KATIE CHIN IS HONORING HER
MOTHER'S CULINARY LEGACY
Katie Chin is a celebrity chef, award-winning cookbook author, spokesperson, food blogger and the Culinary Ambassador to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation. Katie has had a cooking show called “Double Happiness” with her mother Leeann, has appeared on TV shows like “The Real” and “The Today Show,” and written five cookbooks including her latest — “Katie Chin's Global Family Cookbook” filled with internationally-inspired recipes your friends and family will love.
IN THIS EPISODE
[00:48] On what she’s most passionate about and her culinary journey with her mother
[06:59] On her career in the entertainment industry
[09:23] On the challenges of a career in the entertainment industry
[10:36] On the event that reignited her interest in cooking
[15:23] On her TV Show with her Mom “Double Happiness”
[19:56] On her cookbooks
[27:02] On the respect she got for her mother once she knew the details of her personal story
[28:34] On the cooking show she started with her daughter during COVID
[31:08] On the trait that’s helped her succeed
Passionistas: Hi, and welcome to the Passionistas Project Podcast, where we talk with women who are following their passions to inspire you to do the same. We're Amy and Nancy Harrington. And today we're talking with Katie Chin, a celebrity chef award-winning cookbook, author spokesperson, food blogger, and the culinary ambassador to the national pediatric cancer foundation.
Katie has had a cooking show called "Double Happiness" with her mother Leeann, has appeared on TV shows like "The Real" and "The Today Show" and written five cookbooks, including her latest "Katie Chin's Global Family Cookbook" filled with internationally inspired recipes your family and friends will love. So please welcome to the show Katie Chin.
Katie: Hi everyone.
Passionistas: Thanks so much for being here today, Katie, we're thrilled to have you. What's the one thing you're most passionate about?
Katie: The one thing I'm most passionate about is honoring my mother's culinary legacy, because everything I know about life in cooking, I learned in the kitchen from her.
Passionistas: Talk about how you came to that place, where you wanted to honor her legacy through food.
Katie: We have to go all the way back to 1956. When my mother immigrated from China, from Guan Jo China, to Minneapolis, Minnesota of all places, she didn't speak any English. She was making 50 cents an hour as a senior. But she always loved to cook. She couldn't even find fresh ginger at the market at the time, but she improvised. She grew bok choy in our garden and somehow whipped up these gourmet Chinese stir fries.
Even though our family had no money. One day, she decided to throw a luncheon for some sewing clients in the 1970s. And they were blown away by her cuisine because back in the day, they only had to chop suey each domain and they had never tasted authentic Chinese cooking. So, they encouraged her to start teaching classes to cater.
And one thing led to another, she became very popular as a caterer, but bear in mind, she didn't even have a car. She had to take the bus. Okay. But her popularity continued to soar. And one day she hooked up with a socialite and the socialite wanted to open a restaurant with my mother. So, the socialite happened to be friends with the owner of the Minnesota twins and the owner of the Minnesota twins was friends with Sean Connery.
What like that's crazy. So, what happened is Robert Redford was in town, directing ordinary people in Minneapolis and Sean Connery came to visit. And somebody threw a party and my mom was catering it. So, both Robert Redford and Sean Connery were at this party and I served them dumplings. Okay. I was a little girl, but I served the dump legs and my knees were buckling and I'm like, ah, anyway, Sean Connery decides to invest in my mom's restaurant too, which is unbelievable right in Minneapolis.
Oh my God. And so, once word got out that Sean Connery w seven was investing in my mom's restaurant. There were lines around the block and it was quite a quite elegant restaurant. She opened more and more restaurants. Now I'm in high school at the time. And I barely saw my mom. She literally was sleeping on the cats.
She worked so hard, but she opened more restaurants and more restaurants. And by the late eighties, my mother had over 30 years. So general mills, uh, bought my mother's company and made her head of this division, this restaurant division at general mills. Now bear in mind. My mother never even went to high school and had been making 50 cents an hour as a senior.
