Summary of “She Raised a Generation of Taiwanese Home Cooks”

Before Martin Yan wisecracked his way into the hearts of PBS viewers in the early ’80s, and long before Ming Tsai spread the gospel of East Meets West cooking on the Food Network, there was Fu Pei-mei.
As the host of the country’s first cooking show, she was on television for about 40 years-nearly 2,000 episodes instructing on more than 4,000 Chinese dishes, and she never wore the same apron twice, it seemed, in all that time.
If you talk to anyone who came of age in Taiwan in the last 20 or 30 years, chances are that they-or their parents-have a copy of Pei-Mei’s Chinese Cook Book stashed away somewhere.
The New York Times restaurant critic Raymond Sokolov called her “The Julia Child of Chinese cooking” in a 1971 write-up that highlighted two of Fu’s recipes for cold chicken salad-both of them “Traditional” and “Easy to prepare,” according to the Times.
The Julia Child comparison is made in every English-language article about Fu. But Michelle King, a historian at the University of North Carolina who is writing a book about Fu, says the real sign of how large she looms in Taiwan is this: To this day, if the Taiwanese media wants to establish a person’s bona fides as an authority on a particular national cuisine, they inevitably describe him or her as, say, the Fu Pei-mei of British cooking, or the Fu Pei-mei of America.
Before Fu started her cooking school, there weren’t any formal ways in Taiwan for young women like my mother to learn how to cook.
The somewhat unglamorous origin story of how Fu Pei-mei became one of the world’s great authorities on Chinese cooking came down to this: Her husband complained about her cooking.
She had helped tens of thousands of tentative home cooks like my mother build confidence in their own ability to prepare a delicious Chinese meal.

The orginal article.