CiCi Li started off as a columnist and TV host for New Tang Dynasty Television, exploring different people and their food on a global scale. In 2014, CiCi became so immersed with cuisines that she became a chef-in-training. Now she hosts her own cooking show, Food Paradise, which can be watched on YouTube. From Mongolian beef and Cantonese clams to succulent braised pork belly, you can depend on CiCi to teach her viewers traditional Chinese recipes. Who wouldn’t want to learn to cook authentic Chinese cuisine from a vivacious young beauty?
CiCi’s life story didn’t always sound so pleasant. CiCi was born in China and grew up in South East Asia. Her family recognized the need to maintain her Chinese upbringing and sent her back to China for school. There, CiCi excelled and easily rose to the top of the class. She even became the president of several on-campus organizations. However, CiCi and her family were Falun Gong practicioners. Falun Gong is condemned by the communist Chinese party as treacherous and propaganda. They believed its popularity in the 90’s threatened the communistic state. In 1999, the Persecution of Falun Gong began, a campaign that sought the end of the Falun Gong spiritual practice. Supposedly, Falun Gong practitioners were subjected to horrific experiences– organ harvesting, labor camps, illegal imprisonment, and even death. CiCi was eventually expelled from school and her family had to flee to the United States as political refugees.
Her family had to flee their home country and escape to an unknown foreign land when she was only 12 years old. Nonetheless, CiCi found that the one universal connection she could make and really learn about anybody was by eating together. She eventually joins New Tang Dynasty, as a TV host in New York. There, CiCi helped bridge the gap between the east and the west with her own life experiences.
At New Tang Dynasty, CiCi hosted a show where she explored different parts of the world to learn about the native people and their food. Her penchant for food grew and she becomes a chef-in-training. In recent years, CiCi launched her own food show, Food Paradise. She makes cooking look simple. Watch and learn from her in the 4 minute video below on cooking Cantonese clams.
Her Minority is a blog that brings insight on influential women of Asian ethnic background. Some are iconic innovators and lead impactful careers. Others are simply astounding for their past actions or their unorthodox ways seem quite inquisitive.