So, it was a remarkable story, really, for anybody, any woman, any minority, but really anyone with a dream, but she was also quite philanthropic. She served on several boards. She was on the board of the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota twins, but had never even been to a game. She spoke on the steps of the white house.
She met the Clintons, just unbelievable, but she became this huge star. Anyway, she ended up buying it back cause she didn't like what they were doing to her food. And she went on to create a chain with over 50 locations, which still exists. Our family's not affiliated anymore, but it's called Leeann Chin.
Okay. So, I grew up working in my mom's catering business in our tiny basement in Minnesota. And while all the other kids for ice skating or at the mall, we were frying chicken pieces gritting our teeth, but we knew something magical was happening to her. I just vowed to never work in the food business and to get the hell out of Minnesota, it was freezing cold, no offense to Norwegians or Swedish people, but there was, it was not diverse at the time.
We were like the only Asian family for miles. So anyway, I left, I went to school in Boston. You guys, I went to BU actually, and then I moved to LA and worked in the entertainment industry for 14 years. And I was just so busy if I had forgotten how to cook. And while I thought I was making my mother proud.
I had actually done the opposite because I had forgotten how to cook. And I think because in so many Chinese American families, you're supposed to become a doctor, a lawyer, a professor, and all my siblings are those things. And I did something that was so radically different. It forced me to work even harder to be successful.
So, they wouldn't worry about me, even though they had no idea what I did. So anyway, long story short, I decided to throw a dinner party one night. I kept calling my mom asking her questions because I forgot how to do everything. And she was like, this is ridiculous. So, she got on a plane with frozen lemon chicken.
She showed up on my doorstep. She cooked the whole meal, but she let everyone think that I had cooked it because she was just that kind of mom. So meanwhile, she opened my fridge and found only champagne and yogurt, completely mortified. And she set out to teach me how to cook again. So, she kept flying to LA and teaching me and my friends how to cook.
And they're like, oh my God, you guys make this look so easy. You should do a book together. And I was like, we should do a book together. So, I got us a book deal, but then I realized that I was lacking. Passion and meaning in my life, even though my career was very good to me, I was in a very unhappy marriage.
So, I just decided to completely change my life. And I quit my job as a senior VP at Fox. And I left my husband on the same month. Now I don't recommend doing all those things in one month's time, but first of all, I didn't have kids. So, I felt like I had the luxury to do so. And I also felt like, if not now, then when like life is social.
So, I just did a complete 180 and she and I came together. We did the book together. We had a catering business together called double happiness. We had a show on PBS together called double happiness as well, which was a mother daughter cultural cooking show, but she hated to be on TV. So, she really focused on the cooking.
So, I had to do most of the talking, so I'd go. Okay. So, if you don't have Asian hot sauce, you could use Mexican hot sauce right now and she'd go. No. So she was hilarious without trying to be hilarious. She was totally the straight man, but so funny and charming because of it. But anyway, we had lots of wonderful culinary adventures together, going to China for the food network and going on the today show a bunch of times it was truly a gift because finally coming together as adults, she opened up to me and told me a lot about her life in China and all of the hardships she endured.
Passionistas: Tell us a little bit about your entertainment industry career. What did you do? And did you have a passion for it in the beginning?
Katie: I just fell into it. I wanted to move to New York city and work in advertising like that girl. That was my dream. I wanted to be Marla Thomas, but what happened is I was, my boyfriend went to school at brown.
So, I was working at a radio station and Providence, and the Warner brothers rep walked in. And we started chatting and being from Minneapolis, I didn't know anything about the entertainment industry. So, he was like, oh yeah, I represent Warner brothers and bubble lives. Like, why don't you comment for me?
And I'm like, what people get paid to do that. So anyway, I was the on-campus rep for Warner brothers, and then I moved to LA and I do, you know, Nancy Kirkpatrick, Amy? Yes. Yeah. So Nancy was my boss when I worked for Warner brothers in college. And then she got me a job at a PR firm called climate Feldman, which became climate and white.
