Move over Gordon Ramsay, there's a new chef taking the culinary world by storm and her name is Chef Kathy Fang. With her show Chef Dynasty: House of Fang on the Food Network, she's changing the game and showing that family and food can be the ultimate recipe for success.
Chef Kathy Fang, Star Of Food Network's Chef Dynasty
Chef Dynasty is also breaking down barriers and promoting inclusivity, with its all-Asian cast. It's an important milestone for representation in the media, and it's refreshing to see different cultures and cuisines getting their moment in the spotlight. As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Honeysuckle Magazine got to dive deep into the fast-paced world of fire and spice that is Chef Dynasty.
Chef Kathy's innovative approach to cooking is a true fusion of the old and new, combining classic Chinese flavors with modern techniques to create dishes that are both comforting and cutting-edge. From Crab Xiao Long Bao to sizzling garlic prawns, every dish is a work of art that will leave you drooling for more.
But it's not just about the food - Chef Kathy's commitment to mentoring her team is equally impressive. She's a true leader who values collaboration, communication, and trust. Her team respects her, looks up to her, and would probably follow her into battle, or at least into the kitchen.
So if you're looking for a show that's both inspiring and mouth-watering, Chef Dynasty: House of Fang is a must-watch. Chef Kathy Fang is a trailblazer in the culinary world and she's here to prove that the kitchen is the ultimate dynasty.
Chef Kathy Fang Talks Chef Dynasty, AAPI Heritage And Marvel's Simu Liu
Honeysuckle Magazine: What surprises people the most about your show, Chef Dynasty: House of Fang?
CHEF KATHY FANG: Oh, people are always surprised by how much we actually work and do it all. All of us will pull up our sleeves and grind it out.
Impressive! But I have to ask, with all the family dynamics at play, what's the secret to keeping things running smoothly?
It's all about balance and mutual respect. We all have our roles and responsibilities, but at the end of the day, we're family. And when people come to see us at the restaurant, they are also surprised to see how easygoing we are in person.
Easygoing? That's not what I was expecting!
(Laughs) Well, we take our work seriously, but we also know how to have fun and enjoy each other's company. It's all part of the magic that makes Chef Dynasty so special.
Let's talk about your dream guest star for the next season of Chef Dynasty. Who would it be?
Oh, that's an easy one. [Actor] Simu Liu, hands down.
Ah, the first Asian Marvel Superhero [Shang-Chi]! Good choice. What do you think he would enjoy from your menu?
Well, he's breaking all sorts of stereotypes about Asian males in Hollywood, so I think he'd appreciate our innovative approach to Chinese cuisine. He'll definitely have to try our crispy Honey Chili Shortribs, Garlic Charred Broccoli, and of course, our Famous Pork Belly Buns.
Those sound delicious. I can't wait to try them myself. And who knows, maybe Simu will see this and take you up on the offer!
Hey, Simu, if you're reading this, come to Fang and we’ve got your table waiting.
So, as you wrap up Season 1, what are your hopes for the future of Chef Dynasty: House of Fang?
Well, we're hoping for a Season 2, of course!
Any hints for what we can expect in the next season?
Hmm, let's just say there might be some surprises in store.
Being part of an all Asian-American cast in Chef Dynasty: House of Fang is unique, and with the insights into multigenerational differences, how does it feel to tell your story as part of such a highly visible and high profile experience?
Honestly, it's been amazing. We get to show the world who we are and what we're capable of. And it's not just about us, it's about our community too. Representation matters and we're happy to be a part of it.
That's great to hear. What's something from your own upbringing and unique cultural experience that helped you navigate the chaos of doing your job while constantly on camera?
Well, my Chinese cultural upbringing has always taught me to be humble, work hard, and be resilient. No matter what happens, stressful or not, you keep your head above water and make do. And let me tell you, that mindset helped me through the six weeks of shooting. There were days when I had five different jobs going on - running my restaurant, managing my dad, being present with my own family, getting ready to shoot, and working a dinner shift. But I never lost my temper or acted unprofessionally. I just reminded myself of the opportunity we had here and pushed through.
