Ivy Chen has been teaching Taiwanese cooking at the Community Services Center and at her home in Taipei since 1997. “I believe Taiwanese cuisine is worth promoting and learning because of its uniqueness and vibrant character. I know how to introduce and present Taiwanese cuisine, and I’m very experienced at combining local and global produce and food trends,” she told me recently.
Chen, a native of Tainan, says about 2,000 people have attended her classes so far. Class sizes vary from one person to up to 20. “They’re from every corner of the world. Europeans and Americans are the majority, but others have come from Africa, Tahiti, Syria and India. Many are Japanese, and recently some Filipina caregivers and maids have joined my classes, encouraged by their employers.”
I asked her which dishes her students are especially interested in learning how to cook. “It varies from country to country, and individual to individual. However, dumplings, Kung Pao chicken and cucumber salad are among the most popular.”
“Fish preparation, and cooking fish the Taiwanese way, is probably the most difficult thing for my Western students to learn,” she added.
If you’re interested in learning Taiwanese cooking, contact Ivy via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Facebook. Recipes and other information can be found at Ivy’s Kitchen.