Sunday, 27 July 2014

Big in China.

Koreans are laughing at my food.

Did you know? I'm big in China. Last year I noticed my stats were doubling, tripling. I followed the trail, via the analytics on my blog, back to Weibo, which is the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. A famous Chinese food blogger had discovered my blog and spread the word. 
Now I'm at the forefront of a trend in China 'dark cooking' or 'twisted cookery' as it's referred to in this article in the China Times. According to journalist Yin Lu, the term 'dark cooking' originated in a '90s manga Chka Ichiban! ('China's Number One!' or Cooking Master Boy). "In this fictional universe, the evil Dark Cooking Society's goal of controlling the country is foiled by a young boy with prodigious cooking talent." Another translation of Dark Cooking Society is The Underground Cooking Society (reminiscent of the name of my supper club The Underground Restaurant). In the manga, the highly trained chefs that are members of the society have to find eight Legendary Cooking Tools. They need to master these in order to gain absolute power. 
I'm not sure what to make of this development. Often with themed supper clubs, I'm trying to be playful, make 'foodie' jokes. Looking at the pictures of my food on the forums, the food on sticks, the stuffed banana for comedy night, the overblown meringues, the Spitting Image Thatcher-pops, the stargazy pie, it did strike me that some of my food, selected here for outrage, is quite ridiculous.  Perhaps it's a good thing that I can't read Chinese. Presentation is important, ideas are important, but I can assure my Chinese readers that I always cook for flavour. 
Some comments on the blogs from Chinese people on my/English food:

Sylvia_ Lin
Dangerous Game 9
Go to England, when that special delicious hotel breakfast, buffet, traditional meals, toast bread Sausage bacon mushroom omelette or something. There are a variety of cereal and a variety of fruit jam yogurt from ride. Obviously have to eat very little motion sickness only epoch every morning to eat a lot and then got started playing dead people. . .

Egg Fu chinchillas
Chamber of Secrets reasoning 8
Suddenly understand, Mo Niang son would rather eat guns are reluctant to eat the food the mother country

Now my reputation for twisted cookery has spread to Korea. I'm getting views from this page, photos at the top. I think I've even been mentioned on Korean telly (above). Running it through Google Translate I'm referred to as 'Angry British girl'.  How did they know?


  1. Hello Ms Rodgers,

    in the beginning of this week I have read a chinese blog about your recipes by chance ( I found it very interesting and wanted to ask you, whether I can use these photos to make a video and post it on the Internet. But after I read this blog fortuitously, I think, that perhaps you will be unhappy to see more people laugh at your ideas. I have read some of your newer posts and find, that you are a very talented cook. Many recipes look amazing and delicious! It is unfair and quite ridiculous to select some photos here for outrage.

    Why the people laugh at these (Sorry that I did it too)? In my opinion, the first reason is, that they do not have seen such recipes in their own country, for example, I am a chinese, we will almost never cook eggplant with chocolate in our daily life, so it will be very funny to see such creativ dishes. Secondly some recipes look really very funny, such as the lolipop. Besides there are also too many videos online, which making fun of english foods, many people even think, that england only have fish and chips, they laugh at it just as usual.

    I am very sorry to see that your recipes and ideas to be mocked. Hope you will not be "Angry British girl" any more but a "Happy British girl" :-)

    Best Wishes and GOD bless you!

    A chinese boy

    1. Thanks for your comment. I recently had the same thing with a New Zealand TV show taking one of my recipes, pretending to repeat it (but not properly) and mocking me without even giving me credit. It's like they don't get the humour of my blog, that some dishes I create precisely to be funny. It was quite a famous Kiwi chef. This is the wild west part of the internet I guess.
      Of course I can cook 'normal' food but I like to push the boundaries a bit too.

    2. I can't agree more! Many don't care, what "normal" food in England are, they just wanna make fun of it. People normally only believe the "truth" they wanna believe instead of believing what the truth is... I am really sad that some TV show exclusively want to get more attention without respecting the interviewee.
      Fortunately I have come to your blog and get the truth before I just make a funny video. If you like, perhaps I can make a video of the "funny" food and some of your beautiful recipes, to show the people in the world (especially in China), what the "TRUTH" is. Of course we will fill english and chinese subtitles as explanation to it.
      How do you think about it?

    3. I think that sounds like a great idea!

    4. Great! If we have decided to make this video, could you please send me the photos of the "funny" recipes and these you wanna recommend? If you can write a short description of each dish would be even better. Do you use Dropbox or Google Drive?

    5. Yes but I'm away till mid september.

    6. No problem, we can make it then. I will think about more details of it ^-^
      Have a nice trip!

  2. Besides, here are some chinese 'dark cooking':, perhaps you will also find it funny.


I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)