So, I worked in PR when I first moved to LA, but then I realized PR wasn't really, for me, I'm more of a promotions person. So, then I went to Orion and I was a consultant, but I didn't drive to take [the bus and cabs and I lied and said, I could drive. You do what you gotta do. So then from a Ryan, I went to Disney.
And then I was a manager of national promotions, and then I set up a college internship program, much like the one I participated in at Warner brothers for Disney flew all over the country, hiring interns. What a great job when you're like 25. Oh my God. So much fun. Then I got promoted and worked in national promotions at Disney.
Then I left and went to Fox when I was a director of TV promotions. There. Then I got promoted. Well, see, I never wanted to stay in it. I didn't ever want, I didn't want it to move to New York. I didn't want to stay in LA and I'm on my third marriage. My life is an open book. I'm just going to tell you everything.
So it was, I got married when I was 23, which is really idiotic and then he was gay. So we got divorced obviously. And so, I was going to move to New York, but I was just kept getting promoted and I'm like, why don't I keep getting promoted anyway. So, then I became a senior VP of synergy. When I was like 29.
And then I ended up moving back to Minneapolis to run my mom's company for a year, which was a mistake. I won't go into that, but I came back and where she worked at universal rose had a promotion there. Then I went to an agency. Then I went back to Fox and that was my last studio job.
Passionistas: So you must've been ready for a change when that moment came in your life, because those are exhausting jobs. None of those jobs are nine to five jobs.
Katie: It's one thing. If you're very passionate about your career and you have this incredible, uh, stress in your life, but when you feel dispassionate and there's that incredible stress, it really is harmful to your body, your mind, body, and soul. And I felt like it just wasn't worth it.
It just, it was very hard to face the studio. Exactly. Chairman of the studio, the unbelievable pressure that you're under people don't realize you guys do. And that feeling in your pit of your stomach. So, I was just like, I just saw this as like a chance to escape. I really felt like I needed to escape my life, but being like the good Chinese American girl, that I was, everything looked perfect on paper that was really living a lie because I wasn't feeling passionate about my career, but then also was not happy in my marriage.
So, I just feel so lucky that a lot of people don't have the luxury to escape their circumstances.
Passionistas: Let's talk about that moment where your mom flew out and helped you with the party. What did that mean to you that she did that. And how did that really start to trigger this renewed interest in food?
Katie: I was surprised that she did it, but then she was so amazing in that way. Like it was amusing to me that she did it and I of course wanted to bring her out into the dining room. She was, and it was about saving face is very important in Chinese culture. And I think she was just like, I don't want them to think that you can't cook. So, you just do that. I would have stay back here.
A lot of Chinese people express their love in interesting ways, non-Western way. If I did well in school, she would make a special dish. You would get a whole steamed fish and black bean sauce. If I came home with all BS, I get pork. Tell me if I got a promotion at work, she would, her secretary would send me a product purse typed by the secretary to Katie, from mom.
Congratulations. It was no love. Proud of you. Love you anything. So very subtle actions of love. So ,coming out to do that was an expression of love. My renewed interest in cooking really came more from at first it was my business acumen because my friends were reacting to this. You guys are such a cute team.
You make such a great team. You two together, you could really do some great stuff together. You should do a book. You know what I'm saying? I started to see a mother daughter culinary brand. That's the first thing I saw it, wasn't conscious to me. Wow. I can really now get to know my mom. I was like, Ooh, this is cool.
This is like a giant big mound of putty and I'm going to shape it and I'm going to build this brand. It's going to be great. So, in the beginning, I wasn't really that into the food part. I was like front of the house. I'm going to get us gigs on TV. I'm going to develop a series. And so what ended up happening is my mother was doing most of the work and I was the front man.
And so, this went on for a while and my mother was very wise and she, after we had our catering business for a couple of years, she announced that she was going to Europe with her friend, Denise for three months. But we had all these catering gigs lined up and I was like, what? Huh? What are you talking about about it?
So, she left me to my own devices cause she knew it was the only way I was gonna. So, I figured it out and I added some things. Like I modernize some of the recipes and then she came back with, she didn't like it because I changed a couple of things that we got it. We only had two fights because she passed away.
