About Kwoklyn Wan
I literally grew up in the kitchens of Chinese takeaways and restaurants.
Unlike other children on my estate, my playground was the Kitchen Store Room and when closed, under the tables in my Dad’s Cantonese Restaurant.
I’m sure if you cut me in half it would say “10 minute” (in a broad Chinese accent), which is pretty much what we told every customer who asked how long their order would be.
Grandad, like many Chinese back in the 1950’s opted to migrate to the U.K, the journey took a month by boat and on arrival he headed to the midlands where he finally settled in Leicester. In 1962 Grandad opened Leicester’s first Chinese restaurant (aka a Chop Suey House). Chinese ingredients were very hard to come by so the menu mainly consisted of British dishes like steak and roast chicken with a few beansprouts or chop suey dishes thrown in. The restaurant was very popular and was even visited by The Beatles when they played in Leicester in 1964. Dad managed the restaurant for the family until 1978 when he then opened his own restaurant “The Bamboo House”, which was Leicester’s very first Cantonese Restaurant. He sourced two amazing chefs from London and the business took off with a BOOM!
The restaurant as you can imagine was hard work and took up most of my parent’s time so in 1983 they bought a restaurant on Fosse Road North in Leicester (which he named as The Panda) with living accommodation above, this then allowed them to spend more time with us, “The Wan Children”.
Little did I know at the time but this would be the start of my career as a Chef. Every weekend and sometimes midweek I would be in the kitchen helping, washing up, peeling prawns or chopping vegetables.
“It was our way of life” and fuelled my obsession with food!
Dad liked that the restaurant was family ran and would often parade us around. There were even times when we sang carols at the tables to regular customers (much to my horror now). At sixteen I left school and assumed my role as a full time chef at The Panda. My days were spent preparing ingredients for the night ahead and in the evenings, I was creating amazing Cantonese and Szechuan dishes. Business was booming, we even made it into The Good Food Guide, where we stayed for several years.
Over the years I’ve run a full time Kung Fu School, a huge Martial Arts & Fitness show at the NEC, opened a trucker’s cafe, a Taiwanese Bubble Tea store and a Hong Kong Street Food Bar, yet despite my Many Varied business activities over the years, cooking has always remained at the heart of my DNA. It’s as simple as breathing and I cannot remember a time when I couldn't cook. I’ve feel so lucky to have been able to share my knowledge in a myriad of Magazines & Newspapers, on the Radio, at Live Events and even on TV, and now via the pages of my books The Chinese Takeaway Cookbook Series, which is The Ultimate Guide to re-creating your Favourite Chinese dishes at home.
Kwoklyn is a worldwide bestselling author, TV chef, martial arts expert, and presenter. In 2018 Kwoklyn took to our screens on ITV’s This Morning and can now be found every other week on C4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch.
‘Kwoklyn’s Chinese Takeaway Kitchen’ Series 1, launched on Amazon Prime in the UK & USA in February 2021, followed by the hotly anticipated ‘Christmas Special’ in December 2021.
With 5 cookbooks achieving almost instant worldwide recognition and success and holding the top of the Amazon charts since their subsequent releases.
"We had a fantastic evening with Kwoklyn coming over to our house to prepare a special meal for some of our friends. The food was absolutely amazing and Kwoklyn took the time to explain what he was making and shared some tips on how to make it just right.
"We had lots of different dishes from the new Takeaway cookbook including soups, meat dishes and a range of vegetarian dishes too - they were amazing and much better than any takeaway I have had! The preparation and presentation was simply stunning; there was twelve of us in total but that was no problem and there was plenty of food... there was even enough for me to have yummy leftovers the next day.
"Everyone had a great time and enjoyed truly wonderful food, it really is a great way to impress your friends... the only problem was we couldn’t agree on our favourite dish as they were all incredible!"
Jamie Long - Lloyds Bank
"Kwoklyn is a wonderfully knowledgeable chef with an outstanding personality and a great inspiration. His new cookery book has showcased his passion just perfectly. I'd love to see him cook on tv once again ."
Carmela Sereno Hayes - Cookbook Author
"We had the pleasure of working with Kwoklyn when he headlined at the Northampton Winter Food Festival 2018. He's bright, bubbly and entertaining and his food wasn't bad either! 'Wink, wink' The audience had lots of ideas to ... wait for it ... 'takeaway!'"
Glyn & Katie Johnson - Former BBC Presenters now supplying Cookery Theatres
“I’ve had the pleasure of filming (and eating) with Kwoklyn and he is the real deal.
"Incredibly knowledgable and a charismatic presence, I still drool over his Hot and Sour tofu wraps!”
Andrew Smyth - GBBO
"I worked with Kwoklyn Wan for the first time on a film about restaurant chains for Inside Out last year. A great guy to work with, took direction well and understood key elements in the film, adding his own touch and personality. He was very flexible with filming dates and timings which always helps and the end product was a great film."
Nisha Chopra, PD, - BBC Inside Out East Midlands
"Oh my. Kwoklyn Wan has smashed it with this PHENOMENAL book! Yum."
"A phenomenal chef & wonderful friend, who brings a new magical vigour to the art of Chinese cuisine...Making it easy for all, to actually give cooking a go, whilst at the same time celebrating all things Asian. He’s fun! He’s alive. He’s just one of those amazing talents! His new cook book is now literally my recipe ‘go to.’ X"
Chrissie Wunna - Reality TV Star and Model
"Kwoklyn is a larger than life character, the Chinese Takeaway Cookbook is joyful pages of fun recipes for the whole family. As a foster family of 9 and then adding friends to our take away nights it does work out very expensive.
"Now we can make our takeaways, which not only means saving money but, more importantly we make a meal together which adds FUN!"
Debbie Douglas - TOWIE Reality TV Star
"Thanks so much for being on. So lovely to see you and congratulations on your new book."
"It gives me great pleasure on behalf of Lamp to appoint you as an Ambassador for our charity.
"During our recent meetings your passion to make a difference in local communities and your interest in Lamp has been inspirational."
Sue Langley, LAMP
“Couldn’t be prouder of my big bruv. He’s a brilliant cook and writes from the heart. This book is drenched in warmth and familiarity and will show you how easy it is to cook GREAT Chinese Classics. X”
“My favourite Chinese cookbook! Kwoklyn makes it easy to cook amazing Chinese food at home.”
Dan Toombs, The Curry Guy
"What a talented and special man you are!"
Frank Fairbrother, Facebook
"We had the pleasure of working with Kwoklyn for our new showroom launch. Kwoklyn and his team cooked for our guests the most amazing food and on the evening did a live cookery demonstration which was fun, informative and engaging.
"It created such a buzz for our business that we have already agreed to work together again. Everything about Kwoklyn and his team’s approach has been so professional but with a fun element that just makes you want to go back for more."
Event catering for the Team at Oadby House, (Sherwin Hall, Michael John Flooring and Maison Interiors)
"What can I say about this fantastic chef? He’s an absolute pleasure to work with. He’s bubbly, easy going and will accommodate the needs of the event. He placed his heart and soul into the food he cooked for our sponsors, and that showed as we received many compliments for the menu that night.
"I have no hesitation in recommending Kwoklyn Wan and Eastern Heroes Catering for your events."
Linda Taylor – Leicester Riders
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