I have enjoyed this project particularly on food, to see even on food there is a great difference between East and West, but in time it will be integrated. From this project I am for sure that we could learn a lot from one another about eating and drinking culture. Eventually it will get the best conclusion for a healthy way of eating and drinking habit for our own benefits.
Elisabetta Bizzarri, Interviewer & Transcriber
I wanted to get involved in this project because I have always wondered : "Why Chinese food tastes differently in each of the countries where I have tasted it?" This project can give you the answer.
Dan Butiu, Researcher
Working for Ming-Ai (London) Institute gave me the best experience in researching about Chinese culture and Chinese food industry I would have not learnt of. Volunteering is rewarding and inspiring, because I never had the courage to be volunteer until now.
蔡碧野 Sam Biye Cai, Interviewer & Transcriber
I used to see Chinese food only as something we eat and something that we take for granted. But after being part of this project, I'm more aware of the cultural, historical, geographical, and people dimensions of Chinese food. The staff and volunteers in this project inspire me with their enthusiasm and ideas.
鄂華吟 Riyn E, Video Editor
Until last September, Riyn had been a student for 17 years of her life. Though the title is now gone, learning will continue to be her lifetime occupation. Her interests are visual arts, the meaning of life, and 42.
Food is a universal language which has been playing a significant role in enhancing the communication between different cultures. I wish all the best for the future development of this project as it is a valuable recording of how people from different backgrounds are connected together by the same passion they have in wonderful cuisine.
Chong Goh, Transcriber & Audio Editor
My time at Ming-Ai was very enjoyable and I have learnt a lot of interesting facts about the British Chinese Food. Listening to the interviews gave me a fascinating insight into the various backgrounds and views of interviewees. The range of interviewees is a credit to Ming-Ai’s ability to attract people who are enthusiastic about the project.
Transcribing interviews was challenging at first, and I listened to some so many times I could recite them. I had to learn how to touch type just to keep up with the interviews. I was lucky enough to watch a computer forget how to copy and paste. As amusing as this was being unable to retrieve an audio file can be slightly annoying. For someone who cannot speak Chinese listening to the interviews taught me a lot about Chinese Food, and I can now even order Heung So Ngap (香酥鴨, Crispy Aromatic Duck).
But I would like to thank everyone I worked with for giving me the opportunity to work on such a unique and interesting project. I would also like to thank all the interviewers and interviewees who recorded some fascinating interviews.
許鄧錦齡 Kam Ling Tang Hui, Researcher
Chinese food in Britain today can be described in eight words, "Hundred flowers blossom together, hundred birds singing together". Whether it's Cantonese cuisine, Beijing cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Shanghai cuisine, Hunan cuisine, vegetarian cuisine and etc., there is a good range of delicious dishes to choose from, be it meat or vegetarian.
Ming-Ai (London) Institute has recently worked hard in researching and interviewing many chefs to find out how the British Chinese catering industry has developed to produce many dishes with 'visual, aroma and flavour'. Recording this development history is really something great to congratulate Ming-Ai on.
I feel very fortunate to have this learning opportunity, to learn how to conduct interviews, shooting video, writing idioms and meeting new friends. It's been very rewarding experience and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ming-Ai.
許逸韻 Yatwan Hui, Volunteers' Representative, Steering Group Member, Interviewer & Transcriber
It’s been such a nice year to be able to explore one of my favourite topics – food - with so many people. I’ve had some great discussions with the British general public, the movers and shakers of the Chinese catering industry, as well as the staff and volunteers who are so passionate about food. I feel very proud to have the opportunity to contribute to this project and to document the identity and legacy of Chinese food in Britain.
林潔麗 Kit Lai Lam, Interviewer & Transcriber
Like most people, I like to eat. I am also interested in my own culture, so when I was told about this project, I immediately signed up for it.
I was very fortunate to interview a well known food writer. During the interview, not only did he explain the changes of the Chinese food in the UK, he also very generously shared his life experience with me. This was a bonus; we could learn so much from the experience of our interviewees.