About 13 years ago. One was, I changed an at a mommy recipe and I used to Haney instead of peanut butter, she got mad and drove away. Very passive, aggressive. Didn't really say anything. She's like Chinese peanut butter always best gets in the car. Yeah. Another time right before we went on the today show for the first time with Ann Curry for Chinese New Year.
So, it's customary to serve a whole fish to symbolize abundance because the word for abundance in Chinese is in hominine abundance means fishermen's abundance, but also a whole chicken with the beak and the tail, the head in the beacon, the tail to symbolize unity, family unity, and a favorable started finish.
So, my moms, you have to have a whole chicken on the set. Mother, we cannot show a whole chicken with the head and the feed and everything on national television. And then she, we were staying with my sister at San Francisco and I'll never forget. She slammed… my mother never slammed the door. Like she was just raised in such a way that she wasn't allowed to scream or be aggressive or violent in any way, but she slammed the door.
I slammed the door. And then my sister Jeanie was like, and I know what she was thinking. She was like, how could I have raised such a white daughter, such a why low. That means that white ghost, that's a derogatory term against white people. How could I have raised such a white daughter in her mind? Sure.
That's what she was thinking. Anyway, I went out because we got on the conference call with the producer and I was like, I'm just wondering, we typically show a whole chicken and the producers. We cannot show that on national television. And I wasn't like, yeah, I won or anything like that. I was like, in my heart, I knew I was right.
So, it was just interesting dynamic, but it was for the most part, very respectful. And like I said, the biggest gift is in those quiet moments when we were cooking together, she would open up and talk to me more like a friend. And tell me about my God being in an arranged marriage, meeting your husband 10 minutes before you get married to them. So many crazy things that happened to her.
Passionistas: Tell us a little bit about your first television show together.
Katie: It was called "Double Happiness." it was on PBS and because of my marketing background, I, and I just wanted to, you know, say this because a lot of people, particularly when they decide to begin, become an entrepreneur and to pivot and try something new, it's scary.
They don't know how they don't know what to do, where to turn. And I think you just have to grow some balls sometimes and just ask for things. And then what's the worst thing that can happen. A person rejects you or they say, no, you're not going to die. You just move on. So, I was like trying to figure out the best distribution channel for us.
We had pitched Food Network, they passed. They didn't think a Asian show would fly, which I think is ridiculous. But I was like, PBS seems like. Starting point. So, I just did some research and I found a producer based in Hawaii on the internet. She had produced a Roy Yamaguchi show and Charlie Trotter show.
So, I just found her number and called her up and I was like, Hey, my name's Katie. My mom was his famous chef owned a restaurant chain. I'm coming to Hawaii. Do you want to get together for coffee? And she said, yes. So sometimes it's as simple as that. So, I think sometimes just the stars aligned. Oprah said luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
And I think it is so true. So anyway, she had gotten Kikkoman to fund Roy Yamaguchi. She still had a contact there. So, they happened to have money left in their budget. They needed to spend. So, this rarely happens in a life, but we basically made the phone call and had the funding. In two weeks. We worked closely together.
We shot 13 episodes in 10 days, time in Hawaii, which was fantastic. And it was challenging because I had never done TV before. And as, as you guys know, like getting up and doing a PowerPoint presentation for a bunch of executives is one. Being on television with your mom who doesn't like to say anything is another thing.
I actually tricked my mom and forced her to train with my acting coach, but I told her we were going to get manicures and we pulled up to his house. She's like, where are we? I go, we're not getting manicures. We're trading with my, I take killers.
So, we go and he was adorable. My acting coach was a lot like Billy crystal, like his personality, very warm and loving and so funny, but we're working with him and he's like, okay, Leanne. So, you know, what you're making right now is three ingredients. So, you can't keep your head down. It's a pretty easy recipe.
You got to look up, you got to look up. Okay. And then as I've mentioned, my mother never really touched me or said, I love you. We just, she wasn't raised to hug. So, at the end of our first trial segment, he was like, yeah, got to put your arm around your daughter. At the end of the sec, she looked at me, she goes, do I have it?
