Hi everyone! I’m Jess, I am a first generation Chinese-American! For as long as I can remember my life has revolved around preparing food as way of showing friends and family just how much they are loved. As a young child I can remember running around my Baba’s restaurant, as he and my Mama whipped up amazing Cantonese dishes. At the restaurant, my Dad would make the typical Chinese-American fanfare, Orange Chicken, Beef Lo Mein, etc. Till this very day, he shows his family how much he loves us by cooking traditional Cantonese comfort food when we would visit. I have fond memories of my Grandma cooking and smelling the fragrances of her time honored Hoisan meals. Between my Grandma, and my Dad, I was raised and shown the long-established history of loving your family by pleasing their tastebuds, and filling their bellies!
As a restaurant kid whose family owned a small business that was the lifeline of our family, I grew-up always my Dad’s shadow watching him use the wok was awe inspiring. Trying to memorize the ingredients as he would create all the different spices, sauces, and rubs for the variety of entrées he would prepare. Eventually my parents would allow me to work with them where I learned how much hard work and resolve it took to run a successful business. Never once did my parents allow the sweat on their brow to dictate when they took a break, and even though they were very busy, they would always prioritize making me and my siblings our favorite meals. It was a way of reconnecting after a long day at the restaurant, or school.
Now, as a wife, and mother of two beautiful girls, I continue the passion and long tradition of loving my friends and family through cooking. Bao-er Kitchen combines my favorite loves, that naturally go hand in hand. I make the dishes that my Dad and Grandma taught me, the food I grew up eating and now cooking them for my family. I love to cook meals from ingredients in their most basic form, simple, fresh and seasonal and usually pretty healthy. The world has gotten very busy, but I think cooking dinner every night and eating good meals together as a family is worth making time for.
Culture and traditions are important, and I never want to lose sight of it or where my family is from. My time in the kitchen is worth every spill, every crumb on the floor and table, and every mess, in hopes that someday when my children are grown and have a family of their own, that they will cook for their families. Throughout my journey, I have found that there are a few blends of spices, and sauces that I keep in my back pocket, and now I am going to share them with you!!
The spices and sauces I have created are a culmination of the long history of cooking in my family, they each have a story, but a variety of uses. Make sure to check out our suggested uses and recipes! Thanks for considering Bao-er Kitchen! Happy Cooking!!