Gung Ho! Spring Celebrity Chef: Xiao Bai
Xiao Bai sits down with Gung Ho! to talk about her life and her new Gung Ho! menu items!
GHP: Hi Xiao Bai! Thanks so much for coming in today!
Xiao Bai: My pleasure!
GHP: So before you became a chef you were a graphic designer. Design and cooking are both creative, how are they different?
Xiao Bai: Design’s a bit more creative; cooking can be creative, but at the end of the you have to be able to eat it! So it has to follow certain rules. But whether you’re cooking or designing, everyone can have their own personal style.
GHP: You’re quite famous for being a vegetarian chef, what kind of vegetarian food do you like best?
Xiao Bai: Easy and pleasant to do, of course, and as healthy as possible! I like each dish to have it’s own character. A lot of people think vegetarian is like grazing, or eating porridge or pickles, in fact it is not. I think it’s just a matter of eating normal dishes with the meat removed. It’s that simple!
GHP: Is your family worried about you not eating meat?
Xiao Bai: When I started they were a bit concerned, but after a few years I think my health – both physical and mental – has gotten better and better so now my family doesn’t worry at all. And now my mother is practically a vegetarian too!
GHP: Mental health?
Xiao Bai: Yes. I feel a lot calmer than before! I used to be a bit short tempered! I had no idea that would happen.
Read on below the cut!
GHP: So why did you become a vegetarian?
Xiao Bai: Well, a vegetarian diet is a good thing, it’s healthy. And it’s good for the environment of course, places far less stress on the planet, not to mention animals. There’s also less to worry about with chemicals and preservations.
GHP: As you know, you’re a part of our Green Launch. Do you consider yourself an environmentalist?
Xiao Bai: I try to support the environment where I can. I separate my trash at home, and I try to travel by public transport… This is not one or two-day thing, but the habit of a lifetime, but it’s for the sake of others, for the sake of everything to have a good environment.
GHP: What do you think is the future of vegetarianism?
Xiao Bai: Of course you want more and more people to be vegetarian! Less meat and more vegetables is ! The rest comes naturally.
GHP: You went from graphic design to a famous vegetarian writer, what’s next?
Xiao Bai: Oh, I might open a restaurant maybe, or start an original line of ceramics. These are much more related to design! Haha!
GHP: Thanks for your time! Before you go, could you please introduce for us the two dishes you designed for Gung Ho?
Xiao Bai: For the Roasted Eggplant Pizza, well, I love eggplant. It’s so tasty, and it’s really good for you. I also love the Taiwanese Three-Cup style flavor, so it was kind of a mashup. Three Cup sauce is usually used with chicken, so it’s a vegetarian mashup, then we put it on a pizza! It was just an idea but when I tried it, it tasted pretty good!
With the Roasted Vegetable Salad, I thought that a lot of Chinese don’t really eat a lot of raw vegetables like Westerosians do. So I put grilled zucchini and bell peppers together with some colorful vegetables and combined them with an Italian Balsamic Vinegar Vinaigrette. Then I added some ‘vegetarian tricks’, toasted flax seeds and pumpkin seeds, as well as barley, all really healthy things that we eat that meat eaters generally don’t!
GHP: Thanks so much for your time!
Xiao Bai: My pleasure!