It was challenging for me and learning how to do TV. Isn't really something you can practice. You can try, you can work with a media coach, particularly live TV. You can't get better at it unless you're actually doing it. So, I'll say it was hard in the beginning and then we had a blast doing it. And honestly, cause I'm working on the solo show.
I hadn't looked at any of the footage because it's just too painful. So, I'm planning to incorporate some of it. I've been watching some of the clips. This was years ago. We did this in 2004. It's been many years, but it's very difficult to watch and not get emotional.
Passionistas: [We're Amy and Nancy Harrington and you're listening to the Passionistas Project Podcast and our interview with Katie Chin. Check out her blog filled with delicious recipes and get a copy of her latest book "Katie Chin's Global Family Cookbook" at chefkatiechin.com.
And look for Katie during the 2021 Passionistas Project Women's Equality Summit being held virtually on August 20th through August 22nd. Katie is taking part in the AAPI panel called Kitchen Table Talk and the AAPI Community on Sunday, August 22nd at 2:00 PM. Pacific 5:00 PM Eastern. Later that evening, we will present The Passionistas Persist Awards to Margaret Cho and Dr. Jane Goodall. Our producing partner, Selena Luna will have an intimate conversation with Margaret Cho and we'll chat with our hero, Dr. Jane Goodall. For details, go to ThePassionistasProject.com/2021summit. Now here's more of our interview with Katie.
You've written five cookbooks. So, tell us a little bit about where you draw inspiration from when you're writing a cookbook and what that process is like.
Katie: The first book I did with my mom and all honesty. She did most of it because of my, I told you I was still actually working at box and then she had passed away. So, I had to really not rely on her platform or her name. And so, the next book I did was 300 best rice cooker recipes. And I had to test 300 recipes in different rice cookers.
So, I had all these different testers coming in and out. What I draw my inspiration from travel. Cause I've been fortunate. I've traveled to many different countries. Most of my friends happen to be children of immigrants. I think we just birds of a feather. So, I've been so privy to so many wonderful meals cooked for me by my friend's parents.
And eating out just pre COVID, obviously, and also pre- I have 13 year old twins now, but so I didn't eat out a lot when they were younger and LA were so, you know, fortunate, cause there's so many awesome restaurants and such a diversity of exciting food and so many different mashups happening. I just try to draw inspiration mainly from my friends and their parents.
Also, what I see on TV and I just try. Also, as a mom more recently. So, my most recent cookbook, the Global Flavors cookbook, I think because kids have grown up watching the Food Network, watching Top Chef, making food on TikTok, their parents being able to travel, being able to take their kids to foreign countries.
I think today's families in the US have a much more open and sophisticated palette than our generation. And whereas back in the day, if you went to a mini mall, oftentimes you just find pizza and donuts. Now you're likely to find Pokemon or an empanada shop. I just felt like people wanted a resource to replicate some of those flavors at home in an easy way, not requiring a million trips to an ethnic market using their everyday pots and pants.
So, I'm always, I love to eat. I'm here in Vegas right now.
Passionistas: You did a special for the Food Network and then you traveled to China with your mom. Can you tell us about that experience and what was it like going there with her and experiencing that?
Katie: It was really awesome to be able to go back to not only been to China a couple of times, but wow. To meet her family and because of the cultural revolution, you know, she didn't see her family for 30 years.
So, I can't speak Chinese, which made it challenging obviously. And they would just start laughing at me and I know enough to say hello, how are you? Nice to meet you. But they would just point at me and laugh at me, but this is one of the most memorable parts of the trip.
So, we were tending to celebrate my mother's birthday at her brother's apartment and her family in particular. And I think this is quite common in China. The purpose of sitting down to eat is to eat, not to speak. Like, you're not like having conversations. You're just eating the point is to eat, not to make like chat.
