Ching-He Huang, c2006.
Ching-He Huang was born and spent her early years growing up in Taiwan. At the age of six, she and her family moved to South Africa , and by the time she was 12, her family had settled in London.
Her older brother graduated from Queen Mary, University of London in 1997, and encouraged his younger sister to also study at QMUL. Ching-he graduated with a degree in Economics in 1999.
During her degree, she spent a semester on an Erasmus exchange programme at the Bocconi Business School in Milan, where she not only fell under the spell of Italian food, but also gained a greater understanding of business, marketing, management skills and international financial markets.
Back in London , she noticed, and was frustrated by, the lack of good, healthy and quick foods. She spoke with the local buyer for a branch of Europa Foods, who helped Ching-He turn her frustration into an innovative business idea. Arriving with some packaging and a description of what the contents could be - noodles, vegetables and protein - the buyer took the time to describe the logistics and processes, from developing the product to describing labelling law.
Having finishing her final exams for her degree, Ching-He began cooking fresh noodles and experimenting with prawns, chicken and beansprouts. The products were sampled and she successfully got agreement for a small and regular consignment of freshly prepared noodle dishes. This resulted in starting up her own company, Fuge Foods.
In a highly competitive marketplace, Fuge Foods now provides a bespoke product to its retail and foodservice customers. Today, the Company has 16 full-time members of staff, and at the height of the summer months, the company is preparing 5,000 fresh hand-made salads each day.
Ching-He challenges the view that Chinese food is no more than what the local take-away is serving. She says that you only have to compare the amount of shelf space given to Italian pastas and sauces with that of Chinese products to realise that there is a fear of experimenting with new flavours, unusual vegetables and different cooking methods. It is finding ways of re-creating the flavours of her childhood, her grandmother's recipes passed down to her mother, and using ingredients available in most supermarkets.
She has her own television programme Ching's Kitchen on UK Food, and has made appearances on the BBC's Saturday Kitchen, ITV's Saturday and Daily Cooks. She has published China Modern: 100 cutting-edge, fusion-style recipes for the 21st Century and writes food columns in Delicious, Olive and Good Food magazines.