helen knows stir-fries


I first met Helen Chen at a trade show back in about 1998, although I don’t think she remembers it. Fast forward ten years to 2008, and I found myself working with her on a stir-fry cookbook. The shoot was with photographer Jason Wyche, and it was one of our first jobs working together. (He’d assisted on a job for one of Sally Sampson’s cookbooks, and then we lost touch for a while until we ran into each other at a Blonde Redhead concert — true story.) Anyway, Jason and I have now worked on several shoots, but at the time I was probably a little nervous about it. And I remember feeling like it was going to be an eternity until the book came out.

There’s Jason in action, by the way. Helen’s Asian Kitchen: Easy Chinese Stir-Fries is hitting bookstores now. The interesting thing about Helen’s recipes is that no matter how simple they may seem, they always taste great. At first glance you might even go so far as to think, this recipe might be just ordinary. How wrong you would be! I guess I’ve turned into Helen’s biggest fan lately, now that we’re working on a noodle book together too, but you really might want to give this book a try for yourself.

The book is gorgeous, by the way. You’ll have to check out the actual book to see Jason’s photos (the top photo in this post is a snapshot I took myself). You can get a teaser of Jason’s photos from this photo of the monitor — even looking at it this way, you can see how cool the photos are. And in this economy, it’s nice to know this book won’t break the bank either. By the way, Helen, congrats on the new book. It’s been great working with you.


4 thoughts on “helen knows stir-fries

  1. MMMMMM…this noodle dish looks superbly yummie!Could you also give recipes on your foodblog? Because it is allways referred to cookbooks?!?That is a pity, i think!But it must be fun your day to day job! How lucky you are: your passion is your work!Thanks for stopping by at my foodblog! I will be following yours! Many greetings from a foodie from Brussels, Belgium!!

  2. hi, Sophie. Posting recipes on my blog is a sensitive subject for me. Most of the people I write about are friends and authors I’m working with. I love to write about their books, but posting all the recipes doesn’t really support book sales. My hope is that people will be tempted by what they see and decide to check out the book for themselves. I know some people would argue otherwise, but it’s not really cool to just take someone else’s recipes and post them for free on your blog. At the least you need to give credit where it’s due and post a link to Amazon or something, but a LOT of bloggers don’t do that, and it’s a shame. I’m sure if you wrote a book yourself, you wouldn’t want bloggers giving away all the recipes for free, right? Just put yourself in their shoes… if you make up your own recipes and decide to give them away for free on your blog, that’s your choice of course.

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