Dr. Calvin B.T. Lee, managed his father's legendary New York Chinese restaurant, Lee's Restaurant, while earning his doctorate. Together, with his wife, an expert cook, “The Gourmet Chinese Regional Cookbook,” provides the recipes for 300 dishes from China's four main regions that center on Shanghai in the East, Peking in the North, Szechwan in the West, and Canton in the South.
It provides an introduction to the wide variety of cultures within China by describing and identifying the social and historical forces that have molded each region.
The authors explain why a particular region came to produce its own unique flavorings and culinary styles — from the mild dishes of Peking to the spicy dishes of Szechwan to the piquant dishes of Canton.
The recipes are organized by regions and by categories of food within these areas, enabling any recipe to be readily located. Each of the recipes have been carefully tested, with clear and definitive instructions for their preparation and cooking, along with the techniques and ingredients needed in preparing Chinese food.
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About the Author
When he was 17, his father died, leaving him as the general manager of Lee's Restaurant, New York City's oldest Chinese restaurant. He managed the restaurant for seven years while completing his undergraduate and legal studies at Columbia.
In 1958 he joined a Wall Street law firm, but took a leave of absence in 1961 to formulate and direct an innovative program for Columbia College. In 1968 he was appointed dean of the College of Liberal Arts of Boston University where he also served as acting president and still later as executive vice-president. From 1971 to 1976, he was chancellor of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He then became a full vice president at the Prudential Insurance Company in charge of evaluating the educational, training and developmental needs of the company.
He was the author of several books on higher education, political science and Chinese cooking and culture. He died of cancer at age 49 in 1983.
His wife and co-author of this cookbook, Audrey Evans Lee was born in Philadelphia and is a graduate of Barnard College. She, too, is an expert cook and rivaled her husband in the preparation of Chinese specialties for family dining and entertaining.
Following her husband’s death, she went on to earn an MBA from New York University and an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary. She was ordained by the Presbyterian Church [USA] and served for a number of years as an intentional interim minister. Now retired and living in Somers, NY, she serves as a docent at the Katonah Museum of Art and a member of the board of the Friends of the Somers Library. She is also an artist, an active singer locally, and an enthusiastic traveler.
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