America.
A New World Adventure
in an Ancient Cuisine
Chinese cuisine is perhaps the oldest and most sophisticated organized cuisine in the world, consumed by hundreds of millions everyday and influencing other world cuisines in interesting and unexpected ways. It boasts over 5,000 years of history, yet how much do we really know about it?
Confucius Was a Foodie is a 13 x 1 hr documentary series in which celebrity chef and former Food Network host Christine Cushing takes viewers on a voyage of fun and delicious discovery, exploring the best Chinese food imaginable and uncovering the fascinating traditions, philosophies and history of Chinese culinary culture and its surprising influence on food culture around the world.
Under the guidance of master chef guides and other experts who have made Chinese cuisine their life’s work, Christine cooks and eats her way through North America, Europe and Asia, visiting kitchens, festivals, celebrations and award-winning restaurants around the world. It’s a learning adventure she describes as one of the most interesting and enlightening in her entire career as a chef.
Viewers and celebrity guests, including Anna Olson, Ming Tsai, Susur Lee, Alvin Leung, Janet Hsieh, Vanessa Yeung, and Fuchsia Dunlop agree that Confucius Was a Foodie offers a compelling, in-depth look at a food culture that is rich and surprising. You just have to know where to look.
Watch the series
Confucius Was a Foodie is now airing on:
Episode 1001 The Big Picture
Chef Christine Cushing meets her Chinese chef mentors and discovers that many of her assumptions about the beginnings of this cuisine in North America might not actually be true.
Episode 1002 Cantonese
Chef Christine’s Cantonese adventure provides one surprise after another and that makes her question what she has previously considered ‘Cantonese’. The history both breaks her heart and excites her for deeper exploration into traditional Chinese cuisines.
Episode 1003 Sichuan
Chef Christine Cushing ventures into the world of Sichuan cuisine and discovers the surprise of flavor over heat as well as a rich cultural history from Chinese roots to main street Chinatowns across North America.
Episode 1004 Huaiyang
Classically trained chef Christine Cushing doesn’t need to be convinced that food is art but even with descriptions and explanations from her mentor chefs and her own research Huaiyang cuisine is a mystery, albeit one well worth exploring!
Episode 1005 Northeastern
Chef Christine Cushing discovers that Northeastern (or Dongbei) cuisine is little known in North America and that it has more in common culturally and culinary with Russia than Canton.
Episode 1006 Shandong
The oldest and, in fact, the cuisine of Confucius, Shandong leaves Chef Christine Cushing wondering until she plans a banquet with her mentor chefs and invites guest celebrity chefs to join her.
Episode 2007 Celebrations, Ceremonies and the Dumpling
Christine eats her way through the Chinese Solar Lunar calendar with it’s
traditional customs, cuisine and culture. The calendar appears to have a dumpling for every occasion!
Episode 2008 Tea: Culture, Celebration, Commerce, and Cuisine
Chef Christine starts her tea adventure in London, England where she learns why Westerners think of England when they think of tea, even though it’s one of the most important Chinese exports and essential to all Chinese celebrations.
Episode 2009 Noodles: Long for Life, Food of Legends
Birthday parties and baby naming ceremonies all wish for the same thing - long life. And in the Chinese culinary culture, that means noodles and there are more noodles in Chinese cuisines than you can possibly imagine!
Episode 2010 The Origin of the Beginnings
Everything has its origins somewhere. When it comes to food, roots are often Chinese - and Chinese beginnings in the culinary and cultural world go back more than 5,000 years. In this episode, Chef Christine looks for the culinary roots of foods such as ice cream, ketchup, pasta, phyllo, baklava and pizza.
Episode 2011 Politics and The Origin of off shoot Cuisines
Both during and after China’s Cultural Revolution, traditional Chinese chefs, often seen as keepers of the cultural flame, were among the first to defect and their exodus has had a lasting effect on world cuisine, in particular in Taiwan.
Episode 2012 Confucius and the Origin of Food Philosophy
Was it Confucius or Hippocrates who first said, “let food be your medicine and medicine be your food”? Chef Christine sets off to compare the thoughts and beliefs of foodie writers and philosophers.
Episode 2013 The Origin of ‘Cuisine’
When did cooking become cuisine? Was it in the Confucius Mansion 2,500 years ago and is Chinese cuisine really the biggest, the most expressive and the most complex cuisine on the planet?