So, the producer who happened to be Chinese American, she was like, okay. And there's like a whole pig. They're like, it's like a big, huge banquet of food. And there's probably 14 of us around the table. She said, it's really important that when the cameras start rolling, but you guys are really gregarious talking about the food, cooking your glasses.
So, I go over to my mom. I'm like, mom, they want us to sip of a, I go, can you tell them to do that? And she goes, oh, they're not going to do that. I was like, okay. So, I go back to the producer. I'm like, you really not are equipped. They're not capable of doing that. She was like, okay, that's fine. But if they can just look excited and clink their glasses without talking, you do the toast, they click their glasses and then they dig into the food gregarious.
I'm like, okay, I think they can handle it. My mom tells them that. Between how to sign. I'm like, okay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We're here to celebrate somebody translating. And then I do the toast and then they all sit there like this. Cause you can you imagine how bizarre and foreign all these cameras are rolling.
And they're just like that. So that was pretty funny. Then we went to the world's largest floating Dim Sum restaurant it's called Jumbo in Hong Kong. And we're back in the kitchen with the dumpling master. He's teaching me how to make the delicate fold on the hard gal in the kitchen was rolling. He's teaching me, my mom, mom says, why are you so slow?
But it was always out of love. That was like, thanks mom, but so wonderful. Full to be there with her. And also, again, just being there, she told me a story while we were there. That after world war II, the Japanese mafia were still threatening. A lot of the neighborhoods there that if they didn't get, get paid off, they would bomb different communities.
So, my mother's father owned a grocery store. She was 12 at the time and my mother was a tomboy. So, she would deliver 50 pound bags of rice in the back of her bike. She was really a master of the Abacus. So, she had all these skills, but because she was like a tomboy, she had the least value. So the Japanese threatened to bomb and I guess her family and a bunch of the neighbors decided to leave just in case they bombed, but they didn't tell my mom.
So, my mom came home from school and realized everyone had evacuated except for a couple of the employees. And I said, oh, the family decided to go to another village in case the Japanese bomb. And she realized in that moment that she had been left behind to die, but they needed somebody to stay behind just in case they didn't.
So, she was there, she told me, eating dinner with the employees by candlelight she'd play Mahjong with them. And the day she would restock the inventory of the canned goods, things like that. And then three weeks later, her family came back, but they didn't even acknowledge what happened. She woke up and she said, her mom just said, get your other sisters ready for school again.
So, she did that. But in that moment, she realized her life had no value in the family. And I think that's what really motivated her to work hard, to not look back to overcome. And so, her way, her survival system was all about push your feelings down, move forward and be efficient. So, we all inherited a bit of that, but through therapy, my brothers and sisters,because that's not healthy either, but she did say because my father was also emotionally abusive. If your daddy had been a supportive husband, I probably would never have done all these, all of these things because she was raised to be a contented housewife and just cook and clean and raise children.
But I think that's just who she was as well. Like glass half full. I'm just gonna look at this as a gift, like in a way I would never have done all of this. He was the person that he was.
Passionistas: What did you personally take away from hearing that story? Did it affect you moving forward?
Katie: I think I had a lot more, I think respect for my mother, even though I was a full adult by that time, I think I, I had to grow up a little bit too, instead of relying on her, to do everything, spending so much time with her during this period and learning about that.
Cause she was a person that never complained. She just never complained about it. And she rarely had a bad thing to say about people, too. I think she really taught me also coming out of the entertainment industry, the gossipy and complainy, it's both those things. So, I think it really helped me to understand her a little bit more.
Like when I got divorced second time, you know, she picked me up from the airport, you know, and I was crying and she was like, you know, you should really not cry so much. It's inefficient. I was like inefficient, but I realized she couldn't help. It that's, she would never have survived unless she had that attitude.
So, I try to have some compassion for that, but also important for me to break the cycle for my own children, because I don't want my daughter to think it's okay to go around life, not crying cause it's inefficient. Right? The not complaining part. That's something I'm really trying to it's not doing successfully that way.
Passionistas: So speaking of your, your children and especially your daughter, you've carried on the tradition of filming, cooking shows with relatives. So, tell us about what you did during the pandemic with your daughter.
