These are questions asked frequently by my readers in China and people interested in participating.

What is your process in this project?

  1. 9AM we arrive at the family’s home to learn favorite family recipes. This process lasts between 2-3 hours.
  2. I take notes and video of how to prepare each dish. I photograph the completed dish. Each dish is tasted.
  3. I photograph the family portrait.
  4. Family is given a small gift of appreciation. All participating families will be mailed an autographed cookbook after publication.


  1. 早上九点我们到达家庭的住所,学习过程将持续2-3个小时。
  2. 以笔记和视频的方式全程记录每一道菜的准备和制作过程。给每一道做好的菜拍照并品尝。
  3. 为参与项目的家庭照全家福。
  4. 现场送给参与项目的家庭一个小礼物表示感谢。在新书出版之后将作者亲笔签名的新书邮寄给参与的家庭。

Where are you from?
I am from California, USA.


Presently, where do you live?
I have been living in Beijing for the past three years.


How many people are in your team? Are they all American?
There are two people in my team and my assistant is Chinese. Occasionally, I have an intern who assists with other tasks.


In a few words, how would you describe your project?
I travel China, meeting families who teach me their favorite recipes. Stories and photos are published on my food blog and the recipes will be featured in a cookbook at a later date. For more about Shanti, visit:


Is your project based only in Beijing or in other regions as well?
This project will take my team to renown culinary regions in China.


Which regions will you visit?
I will visit Guangzhou, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Hunan, Fujian, Hakka, Anhui, Shanghai, Xinjiang, Shannxi, Gansu, Hong Kong, Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Guangxi, Shandong, and Beijing.


Which provinces have you visited already?
I have visited Beijing, Shandong, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong. I may return to those regions to meet more families.


Where do the recipe lessons take place? In homes or restaurants?
I learn the recipes in the homes of the families I meet. Once, I learned recipes in a families restaurant kitchen. Another time I learned how to cook the recipes in the courtyard, outside (which was great for photography lighting).


What is expected of the families?
I ask only that the families share with me 2-4 favorite family recipes, which I will watch them cook while I take notes and photographs. I will also take a photograph of the family portrait.


How many different families do you need in each region?
Before I set out to travel, I like to find at least four families per region.


How can I participate in the project?
Connect with my assistant through or email You will be contacted shortly.


How long will you stay in each region?
The time spent in each region depends on the number of families we visit and the time it takes to travel from place to place. Typically, we spend at least one day in the town where the family lives. If there are interesting cultural or historic sites nearby, we like to visit those places, too. We want to know more about Chinese culture so the more we can learn and see, the better.



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