My Food and My Taste by B. C. Lee
Retired Vancouver Councillor & Judge, Critics’ Choice
I grew up eating Chinese food cooked from recipes passed on from my great grandmother; but my appreciation of Chinese food does not stop at its authenticity.
I was born in Macau, a Portuguese colony. I enjoy the fusion of Portuguese flavour in my Chinese dish, and vice verse. The chicken, the salty fish, the special flavored egg tart, just to name a few, never stop to please my palate.
I grew up in Taiwan, an island where people from almost every province
in China gather, where strong Japanese culinary influence exists. Their
cuisines are so diverse and readily available everywhere in Taiwan,
that home cooking often includes experimentation of various indigenous
I also lived in New York for over ten years。A melting pot of all
culture, flavoured with multi-ethnic cuisine, New York offers wide
ranges of food: Thai, French，Korean, Russian, American steaks, Japanese
sushi, and yes, Chinese noodle and Italian Spaghetti. If you have the
appetite, you can enjoy them all in one day。
Here in Vancouver, we are blessed with the benefit of freshness and
true authenticity: Seafood, vegetable, pork, poultry and beef, cooked
and presented by ethnic chefs in cultural-rich restaurant settings.
Vancouver’s Chinese cuisine has been mainly Cantonese, but the
increasing number of immigrants from Taiwan and mainland China also
brings in excellent ethnic cuisine choices. Compare to New York where
I had coffee and sandwiches for lunch most of the time, I am totally
spoiled in Vancouver where I can enjoy dimsum, congee or dumpling;
Northern or Cantonese Chinese noodles any day, all within walking
To me, it is not only about how different cuisine tastes, but how you
mix them together in one meal or even on the same dish. I believe
authenticity is important, that is how we keep our tradition; but
fusion is divine, that’s how we grow.
After all, it’s not where it comes from, but how good it tastes. That
is what ‘Chinese Restaurant Awards’ is all about – recognizing the best
of flavours, presentations and application of ingredients.