Carolyn Phillips explains why she divides Chinese food into 35 different styles, instead of the supposedly classic four or eight. Her divisions correspond to dialects – “people eat as they speak” – and provide the organizing principle for her new book, All Under Heaven. Carolyn Phillips is known for her lively, warm prose and beautiful drawings, which can be found at her blog and in her illustrated books. She is a member of the advisory board of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of Chinese Cuisines. Read our preview of All Under Heaven. Length: 23 minutes.
Food writer Carolyn Phillips is fluent in Chinese, having lived and worked in Taiwan for eight years during the late 1970s and early 1980s. At that time, the chefs in Taipei were opening up incredible restaurants featuring practically every region of this vast patchwork of cuisines. She soon learned to cook these dishes on her own, quickly amassing a library of Chinese cookbooks as she pestered proprietors of local restaurants and food stalls into handing over their family recipes and secret techniques. The results can be found in her illustrated book, All Under Heaven, about all the cuisines of China, published by McSweeney’s in Spring 2015. Her work can also be found in such well-known food writing venues as Lucky Peach, Gastronomica, Alimentum, Huffington Post, and Pork Memoirs. Her “Dim Sum Field Guide” was reprinted in Buzzfeed and featured at the 2013 MAD Symposium in Copenhagen.
Karen Christensen is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Berkshire Publishing Group and a writer specializing in sustainability and community with a focus on China. One of her current projects is with George R. Goethals and Crystal L. Hoyt of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. They are coediting Women and Leadership: History, Concepts, and Case Studies (A Berkshire Essential), and Christensen has ensured that there coverage of China and other parts of the world, including articles on Wu Zetian and Cixi drawn from the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography.