Monday, February 22, 2010


JANICE WONG is a visual artist who lives in Vancouver, Canada.
CHOW is her first book.

In 2006, Chow received the Cuisine Canada Gold award for best cookbook in the category of Canadian Food Culture.
In that same year, CBC's Costa Maragos' documentary about Chow, titled "Lotusland Saskatchewan" received an honourable mention at the 54th Columbus International Film and Video Festival.

A cookbook and a fascinating glimpse into Canadian history.Born a two-pound preemie in 1917, Dennis Wong may have begun his love of food after spending the first months of his life keeping warm in his mother's cooking oven.
Miraculously surviving his tenuous beginning, Dennis went on to pursue an ambitious culinary career, opening two Chinese-Canadian cafés in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, to introduce countless adventurous Canadian diners to Chinese food.
In Chow, Dennis's daughter Janice Wong tells her father's tale through heart-rending stories and traditional Chinese village recipes.
A collection of more than 50 simple family fare dishes, Chow contains early photographs, immigration documents, 1940s restaurant menus, and handwritten recipes that trace the history of some of Canada's first ethnic restaurants. Written with refreshing sincerity, Chow is both a terrific cookbook and a detailed record of an intriguing chapter in Canadian history.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chow Events 2009 | 2010



Reading | Mission Public Library
Mission, March 3, 2010
Reading | Burnaby Public Library
Burnaby, November 5, 2009
3 Readings | Edmonton LitFest
Edmonton, October 23-25, 2009

Monday, December 29, 2008

Spezzatino Magazine: Diasporic Dining:
Family, History, and Comfort Food



According to the philosopher Rosi Braidotti, travel and memory blur space and time. When traveling, she observes, we are always preoccupied with time (either hurrying or waiting); we exist in a kind of “in-between” moment and place; and we pass through spaces that are both ever-changing and timeless: the airport lounges, train stations, and bus terminals whose physical environments are constantly refreshed with moving bodies yet always seem to remain exactly the same.

Sequential Tart says: A scrumptious and warm book

I love food memoirs, and finding one about my local food culture delights me. The Chinese food scene in Canada is plentiful and vibrant, and although many people would assume that this is due to more recent influxes of immigrants, Janice Wong's book recounts her parents' early lives in Canada and the Chinese history that is often overlooked by Canadian scholars.

Erudit Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Culture: Chow offers a glimpse into the past

My Saskatchewan mother-in-law often ate at Prince Albert’s Lotus Café in the 1960s. She remembers the restaurant as not only the place to go for a good meal at a reasonable price with lemon meringue pie ‘to die for,’ as she described it, but also for re-entry into civilization on her way home from a teaching post even further north. But to the owner, Dennis Wong, Prince Albert must have felt a far cry from his previous home in Vancouver, and farther still from the remote Guangdong province of his ancestors.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Chow + Cuisine Canada's 10th Anniversary Celebrations

Cuisine Canada and the University of Guelph honour winning titles at their 10th Anniversary Celebration for the Canadian Culinary Book Awards, Toronto, November 2007. CHOW received the Gold award in 2006 in the category of Canadian Food Culture.


FIND COPIES OF CHOW at a library near you.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lotusland Documentary Receives Honourable Mention

Costa Maragos' CBC documentary on Chow and the Wong family
in Saskatchewan receives an honourable mention at the 54th Columbus International Film and Video Festival, also known as the Chris Awards. The Chris Awards is one of the oldest and most prestigious documentary, entertainment, and informational competitions in North America.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Another CBC Documentary


CBC NEWSWORLD aired Halya Kuchmij's documentary The Chan Legacy for the Generations Series during the month of July 2007.
The Chan Legacy documents the story of Dennis Wong's grandfather, Reverand Chan Yu Tan, and his descendents. The film portrays the shared history of many early Chinese-Canadian Pioneers. The story begins in 1896 and continues to present day. Included in the documentary is a segment on Dennis Wong and Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family.

Families re-trace their roots through the Generations Series, a six-part series airing in July on CBC NEWSWORLD.
Generations: The Chan Legacy, produced by Halya Kuchmij, narrated by Michele Cheung.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Monday Magazine: Stopping for Chow:
food as the meeting place between cultures

Memories and meals with Janice Wong
"Towards the end of his life," Vancouver artist Janice Wong tells me,
"my father suffered a number of strokes and lost his speech. It was very difficult for him to communicate." When he died in 1999, she tried to capture something of what her father had gone through.

Canadian Living Magazine: Chow Time

It was through an artist's eyes, and with an artist's deft touch, that Vancouver native Janice Wong delved into her family's rich history—which straddled the Canadian West in the 1920s, as well as the political quagmire that was China in the 1930s—to share their fascinating story in the pages of CHOW, From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family (Whitecap, 2005, $24.95).

In this multilayered book, for which Wong was awarded the 2006 Cuisine Canada Culinary Book Award for Canadian Food Culture, the artist-author weaves together a charming—and revealing—blend of photographs, memories, artifacts, family lore, and of course, recipes.

In crafting CHOW, Wong pays homage to both her rich Chinese heritage and her colourful family in one stroke. Her father's Lotus Café in Prince Albert, Sask.—one of Dennis Wong's two restaurants—was an institution, and it's this man who inspired many of the recipes that fill the pages of CHOW.

-Canadian Living Magazine, Food, p. 163, March 2007

The article includes recipes for Chinese Barbequed Duck, Dungeness Crab with Dow See, Pineapple Chicken and Peanut Butter Cookies

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

"Chow is an utterly authentic memoir,"
says Books in Canada

Elegantly presented and delightful is Janice Wong’s Chow, with the subtitle of From Canada to China: Memories of Food + Family. It comes from Vancouver’s Whitecap Books, which specialises in food culture, and has become very good at it. Wong is a sharp observer both in and out of the kitchen, and a writer of real charm. Her memoir is about growing up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, during the 1960s, where her father Dennis ran a pair of restaurants, one Western, the other Cantonese. On the evidence of the book’s recipes, Wong senior was an excellent chef. He was also an interesting and decent human being, and Ms. Wong is a faithful daughter, sticking strictly to his written recipes and passing on the ones she merely remembers.
Her fastidiousness pays off. Chow is an utterly authentic memoir, and the recipes are excellent—including one for Dungeness crab in black bean sauce I happened to have been looking for since I first had it at Vancouver’s On On, which is where Wong hints that it came from.

-Brian Fawcett, Books in Canada

Thursday, November 30, 2006

CBC documentary on Chow and the Wong family
airs on The National

Costa Maragos' CBC documentary on Chow and the Wong family
in Saskatchewan aired on CBC TV's The National on Friday, December 22, 2006 and on local stations in Saskatchewan on Wednesday, November 29, 2006.

"An affectionate bridge...an important glimpse and microhistory into a time that has since disappeared," says Victoria's Monday magazine

Playing Chopsticks
Chinese food must rank as one of the world’s most popular foods. Excluding the Chinese themselves—who naturally would agree—cities like Paris have more than 1,500 Chinese restaurants. Paris?

Janice Wong knows of this love affair with Chinese cooking. Her father Dennis, born in Victoria, moved his young family to Saskatchewan, opening his first Chinese eatery in Prince Albert. Wong writes that Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food & Family is both a cookbook and the 80-year-old story of two Chinese-Canadian families (her father’s and her mother’s) who lived and worked in B.C. and Saskatchewan from the early 1900s on.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Beautiful, touching, award-winning book,"
says Marion Kane, Toronto Star Newspaper

Making Lemonade from Lemons
WINNIPEG
When it comes to awards, I may have fooled myself into thinking I'd bought that lofty adage about it being "an honour just to be nominated."

I know I dearly wanted to believe this when my book Dish: Memories, Recipes and Delicious Bites (Whitecap; $24.95) was short listed in the Special Interest category of the Canadian Culinary Book Awards held recently in this Prairie city during Cuisine Canada's national conference.

After all, I was up against two top-notch books and I knew it was best to keep expectations low.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Gremolata chooses CHOW as top pick for the holidays

Gremolata 4-star rating: Gremolata's Dean Tudor made this one of his 2006 top picks for the holidays! Gremolata's is an online newsletter from Toronto...helping readers to eat and drink well, by providing timely information about local, seasonal and specialty ingredients.

This book has just won a Cuisine Canada Gold medal for best English language book celebrating "Canadian Food Culture." It is by Janice Wong. She has written a memoir about her dad’s Chinese-Canadian cafes in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. She presents a collection of 50 or so family recipes, plus early photographs, immigration documents, 1940s restaurant menus, and handwritten recipes that trace the history of some of the Canadian Prairies’ first ethnic restaurants. And there is an index.

CHOW Behind the Scenes: VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS
from various events


FIND COPIES OF CHOW at a library near you.

Chow Receives Gold Award at Cuisine Canada + University of Guelph Culinary Book Awards Gala


GUELPH, ON: The winners of the Cuisine Canada and The University of Guelph's Canadian Culinary Book Awards were announced September 16, 2006, at the Gala Dinner event during Cuisine Canada's national conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Some of Canada's top food professionals, chosen as judges, spent the summer testing recipes and evaluating culinary books from more than 50 entered.

The winners are:

ENGLISH-LANGUAGE CULINARY BOOKS
Canadian Food Culture Category: (for books that best illustrate Canada's rich culinary heritage and food culture)
Gold: Janice Wong, Chow: from China to Canada: memories of food + family (Whitecap Books, Vancouver).
Silver: Habeeb Salloum, Arab cooking on a Saskatchewan homestead: recipes + recollections (Canadian Plains Research Center, Regina, SK).
Cookbook Category:
Gold: Michael + Anna Olson, Anna + Michael Olson cook at home
(Whitecap Books, Vancouver).
Silver: Jurgen Gothe, DiscCookery (Whitecap Books, Vancouver).
Special Interest Category: (books about food; non-cookbooks)
Gold: Pam Freir, Laughing with my mouth full (HarperCollins, Toronto).
Silver: Nazneen Sheikh, Tea and pomegranates (Penguin Canada, Toronto).
Honourable mention: Marion Kane, Dish (Whitecap Books, Vancouver)

FRENCH-LANGUAGE CULINARY BOOKS
Canadian Food Culture Category:
Gold: Anton Fercher, Chapeau! Canada (Chapeau Canada Les Grands Chefs Inc., St-Lambert, Quebec).
Silver: Michèle Serre, Les produits du marché au Québec (Editions du Trécarré, Outremont, Quebec).
Cookbook Category:
Gold: J. Dubuc, P. Cornélis, S. Triballi, Le Spa Eastman à votre table (Spa Eastman, Eastman).
Silver: Robert Beauchemin, Huile d'olive (Les Editions de l'Homme, Montréal).
Special Interest Category:
Gold: François Chartier, A table avec François Chartier (Les Editions La Presse, Sainte-Foy, Quebec).
Silver: R. Béliveau, D. Gingras, Les aliments contre le cancer (Editions du Trécarré, Outremont, Quebec).

Cuisine Canada is a national alliance of Canadian culinary professionals who share a common desire to encourage the development, use and recognition of fine Canadian food and beverages. The University of Guelph has for more than 140 years contributed to Canadian cuisine through its programs in agriculture, food science, hospitality and tourism management. It is the home of one of Canada's best cookbook collections.
For more information about the awards visit Cuisine Canada's website.

"Food and family go together,"
says Vancouver Province newspaper


Food and Family Go Together
BC author blends memories and 'village food'


When Janice Wong began scribbling down her family's history for her nieces and nephews, she thought of it as a "short and lively intiation into the young lives of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents."

She had no idea her efforts would eventually lead to national fame—and a top book award.

Wong, whose parents were both born on the West Coast—her dad in Victoria and her mother in Nanaimo—took home the "gold" in the food culture category at last week's Cuisine Canada and The University of Guelph's Canadian Culinary Book Awards.

Monday, September 18, 2006

"People respond to sincerity."
says Prince Albert Daily Herald


Wong wins book award

People respond to sincerity.

When Janice Wong put down stories and recipes from her father's landmark Prince Albert restaurant, the Lotus Café, she never expected the response.

When the book came out, she was beset by interviews, others' personal anecdotes and now a national culinary book award.

Wong's book, Chow: from China to Canada: memories of food and family (Whitecap books 2006), won gold in Cuisine Canada and The University of Guelph's Canadian Food Culture category for books that best illustrate Canada's rich culinary
heritage and food culture.

Friday, August 04, 2006

CBC Words At Large posts podcast of Chow interview from Sounds Like Canada

LISTEN to the interview hosted by Shelagh Rogers on Sounds Like Canada, October 2005. You can find the PODCAST posted on August 30, 2006. Segment title and info: Asian Food Fest
"Words at Large presents Asian cookbooks with a twist. Janice Wong's "Chow: From China to Canada" is a loving look at her father's recipes as a Chef and Restauranteur, as well as his life journey."

Thursday, May 04, 2006

CHOW shortlisted for Canadian Culinary Book Award

Cuisine Canada and the University of Guelph have shortlisted CHOW for a Canadian Culinary Book Award in the category of Canadian Food Culture, English language. Final Winners will be announced at the Cuisine Canada National Culinary Conference in Winnipeg, September 16, 2006.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"A warm, nostalgic book that belongs on the history shelf as a rich slice of Canadiana," says Edmonton Journal


A Feast of Food Books
Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family by Janice Wong, Whitecap Books, 190 pp., $24.95

Chow is a fascinating combination of food and history: Chinese food, Chinese-in-Canada history.

Using recipes and a wealth of black-and-white snapshots, Wong draws an evocative portrait of her family as they journeyed from China to Canada and gradually became absorbed into the multicultural fabric of coastal B.C. and the Saskatchewan Prairies.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Dishing up Chow for TV and Radio


RADIO

CBC | On The Coast |
Interview with Priya Ramu, October, 2005

CBC | Early Edition | Pacific Palate | Chinese Food In Canada
This week my guest was Janice Wong, author of Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family. It's published by Whitecap Books at $24.95. Interview with Don Genova, 6min:33 | October 18, 2005

CBC | Sounds Like Canada
Janice Wong uses food in her new book to take us on a journey through her family's history. Her cookbook, "Chow", is a collection of her father's recipes. The son of Chinese immigrants in Victoria, her father went on to open two Chinese restaurants in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Janice tells her family's story to Shelagh. 22min:48 | October 21, 2005
LISTEN
to a podcast of this interview [podcast date August 30, 2006, "Asian Food Fest"]

CFUN | Best of Food and Wine
Kasey Wilson and Anthony Grismondi interview Janice Wong about her new book "Chow", 11min:26 | October 22, 2005

CBC | BC Almanac | Food For Thought | Chinese Food in Canada
My guest today was Janice Wong, author of Chow, From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family. It's published by Whitecap Books. It's the fascinating story of Janice's family as they became part of Canadian cultural history by operating a Chinese food restaurant in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Part of the book includes recipes handed down to Janice and her siblings by her father. Interview with Don Genova, 6min:29 | October 26, 2005

CBC | North By Northwest
Chow is a new book of recipes and family stories from artist Janice Wong. (Whitecap Books) Her father ran a restaurant in Prince Albert Saskatchewan for many years and Janice was just back there for a book launch.
LISTEN to part 1
LISTEN to part 2

Interview with Sheryl Mackay, 18min:12 | November 13, 2005

CBC | Saskatchewan | Noon Edition
"Chow" is one of two cookbooks up for discussion as CBC Saskatchewan covers food and history for the 2005 Homecoming.
Interview with Rosalie Woloski, 10min:09 | December 29, 2005

CBC | Fresh Air | Toronto
Fresh Air's Jeff Goodes talks with Janice Wong about her book "Chow." 19min:24 | January 25, 2006

CBC | Freestyle | Vancouver
Hosts Cameron Phillips and Kelly Ryan chat with Janice Wong. 8min.14 | February 10, 2006

CFRB | John Donobie Show | Toronto
John Donobie interviews Janice Wong about her new book Chow: From China to Canada. 3min.39 | March 17, 2006

102.7 FM | Co-op Radio | Vancouver
Interview with Joyce Lam and Grace Kim | November 24, 2006

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TELEVISION

CityTV | Vancouver | CityCooks with host Simi Sara | October 18, 2005

CTV | Prince Albert | Interview with Don Mitchell | November 8, 2005

Shaw Studio4 | Vancouver | Interview with Fanny Keifer | January 27, 2006

CityTV | Toronto | Breakfast Television with Kevin Frankish | January 31, 2006

Rogers Cable | Toronto | Fine Print interview with host Caroline Weaver

CBC | "Lotusland Saskatchewan" Documentary by Costa Maragos | November 29, 2006

CBC National | "Back to the Lotus" Documentary by Costa Maragos | December 22, 2006

CBC | "Generations - The Chan Legacy" | Documentary by Halya Kuchmij | airing July 2007 on CBC NEWSWORLD

Fairchild Television | Edmonton | Interview for Edmonton Literary Festival | October 23, 2009



CHOW Behind the Scenes: VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS
from various events



FIND COPIES OF CHOW at a library near you.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Warm and wonderful anecdotes,"
says Vancouver Province

Her Family's History Written at the Table
A family's history is often written--usually by hand--in sauce-stained, time-bleached recipes.
We usually feel best when we eat dishes made from such recipes. That's why comfort foods, especially those we remember from childhood, are always so appealing.
Janice Wong is a noted Vancouver visual artist and she is also the daughter of Dennis Wong, a man whose story she tells so lovingly and so well in her book, Chow (Whitecap, $24.95). In the 1950s, Dennis opened the first two ethnic restaurants in Prince Albert, Sask., where Janice was born, bringing the wonderful Cantonese village food of China to Canadians eager for the taste of something new.
The book, originally written by Wong as a gift to the family, is full of warm and wonderful anecdotes, archival and family photos and, best of all, family recipes that have stood the test of time.

-Renee Blackstone, Food Editor, Vancouver Province, January 22, 2006

"Food lovers and people interested in Chinese Canadian history will soon be able to satisfy their appetites," says Ricepaper Magazine


Chow by Janice Wong, Whitecap Books, 2005
Chinese cafés and the stories surrounding them have long been part of the landscape in Western Canada. However, until now, no book has combined Chinese café recipes with the richness of personal history. Food lovers and people interested in Chinese Canadian history will soon be able to satisfy their appetites by reading Janice Wong's Chow, published by Whitecap Books. An award-winning visual artist, Wong initially created her book as a present for her siblings and mother. The book celebrates the history of her family and her father's recipes. It contains personal history, interspersed with recipes used at two of the Chinese cafés her father owned in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Wong's parents, Mary and Dennis Wong, moved out to the prairies in the 1940s and opened a café called Wings in Prince Albert. The book combines the history of a Chinese Canadian family with classic culinary favourites. Also included is a glossary of technical terms for those unfamiliar with Chinese cooking. The story and recipes are complemented by pictures from the Wong and Mar family collections.

-Alexis Kienlen, Ricepaper, Winter, 2006

"A fascinating glimpse into Chinese-Canadian culinary history," says Prairie Books Now


Chow Down
Cookbook a Fascinating Glimpse into Chinese-Canadian History

Born a two-pound preemie in 1917, Dennis Wong may have begun his love of food after spending the first months of his life keeping warm in his mother's "oven."

Miraculously surviving his tenuous beginning, Dennis went on to pursue a culinary career, opening two Chinese-Canadian cafés in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and running them for several decades.
In Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family, his daughter Janice Wong tells her father's tale through heart-rending stories and traditional Chinese village recipes.

"Chow mixes memories, photographs, documents and menus from the 1940s to evocative effect," says Georgia Straight


Now, That's Good Readin'
I've only one question for Janice Wong, author of Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family (Whitecap Books, $24.95). What took you so long? Placing Chinese food in a historical context and locations we can relate to, Wong does a commendable job of bringing a past era to life, including the folks who immigrated to the West from the 1800s up to the 1970s. Originally written as a gift to her family, Chow mixes memories, photographs, documents and menus from the 1940s to evocative effect. Wong describes her 60 family recipes, all transcribed from her father's handwritten notes, as "village-style food." Try Dungeness crab with dow see (black-bean sauce), chicken rice, or steamed wole fish, and you re-create what Wong calls "the first wave of Asian food to reach North America."

