‘Mother of Chinese food in America’ Cecilia Chiang dies at 100

Cecilia Chiang, the famed restaurateur who helped introduce authentic Chinese food to America in the 1960s, died at 100 on Wednesday.

She gained acclaim as the owner of the Mandarin, a pioneering San Francisco restaurant she opened in 1961 that served many dishes that are now staples at Chinese restaurants across the country, like pot stickers, moo shu pork and sizzling rice soup, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which first reported her death. Her granddaughter, Siena, confirmed her death to the Chronicle, which named Chiang the “mother of Chinese food in America.”

Chiang, who ran the Mandarin from 1961 to 1991 before selling it, was credited by food magazine Saveur in 2000 with “nothing less than nothing less than introducing regional Chinese cooking to America.”

Cecilia Chiang (Dustin Shum / South China Morning Post via Gettty Images)
Cecilia Chiang (Dustin Shum / South China Morning Post via Gettty Images)

The restaurateur recounted her dramatic journey to culinary fame

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