Share with us why you love to cook and what connects that passion?
I love to cook because of my late mother, the renowned chef and restaurateur Leeann Chin. She immigrated from China making 50 cents an hour as a seamstress. Against all odds, her love of cooking led to a chain of 50+ Chinese restaurants in Minnesota bearing her name. She was a pioneer in demystifying Asian cuisine and I feel that it’s my responsibility to carry forth her legacy. I actually had a career as a film and tv marketing executive before becoming a chef and she was so disappointed in me when she realized I had forgotten how to cook about 16 years ago. She came to visit and was mortified when she found only yogurt and champagne in my fridge! She kept flying to LA to teach me to cook again with my friends.
One thing led to another and I quit my job and we did a cookbook together, opened a catering business, appeared on the Today Show a bunch of times, did Specials for the Food Network and co-hosted a national PBS cooking series together called Double Happiness. We created wonderful memories together that I will always treasure. Today, I hope to instill the same passion for cooking in my 9-year-old twins and keep her memory alive through my cookbooks, blog, Wok Star Catering business and my Fortune Cookie Divas gourmet fortune cookie business. In fact, my daughter Becca has her own YouTube Channel called “Becca’s Yummytown”!
What does a typical day look like for you?
It really varies depending on what’s happening in my life. In general, it could include designing cookies for my fortune cookie business, working on a new blog post, shooting a Facebook live stream, developing recipes for my new cookbook. appearing on a reality show, catering a wrap party for a TV show, producing a charity event or consulting for a food client.
What platform ( website, tv, social media) is most successful for you in connecting with your audience?
I think social media is the best way for connecting with my audience as it gives them the ability to engage with my life on every level. I believe that food and cooking is storytelling and I think my fans love to see how every aspect of my life is influenced by food.
What is the best part of being involved in the food blogging community?
I love the camaraderie among chefs and bloggers in the food industry, especially among women. I also love how so many kids are passionate about cooking today and how we can set an example for healthy eating as chefs.
What is your most popular recipe?
I would have to say my most popular recipe is Firecracker Shrimp. It’s so addicting my friends call it “Crack Shrimp!”
Tell us about your new business venture Fortune Cookie Divas.
I serve chocolate dipped fortune cookies in my Wok Star Catering company. One day, my head of biz dev and I sent a basket to a client and he went nuts and ended up putting it on Instagram. At that moment a light bulb went off and I was like, “I think there’s something here” and a week later Fortune Cookie Divas was born!
What other exciting projects do you have lined up?
I’m thrilled to be working on my 5th cookbook right now. I’m also honored to serve as the Los Angeles Ambassador to Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and am working on our 4th annual event for November 2017.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Leap and the net will appear.
Thank you, Katie!
** You can also find Katie at Chef Katie Chin.