It was a shame that due to work and other commitments I could not do more interviews; I always find it fascinating to hear stories from the interviewees. To me, it is much interesting to hear history from the people who were there.
I also wanted to say thank you to the team; they have made the project very enjoyable and stress free for us, the interviewers. They have done a lot of work before, during and after each interview; allowing us to concentrate on the interviews. Thank you so much.
羅繼剛 Ricky Law, Photographer
For those who have participated the Ming-Ai's project for British Chinese Food Culture, I am the "cameraman". Very often taking photos at all angles like a headless chicken! Even though I was not involved with the interview proceedings, just being there, listening to the interviewees' recollection of their past experiences, inspiration, drives, dedication and motivation to promote and improve Chinese Food in Britain was my greatest honours.
Apart from helping Ming-Ai, I do have a day job. I am a partner in a firm of Accountants based in Enfield. I am happily married to Lucia and together we have two lovely children, Melissa and Alex, all of them have involved in this project one way or another.
羅俊傑 Wilson Law, Interviewer, Transcriber & Audio Editor
I've got to say that even during the small period of time that I had been helping out at Ming-Ai, I've had a really good time with great people. Although there have been lots of somewhat mundane activities (like waiting for the computers to turn on or load/save...!), I do feel like I've learnt a fair amount, not only about the project but also about myself - from my "Er's.." and "Um's.." to my over usage of the word "So..." as a connective!
Having been given the opportunity to carry out an interview on my first day, I felt that it really challenged and pushed me out of my comfort zones - somewhat scary but looking back on it, it's been a great experience. I think the highlight of my time at Ming-Ai has to be the interview that I had with Ching-He Huang. Despite having been sick the night before, there was no way that I could have missed the opportunity! It was really interesting discovering more about her passion for healthy Chinese food, especially how it has been developed and how it's shaping not only her future and career, but also how it will hopefully affect people's eating habits too. Another memorable time had to be cooking in the demonstration kitchen with Karen for my 'celebratory' leaving lunch - yup, we were celebrating my departure!
With things that could be improved/enhanced, I guess the main thing I could think of would be the computers. I know it comes down to resources so I there's not much to really say about it. You do doing amazingly well with the bits and bobs that you do have so a very big well done to you all! Very highly commendable work! As another smaller point, some more variety would have been good with regards to some of the tasks. Audio editing takes its toll after a while hehehe... ;P
馬健怡 Jianyi Ma, Interviewer & Transcriber
I have learnt a lot about Chinese food culture in the UK and met many lovely people. I thoroughly enjoy doing interviews with the brilliant chefs, restauranteurs. They have so much passion and knowledge for developing Chinese food industry in the UK. I am very glad that I have the chance to be part of the project.
王珊 Sally Wang, Researcher
Having worked in Chinese takeaway shops at an early age has given me an understanding and interest in Chinese cuisine, and seeing how Chinese dishes are 're-invented' in such ways to suit the tastebuds of westerners has always made me wonder: when and how are these dishes invented?
An opportunity knocked on my door when I found out about Ming-Ai's project, and I started looking into the topic of 'Who invented Chop Suey', a dish that has a prolonged history on the menu of all Chinese takeaway shops, yet never be seen in Mainland China.
I have really enjoyed working on this project, and appreciate this opportunity for me to explore into my culture.
黃麗裳 Lai Sheung Wong, Interviewer & Transcriber
When I was invited to be a volunteer of the British Chinese Food Project, I was quite excited as it touched something close to my heart. My family immigrated to the UK in 1965 and was involved in the restaurant business.
During the course of the project, I have met some interesting and exceptional people and learnt new skills. The workshop of how to conduct the interview is very valuable. I was unsure of my abilities of being an interviewer but the support and encouragement I got from the Project team was a much needed boost for me to carry out the work.
The three people I had the privilege to interview are of different background in the Chinese community, two are directly involved in the catering trade and the other one is indirectly. They are all well respected amongst the Chinese community. They all have contributed greatly to the course of promoting and making Chinese Food to reach its high status in the UK today.
The enthusiasm and professionalism shown by the BCFC team is second to none. I am eager to see the finishing product in December's opening ceremony.