Ken Hom's MY STIR-FRIED LIFE published today

Ken Hom OBE is the man who showed the British how to cook Asian food. A leading authority on Chinese cuisine, he is one of the most respected and celebrated TV chefs of all time. His phenomenal success is easily measured. He is the author of almost forty books, which have inspired millions of home cooks around the world. And in Britain alone, the Ken Hom wok is in one in seven kitchens.

Yet the story of his life – MY STIR-FRIED LIFE which is published today – makes his accomplishments all the more remarkable.

Here, Hom reflects on his improbable journey, which begins in the hustle and bustle of Chicago’s Chinatown, where he was a father-less boy raised by his mother, and employed – at the age of eleven – to work in his uncle’s restaurant.

This cook’s story is both alluring and powerful. In a way, it is the story of a young man who struggled to escape the social boundaries of minority, and to find acceptance – through food and cooking for others. It is a compelling and hugely entertaining autobiography – told in Hom’s gentle, familiar voice – that celebrates the power of sharing, and highlights how food can inspire and change lives; not just his but the lives of those he has met.

Hom delivers a deliciously uplifting memoir and, with his much-loved graceful wit, and zen-like charm, he draws the reader into one big party: fun and hilarity in all corners of the globe, forever mixing and mingling and, of course, eating at the tables of gastronomy’s great, good... and sometimes not-so-good. As the reader, you are at Hom’s side, happily being whisked along on his travels and tours, meeting presidents, prime ministers, Hollywood stars, singers and sportsmen.

Ever the considerate and dependable teacher, Hom also dips into his favourite recipes, passing on morsels of culinary wisdom that he has acquired during his well-fed life.

MY STIR-FRIED LIFE is a high-spirited, life-enriching feast in an ever-sunny world, where the chopsticks never stop clattering, the platters are always abundant, and dreams – no matter how ridiculously unbelievable – can and do come true.

‘Ken Hom not only introduced me to the hitherto esoteric world of Chinese cuisine but allowed me to understand its enormous importance to the rest of the world both culturally and intellectually … and that it is just extraordinarily lovely to eat.’ – Rick Stein

‘A master of his craft, a legend in TV food.’ – James Martin

‘I have enjoyed the luxury of Ken’s wonderful food for many years. I can’t wait to read about his life and his route to the top…’ – Sir Alex Ferguson

About the author

Ken Hom, OBE is a TV presenter, author, chef and restaurateur. His first book, CHINESE TECHNIQUE, was published in America in 1981. He has written thirty-seven books including, most recently TRUFFLES, and (with Ching-He Huang) EXPLORING CHINA: A CULINARY ADVENTURE.

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Westminster Tower, 3 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7SP


MEE at Belmond Copacabana palace has received a Michelin star, as one of the first restaurants in South America. MEE is led by celebrated BBC TV chef Ken Hom, and opened in February 2014 at the iconic Copacabana Palace, a glorious local landmark located on Rio’s world-famous Copacabana Beach.

Belmond Copacabana Palace’s General Director, Andrea Natal, says of the accolade: “We are delighted to be awarded a Michelin star just over a year after MEE’s opening. This esteemed accolate strengthens MEE’s position not only as the first luxury pan-Asian restaurant in Rio, but also as one of the city’s best restaurants overall”.

Ken Hom comments: “I am extremely proud that MEE has received this coveted recognition. The team and I are passionate about bringing luxury pan-Asian cuisine to Rio de Janeiro and will continue to develop the restaurant’s innovative menu”.

Ken is currently writing his memoir, A LIFE SOUR AND SWEET, to be published next year by Robson Press. In A LIFE SWEET AND SOUR, Ken looks back at his life and how far he’s come since his difficult childhood in Chicago. Leading the reader through his story, this book will be a celebration of everything Ken has learned, offered and achieved so far, and how he became a globally-acclaimed chef and author.

Blake Friedmann’s Ken Hom wins Food Broadcast of the Year Award


Ken Hom, along with his co-presenter Ching-He Huang, has won the Food Broadcast Award 2013 at the Guild of Food Writers Awards. The award was for China: A Culinary Adventure, a four-part television series broadcast on BBC2 last summer. The Telegraph wrote 'watching Hom at work was a treat'.

The programme, which was produced by Keo Films, had also been nominated for the Award for Work on Food and Travel.

The tie-in book, EXPLORING CHINA: Our Culinary Adventure was published by BBC Books.

Emma Gardner, another client on Blake Friedmann's growing list of food writers, was also nominated. Her blog Poires au Chocolat was in contention for the Food Blog of the Year award -- an accolade it was awarded in 2012.

Blake Friedmann's Emma Gardner and Ken Hom on shortlists for The Guild of Food Writers Awards


Emma Gardner has been nominated for the Guild of Food Writers Food Blog of the Year Award for the second year running, having won the award in the category's inaugural year. Last year's judging panel described her blog as 'stunning and very informed... her recipes are very well written and easy to follow... gorgeous'.

Ken Hom's Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure is up for both the Food Broadcast of the Year Award and the Award for Work on Food and Travel. The four-part series was broadcast on BBC Two last summer. The Telegraph wrote 'watching Hom at work was a treat'.

The results will be announced at an awards ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 29 May at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London. The victors will be presented with an engraved glass trophy and a prize of £500 by Guild member and host Aggie MacKenzie.

Emma Gardner's blog can be read here: Poires au Chocolat.

Ken Hom eats, drinks and cooks his way across China


In his new BBC2 series, Ken Hom will be teaming up with culinary friend and colleague Ching-He Huang for an epic gastronomic road trip across China. Though neither were born on Chinese soil, their ancestry has always informed their work in the kitchen. The pair will rediscover the cultural roots of their cooking and, through food, open up a new side of this diverse, evolving and greatly important nation for British audiences.

Their 5000 mile journey will take them from the bustling capital Beijing, along the rural outposts of the Great Wall, through China's spicy Sichuan heartland, before exploring the influence and cuisine of minority cultures in Yunnan and finally sampling the dishes of the mystical Northern city of Kashgar, at the end of the ancient Silk Road.

Ken said 'This series has been a voyage of discovery for me. It has deepened my love of Chinese food and it has given me great hope for the future of this ancient cuisine. I want to share my experience with the world! It was a coming home for me and my Chinese heritage.'

The 4x60 minute series was commissioned by BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow and is produced by Paula Trafford's KEO Films. Paula added 'China is set to become the most powerful country on earth so what better way to understand a culture than through its cuisine - especially for a nation where food is absolutely at its heart.'