Katie: So I have a catering business called Wok Star Catering, and I obviously had to pivot and we have a home in Lake Arrowhead. So, we decided to skip town for about seven months. So, when it started, I was so bored cause I had to get bored easily. I just thought, oh, why don't we do a live streaming cooking show? I had done a few here and there with some friends. I mean, she's pretty, gung-ho about things, so she's okay. And it just started out something to do and something to get some friends involved and have guests on the show via Zoom.
And so, we started doing it three times a week, and then we got sponsors. Then we got all these people interested in being on the show and it became a thing and we have a pretty loyal following and we have friends helping us out, like all him straight. And my brother now is actually part of the crew, too.
So, it just became so fun for her and I did it to do together. And what was so beautiful for me was to watch her evolution being on camera because she's a dancer. So, she's used to performing, but in the beginning, she was pretty shy and then she just, I don't know, large and in charge and. My husband just pointed out in the show with your mom, she would criticize you and correct you the whole show.
And now my daughter does that to me. So, I just can't get your break. I get it. I got it for both EDS because Beck is very like type a, I think she'll be a producer. Not necessarily like on-camera talent. She's just very, don't forget to do this, mommy. And don't forget to do that. Mommy, you didn't add the soy sauce.
Talk about the giveaways. It's been really fun because she now takes charge. Like I intentionally try to remember during the show to just turn it over to her, Becca, take it away, tell everybody what to do next. And I also think this generation of kids doing TikTok and growing up, being on YouTube, they're not as self-conscious about being on camera has been really great.
And she has all these fans, like people just want to see Baca. This complete stranger was like the nibbler, Becca is the nibbler. Cause she's always taking bites of food. She doesn't realize she's doing it. This has become a thing, hashtag the nibbler. And we actually have merchandise that says Hashi, the nibbler that we're selling and also a Becca rocks.
That's been just so really a lot of fun and adorable to do. And then since then she joins me when I do these monthly TV segments for bloom TV, for national pediatric cancer. So, we cook along with a pediatric cancer warrior along with the host of the show. And also trying to teach her about philanthropy [and it's just a great way to do it. And also to build her confidence.
Passionistas: Do you think you have a particular trait that has helped you succeed?
Katie: My friends have said this. I do think I have. like, I, I really try to see the good in people and I really try to have fun. And I think that what has really been helpful to me are my friendships with other women.
And the network of women that I felt because a favorite quote of mine is for every successful female entrepreneur entrepreneurs, there's five other successful female entrepreneurs that have her back. And I think that there's a stereotype of successful women being bitches and too aggressive. And I've found that to be not the case, maybe once in a blue moon, but most of the women that I encounter that are entrepreneurs or even in my career, really just try to help each other out. So ,during COVID, what happened is a friend of mine and I, she runs a PR firm. We decided to start a virtual women's game night and it was just like a handful of us. So, we were playing Taboo on Zoom, but all of a sudden this magical thing happened more and more women started to join this chat.
And very few of them actually played the game. It became a drawing game, but it became this community of women in this chat, sharing advice, lifting each other. Cheerleading. Like I would see something, this might she's on the chat. She's a documentarian just saw that she was doing a fireside chat. I put it in the chat.
Then everybody started to do that for each other political commentary. Where are we on my eyebrows plug? Like everything under the sun. And as a result, I can't tell you how many of these women have gone on each other's podcasts, become friends. Lifting each other up. And we finally, and so many of them hadn't actually met in person.
We finally had to get together two weeks ago, you guys are going to have to join. We hired a DJ, we dance for five hours straight. It was so phenomenal, but the whole point wasn't to let's network and see what business comes of it. But it just all happened so organically in that. And I think I'm just really proud of how did that I didn't set out to, for that to happen, but it did happen and it continues to grow and it's just been so fulfilling for me.
Passionistas: Thanks for listening to our interview with Katie Chin. Check out her blog, filled with delicious recipes and get a copy of her latest book "Katie Chin's Global Family
Cookbook" at chefkatiechin.com.
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