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Sun Valley Culinary Institute to Mark Year of Dragon with Chef Kian
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Chef Kian knows how to add color to a rack of lamb.
 
 
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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
 

BY SABINA DANA PLASSE

The Sun Valley Culinary Institute (SVCI) is delighted to bring Chef Kian Lam Kho is coming from New York to Sun Valley for a week-long residency with the Sun Valley Culinary Institute Friday, March 1, through Thursday, March 6.

He will teach authentic Chinese cooking techniques for popular Chinese cuisine, and prepare an authentic Chinese family dinner during this time.

A Chinese Master Chef, Kian once worked on Wall Street in software development and left to pursue his passion for food and cooking. Chef Kian’s love for cooking, good food and Chinese culture, as he speaks and writes the language, is emulated through his dedication to Chinese cooking techniques and a close connection to his heritage.

“When I do research, I go to the source,” said Chef Kian. “I created my cookbook ‘Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking’ from my desire to learn authentic cooking techniques. When teaching, I always talk about technique more than the recipe because if you know the technique, you can create anything, and a recipe serves as a guideline.”

A private chef, food writer, teacher and award-winning cookbook author, Chef Kian is also the creator of the James Beard Foundation Awards nominated Chinese home cooking blog, “Red Cook,” which emphasizes the importance of understanding proper Chinese cooking techniques while describing them in historical and cultural context.

In addition, he is one of the authors of “Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-step Guide to Authentic Favorites Made Easy” and he apprenticed in the kitchen of Chef Josh Capon at Canteen (now Lure Fishbar) in New York City’s Soho neighborhood where he learned to produce modern American food.

“The Chinese cooking technique is the basis for all similar East Asian cooking, which is documented by the Chinese,” said Chef Kian. “I picked three technique-based classes, including stir fry, which is uniquely East Asian. It’s iconic and needs to be shared. Most people don’t know how to stir fry properly. There are steps and reasons for them, and once you understand it, it’s easy and very enjoyable.”

Teaching Chinese cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education, Brooklyn Kitchen and Haven’s Kitchen, Chef Kian offers popular classes in dumpling making and stir-fry techniques, which he will share with class participants during his SVCI stay, especially for his Tuesday, March 5, class on Chinese Soups & Stews.

“It’s winter, and I wanted to showcase a technique for soups and stews for the season because not all Chinese food is stir-fried,” said Chef Kian. “The chicken with Asian pear soup will showcase fruit, which is very much a part of Chinese cooking, along with red-cooked pork with bao buns, featuring pork belly braised in a soy sauce-based liquid, which is tender and delicious.”

Chef Kian said he will also teach a dumpling class, a communal experience where everyone can come together to make and share them, which is very much a part of Chinese culture.

“I will also share a simple sauce, which is easy to make and delicious. You can create these sauces on your own once you learn the technique—it’s that easy.”

The culmination of Chef Kian’s visit will be a Chinese family-style dinner offered as part of his week-long Chinese culinary experience. Expect a variety of exquisite dishes from Chef Kian, including persimmon and wood ear salad with wasabi dressing, grilled rack of lamb with chili cumin sprinkles, sticky rice with pumpkin and bacalao topping and coconut tapioca soup with taro and sweet potato.

“What is exciting about Chinese cooking is that ingredients can be found in many stores and bought online, especially in the United States,” said Chef Kian. “This makes learning techniques for authentic Chinese cooking an exciting food experience, which I have documented and provided in my cookbook.”

To learn more about the classes, visit https://sunvalleyculinary.org.

 

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