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Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner with Kian Lam Kho

hot pot spread

Big thanks to Kian for a beautiful meal, Jeff for organizing, and Talisa for this recap of the rooftop Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner.  Oh boy, I’m getting hungry again.
– Veronica

When Jeff’s email blast arrived in my inbox announcing the next Ambassador Dinner — an evening of traditional Asian hot pot dining with Kian Lam Kho — it took me about fifteen seconds to send in my RSVP.

I love hot pot. It’s something I grew up doing with my family at home (somewhat infrequently, but with zest — usually in conjunction with a slew of sweet and savory fondue nights, the better to make use of the cooking equipment needed for such endeavors).

The concept of Hot Pot is simple: a pot of hot broth sits in the center of the table on a burner which keeps the broth simmering. Everyone at the table partakes in adding a variety of uncooked items (like veggies, meat, seafood, dumplings, and noodles), and fishing them out as they’re ready to eat. Since most of the ingredients aren’t seasoned, additional flavor is added via the broth during cooking, as well as with dipping sauces after cooking. At the end, everyone slurps up the remaining broth, which has been infused with the flavors of everything that’s been cooked in it throughout the night.

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A Late Spring Chinese Dinner with Red Cook

Last Saturday night Kian of Red Cook invited me and my family to his Late Spring Chinese Dinner at his home in Harlem.  Fellow dinner guests included Kian’s partner Warren, their fellow food enthusiast friend Ed, Shelley Menaged from the James Beard House and Iron Chef judge and food writer Akiko Katayama.

When I asked Kian how he had accumulated such a wealth of knowledge about Chinese cooking and cuisine, he told me, “I do lots of research.  I read Chinese cookbooks, go online… the online forums are very helpful.”

Over the course of four hours, Kian bustled back and forth between the dining table and the kitchen, meticulously prepping and presenting us with course after course.  Meanwhile, we shared stories about gritty pizza joints, trips to outerboroughs, and our passionate love or hate for durian fruit, all between bites of food.


We gathered around Kian as he was finishing prepping his first course, waiting with eager anticipation for the ten-course marathon to begin.

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