Kei Lum

Kei Lum Chan is a food writer from Hong Kong. Along with his wife and collaborator Diora, he has authored well over a dozen books on Chinese cooking, including their English-language masterwork China, The Cookbook (2016). Chan is widely considered one of the foremost authorities on the culinary history and cuisine of China.


Kei Lum Chan was born of a food writing pedigree. His father was Chan Mong Yan, the celebrated Hong Kong journalist and prominent food critic revered for writing the 10-volume Chinese culinary bible, Food Classics (1953). He grew up in a food-loving household where he learned at an early age not only how to cook but to appreciate the process of cooking and Chinese culinary traditions. Kei Lum frequently accompanied his father to restaurants where he developed his passion for eating. As a technology consultant for IBM, he was able to travel throughout China with his wife for decades learning about local food and the unique culinary traditions and history of each region. They took copious notes as they sampled food and visited markets from Beijing to Mongolia. The couple amassed over 20 years' worth of research and recipes, which they transcribed into a series of bestselling Chinese-language cookbooks. They took two years to write their 700+ page tome, China, The Cookbook, meticulously testing each of the 650+ recipes to make sure every element, particularly ingredients, translated well in English and was accessible to home cooks. When Kei Lum is not writing cookbooks, he and his wife serve as consultants for restaurant groups in Hong Kong.

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