After training as an aerospace engineer and developing software on Wall Street for more than twenty years, Kian decided to pursue his passion for cooking. He apprenticed in the kitchen of Chef Josh Capon at Canteen (now Lure Fishbar), in New York City’s Soho neighborhood, where he learned to produce modern American food.
However, it was Chinese cooking that interested him the most. After Canteen he started organizing pop-up Chinese banquet events to showcase the variety of ingredients and versatility of techniques in Chinese cuisine rarely experienced in American Chinese restaurants. He continues to work at different restaurants as a guest chef, creating unique Chinese banquet events.
In January of 2008 Kian created the Chinese cooking blog Red Cook. The blog emphasizes the importance of understanding proper Chinese cooking techniques while describing them in historical and cultural context. Red Cook was selected as a finalist and nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award in 2011.
Kian teaches Chinese cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education, Brooklyn Kitchen and Haven’s Kitchen. He offers popular classes in dumpling making and stir-fry techniques. Kian is also very involved with culinary professional groups and often participates in panel discussions and conducts lectures on Chinese cooking, culinary culture and history.
His cookbook, Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking, will be published in September 2015. This cookbook is the culmination of years of both research on Chinese cooking techniques and their implementation in the home kitchen. This book affords home cooks a practical way to master this diverse and alluring cuisine.