So, Chef Kathy, in episode 2 of the series, each Fang team member created a 'family meal' experience. What is your go-to culinary creation from your heritage that is nothing short of perfect for truly special celebrations?
Wontons are my go-to recipe because it's something we make as a family every Lunar New Year. It's also a signature Fang family dish. Our entire family grew up making and eating wontons on a monthly basis. It's easy to make, freezes well, and makes for a quick meal when things get busy. It's super comforting and so good! Family is the number one thing that comes to mind when I eat wontons.
Chef Dynasty: House of Fang is truly a rich cast of characters. Let’s dish on your fellow cast members using only menu descriptions. Are they “spicy”, “extra spicy,” “sweet,” “savory”? You tell us…
Well, That’s a bit of a loaded question, isn’t it? Quick fire challenge, I’d go with: Chef Peter: Bold and Classic; Chef Krista: Very Sweet; Lillian: Well Seasoned; Christy-Anne: Sweet and spicy; Joshua: Well balanced and flavorful; Long: Sweet and Sour; and Katie: Perfectly Hot.
You've become quite the celebrity since the show's debut. How has life changed for you both inside and outside the restaurant?
Oh, it's been quite the ride! I never expected so much love and support from the Fang fans. I mean, people either LOVE the show or they hate it. But those who love it, they really love it.
That's amazing! What's the most unexpected thing that has happened to you since becoming a celebrity chef?
Well, I've received some pretty emotional letters and gifts from fans. And people on the street will stop me and say how much they love the show or how proud they are of what we're doing for the Asian community. It's been overwhelming to see how people can rally around something they love and provide so much love and support.
That's so heartwarming to hear. It sounds like you've really made an impact on people's lives.
Yes, and in a world of social media where people can be so negative, it's refreshing to see so much positivity coming from this experience. It gives me hope that most people are about building each other up and not tearing them down.
So Chef Kathy, you're putting together the ultimate menu to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage and your own unique cultural background and story. What's on it?
Oh, I've got a whole list of dishes that would make any celebration amazing. Dumplings, steamed fish, whole chicken, vegetarian medley, claypot rice, salt and pepper crab, ginger lobster, eggrolls, stir fried rice cake, radish cakes, and sweet rice balls.
Wow, that's quite the spread. How did you come up with that list?
Well, these are all dishes that I used to have with my family and extended family. I take a lot of inspiration from the elaborate Lunar New Year dinners we like to have that lasted for hours and had over a dozen dishes. The ones I listed were always part of the feast, and we would try new dishes every year, but the classics remained the same.
Potent Pairing And Haute Honey Pro Tip: Potli's Halal Hemp Chili Oil
Chef Kathy’s highlight reel of go-to dishes has our mouths watering. Grab your favorite eats and grab one of our favorites from another AAPI trailblazer – Felicity Chen’s one-of-a-kind, flower-powered chili oils from Potli, born out of her own family story much like Chef Kathy’s. In the case of Potli, all of their functional ingredients are sourced with clear and sincere intention from what Felicity calls her “very own backyard” of local partners in California. Her unique flavor forward blends truly bring the heat and are true craftsman kitchen staples that absolutely should make it into your daily rituals and routines. Potli’s Halal Hemp Chili Oil is the secret weapon your pantry has been waiting for – get yours here.
*Editor's Note: Learn more about Potli co-founder Christine Yi in our power list of AAPI leaders in cannabis here.
Add a dash to any one of the dishes Chef Kathy suggests, and settle in. Whether it’s an episode or a solid binge, Chef Dynasty: House of Fang is sure to be your newest guilty pleasure.
CHEF DYNASTY: HOUSE OF FANG is available for streaming on HBO Max, Discovery+, fuboTV, and Amazon Prime. If you are looking to immerse yourself in person, check out Fang Restaurant, 660 Howard St, San Francisco, CA, just around the corner from San Francisco’s famed Museum of Modern Art during your next visit. Learn more and snag your choice reservation here.
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Featured image: Chef Kathy Fang, star of Food Network's CHEF DYNASTY: HOUSE OF FANG (C) Moanalani Jeffrey @moanalanijeffrey