-Angela Murrills, Georgia Straight, October 13, 2005

"A fascinating look at 20th-century Chinese-Canadian history," says Vancouver Sun


Vancouver visual artist Janice Wong originally put together a scrapbook of recipes and family memories as a gift to her family. Then some clever soul persuaded her to send it to a publisher. Okay, it was me. But sometimes I do know what I'm talking about. This is a fascinating look at 20th-century Chinese-Canadian history, as seen through the lives of Wong's parents, first in B.C. and later in Saskatchewan, where her father was the proprietor of two Chinese-Canadian cafés. The book is full of recipes, supplemented by a very useful glossary. Because of Wong's highly developed esthetic sense, it's also beautiful and would make a fantastic gift for either the cookbook or the memoir-lover on your list.

-Sara O'Leary, Vancouver Sun, December 10, 2005
photograph: Dennis Wong, Lotus Café, Prince Albert, Sask. 1960s

"An unaffected and absolutely charming cookbook." -George Fetherling

Looking at China Between The Lines
Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family by Janice Wong (Whitecap, $24.95, paper) is an unaffected and absolutely charming cookbook by a visual artist whose family in Prince Albert, Sask., ran that staple institution of every Prairie town, the "Chinese café" — two of them in fact.

-George Fetherling, The New Brunswick Reader, Saint John Telegraph-Journal, November 5, 2005

Chow Events Schedule


CHOW Behind the Scenes: VIEW PHOTOGRAPHS
from various events


Reading | Mission Public Library
Mission, March 3, 2010

Reading | Burnaby Public Library
Burnaby, November 5, 2009

3 Readings | Edmonton LitFest
Edmonton, October 23-25, 2009

Reading + Documentary Screening | Sylvia Hotel Book Club
Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver, August 16, 2007

Reading | World Cultures Month | Fraser Valley Regional Libraries,
Yarrow, March 13, Ladner, March 15, Langley, March 20, 2007

Guest Speaker | Food + Family writing workshop
Chinese Canadian Historical Society writing workshops,
February 21 + 24, 2007

Book launch + Reading | Victoria Lionesses, Victoria BC,
February 10, 2007

Chow + Ricepaper Magazine at Word on The Street
Word on The Street, Vancouver, BC, Sept. 24, 2006

Reading | New Moon Festival of Asian Arts and Culture, Gibsons, BC,
Sept. 23, 2006

Culinary Book Awards Dinner | Cuisine Canada Conference,
Winnipeg MB, Sept. 16, 2006, [Cuisine Canada and the Univerity of Guelph]

Signing | Taste of Guelph, Taste of Winnipeg, Delta Hotel, Winnipeg MB, Sept. 15, 2006 [hosted by The University of Guelph]

Janice Wong + Judy Fong Bates | Reading - Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver BC, May 16, 2006
[co-presented by the 2006 ExplorAsian Festival]

Reading + filming | J.M. Cuelenaere Public Library, Prince Albert, SK, May 9, 2006

Reading | Chinese New Year Celebrations, Granville Island, Vancouver BC, January 28, 2006 [co-presented by South China Seas]

Chow @ Cookshop | City Square, Vancouver, BC, January 26, 2006

Book launch + Reading | NAAAP Vancouver,
Roundhouse Community Centre, Vancouver BC, January 22, 2006

Reading | Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver BC, January 18, 2006

Book launch + Reading | J.M. Cuelenaere Public Library,
Prince Albert, SK, November 8, 2005

Book launch + Reading | Chinese Canadian History Fair,
Chinese Canadian Historical Society of BC, Malaspina College, Nanaimo, BC, November 5, 2005

Chow @ Barbara Jo's Books to Cooks | Vancouver, BC,
October 26, 2005

Janice Wong + Paul Yee [Chow + Chinatowns] Book launch | Vancouver Museum, Vancouver BC, October 25, 2005
[co-presented by the Chinese Canadian Historical Society]

Book launch + Reading | West Vancouver Memorial Library,
October 18, 2005

Book launch - Whitecap Books | Sylvia Hotel Diningroom,
October 12, 2005

"A wonderful blend of family stories and recipes,"
says Jasmine Magazine


Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food + Family (Whitecap Books, $24.95) by Janice Wong is part scapbook, part cookbook, a wonderful blend of family stories and recipes that Wong's father prepared in his Chinese-Canadian restaurants in Prince Albert, Sask.
Wong provides insight on what it was like to be Canadian-born Chinese in the early 1900s, a perspective that is, sadly, rarely retold. She retraces her family's history in Canada with handwritten notes and personal photos. Chow is a loving homage to her heritage and the recipes are delicious, too!

