MOCATalks: The Foods of Yunnan

Thu, Nov 8, 2018 @ 6:30pm - 7:30pm


Tickets are $10 and include tea, spirits, and Museum general admission. Members receive complimentary tickets. Not a Member? Join today!


A panel discussion with Georgia Freedman, author of Cooking South of the Clouds—Recipes and Stories from China's Yunnan Province and Simone Tong, chef of Little Tong Noodle Shop, moderated by Kian Lam Kho, author of Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees.

China's Yunnan Province is the most geographically, biologically, and ethnically diverse region in China. Stretching from the Himalayan plateau to the subtropics, the province is home to thousands of species of plants and animals as well as twenty-four of China's minority groups. As a result, Yunnan is one of the most culinary interesting and delicious places on earth, with a wide variety of cuisines and flavors all packed into one small province. Join us for a discussion of what makes Yunnan's foods so unique along with stories and photos from the panelists' travels in the region.


The evening will include:

Georgia Freedman is a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area and the author of Cooking South of the Clouds—Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province (Kyle, 2018). An avid student of Chinese food and culture, Georgia has been traveling to China regularly since 2000 in order to learn about the country’s diverse foodways. In 2011 she left her position as managing editor of Saveur magazine and moved to Yunnan for two years to further explore the area’s foods and traditions. Georgia’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Afar, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Roads and Kingdoms, and other food and travel publications. She returns to Yunnan regularly and continues to write about food and travel there at


Kian Lam Kho is a private chef, food writer, teacher and food consultant specializing in Chinese cuisine. He is the author of "Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking," and the creator of the James Beard Foundation Awards nominated Chinese home cooking blog Red Cook ( and is one of the authors of Knack Chinese Cooking: A Step-by-step Guide to Authentic Favorites Made Easy. He lives in New York City and teaches Chinese cooking at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Brooklyn Kitchen. He appears regularly as speaker and discussion panelist on Chinese cuisine and its history. He helped launch New York's first Yunnan restaurant, Lotus Blue, as a consulting chef. He is also a frequent guest chef and caters private multi-course Chinese banquets.


Simone Tong is the chef-owner at Little Tong Noodle Shop. She was born in Chengdu, the capital of China's southwestern Sichuan Province. Before embarking on her culinary career, she studied in Chengdu, Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Chef Simone eventually enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, graduating with highest honors. She went to work at wd-50, Alder and 15 East. In the Summer of 2016, she embarked on a three-month culinary and research adventure through Yunnan province. Starting from the capital city of Kunming, she visited the ancient towns of Dali and Lijiang, hiked through the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and trekked through the breathtaking Tiger Leaping Gorge, into the majestic Ganden Sumtseling Monastery in Shangri-La bordering Tibet and Sichuan. The menu at Little Tong Noodle Shop reflects Chef Simone’s passion for rice noodles, her time in China as a youth, and a recent extensive research trip across Yunnan province.