Today's team lunch was a celebration of Mom's cooking. We each made chun-bing dishes from our childhoods for a culinary show and tell (and devour). There were no leftovers.
Love makes food infinitely better. A simple potato stir fry comes to life beneath loving hands. Chives and bean sprouts and shredded pork become brilliant symbols of togetherness. Cabbage and sweet potato noodles take on galactic importance.
Remaking these dishes transforms us back into the kid who can't see over the counter but hears the sizzles and is told to stop bugging the cook — "just go sit down." Now we're on the other side, making and serving the food, but we're guided by that childish wonder.
Ying Wang, an early Junzi Kitchen supporter and mother of our CEO, remembers watching her grandfather and mother cook for the family: "I’ll always remember the scene: him standing over the giant wok frying chun-bing wrappers while my mom worked the bellows and fed firewood into the stove. We kids stood around and watched, our mouths watering from the smell. It was a tough time, and we were very poor, so the ingredients were simple: shredded cabbage, bamboo shoots, a little bit of meat, sometimes homemade sweet-potato noodles that we made ourselves. But Grandpa’s chun-bing were unforgettable."
Today, a similar scene happened. As our teammate Pauline made her childhood dish, whose recipe we've incorporated for the Junzi pork, her daughter stood close by with eyes bigger than bing.