-Lisa An, Jasmine Magazine, Winter 2006


Great-grandfather Mah's Head Tax Exemption Certificate, 1909

"A charming collection of stories, photographs and sumptuous recipes," says TV Week

Gung Hay Fat Choy!
It's the Chinese Lunar New Year beginning on January 29, and time to celebrate. We're fortunate to have a wonderful Chinese-Canadian community in B.C. offering a tantalizing array of foods and ways to honour the occasion.

We caught up with Janice Wong, artist and author of Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food + Family (Whitecap, 2005). The book, originally a gift to her family, is a charming collection of stories, photographs and sumptuous recipes.

Growing up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Wong recalls receiving treats along with the shipments of Chinese groceries from Vancouver to supply her father's restaurants.

"Book combines love of family and food with a respect for tradition and history," says Kelowna Capital News

Gung Hey Fat Choy
However you spell it in English, Jan. 29 is the first day of the Chinese New Year, so Happy New Year.

On the lunar calendar used by the Chinese, it is the year 4704, and it's the year of the dog. People born in dog years are believed to be loyal, kind and generous. As part of the celebrations, which are a highlight of the year, children are given "lucky money" in little red envelopes, and, naturally, food plays a big part in the celebrations, which go on for 15 days, until the full moon brightens the night sky on February 13.

With food in mind, consider picking up a good book on Chinese cooking. A new book called Chow, published by Whitecap, is one worth considering, simply for a few excellent recipes and the stories.
Written by Janice Wong, this nicely illustrated book combines her love of family and food with a respect for tradition and history.

"A tale of treasured culinary tradition,"
says Nanaimo Harbour City Star

Janice Wong, author of the much-celebrated Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food + Family, will be in Nanaimo Nov. 5 to launch her new book at the Chinese Canadian Historical Society's History Fair, hosted by Malaspina University-College.
This poignant book--both a cookbook and a memoir--was first developed as a gift from Wong to her family.
It is a tale of treasured culinary tradition played out in a wonderful collection of recipes, archival photos and other documents relating to Chinese-Canadian immigration, restaurant culture and family life since Wong's great-grandparents first arrived in the late 1800s.
Much of the book's historical content is related to Nanaimo's legendary Chinatown, where Wong's mother was born.
The reading takes place at 11 a.m., Building 356, Room 109, Malaspina University-College.

-Nanaimo Harbour City Star, November, 2005


Pine Street, Nanaimo Chinatown

Toronto Womens Bookstore Staff Picks for December

Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food + Family by Janice Wong. Whitecap, $24.95
There's lots of wonderful Chinese dishes and Western desserts to cook here and they'll taste even better eaten with the knowledge of the family stories and love behind each one. The author's father, Dennis, ran two Chinese-Canadian cafés in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and his story is both unique and a richly-flavoured portion of Chinese-Canadian history.
-Toronto Womens Bookstore, December, 2005

The Richmond Review's Choice for Chinese-Canadian

Chow, from China to Canada: Memories of Food + Family by Janice Wong (Whitecap), tells the heart-rending story of Janice's father who opened two of Canada's first ethnic restaurants in Saskatchewan. Stories of food and family, tried and true family recipes, and a collection of photos, 1940s menus and such make this a bedside read as well.

-Arlene Kroeker, The Richmond Review, November 24, 2005

Calgary Sun Chooses Chow for Christmas

We Love Food! Last-Minute Gifts
Chow: From China to Canada: Memories of Food and Family by Janice Wong (Whitecap Books, $24.95) explores how the author's family and food were entwined for decades. There's favourite family dishes, Chinese recipes from her father's restaurants in Prince Albert, Sask., and endless stories and photos.

-Lorena D. Johnson, Calgary Sun, December 14, 2005

The original cover, from the version of the book completed for family members in 2003.



Below, the Chow cover as it appears today.
Whitecap Books, 2005







LINK to contact Janice Wong.

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photographs copyright 2005 Janice Wong and Whitecap Books