Kathy Fang's New Show Explores The Balance Between Honoring Tradition And Innovating

Lauded for trailblazing food shows and celebrity chefs, the Food Network knows a culinary phenomenon when its sees one. But diners in San Francisco could have told them years ago to set serious sights on chef and restauranteur Kathy Fang, co-owner of Fang restaurant. She's no stranger to the network, having appeared on "Beat Bobby Flay," "Guy's Grocery Games," and "Alex vs. America," per a press release, and she's emerged twice as champion of "Chopped." But this time around, the author of "Easy Asian Cookbook" is starring in a show of her own.

Kathy grew up a protégé of her long-time chef father, Peter Fang, who opened the well-loved House of Nanking restaurant in 1988. By the time the duo joined forces in their 2009 joint venture, Fang, Kathy had found her wings by tapping into her roots. Focused on seasonal ingredients and how they inform ever-changing menus, the daughter/father duo have transformed the traditional Chinese dining experience in San Francisco, explains Fang restaurant. Both chefs are hands-on at Fang, greeting diners in person, explaining the dishes and experimental cooking style, and even creating impromptu dishes based on a customer's dining dreams.

Now, with the debut of "Chef Dynasty: House of Fang," the daughter claims her moment, validating the concept of innovation-meets-tradition within a family, both in business and at home.

Dynasty dynamics and gastro innovation

Food Network's newest release featuring the Fang family makes its debut during the holiday season of 2022, tucked between major cultural celebrations in America, including Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Day. "Chef Dynasty: House of Fang" premiers on Tuesday, December 27 at 9/8c on Food Network, with streaming availability on discovery+, according to Food Network. The six-episode docuseries featuring innovative Chinese cooking coincides with the major San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade on February 4, 2023. The parade route happens to end on Kearney Street, per Chinese New Year Festival & Parade, home to the original Fang family restaurant, House of Nanking.

Keeping things in the family is important to chef Kathy, but so is pushing culinary limits. Jane Latman, President, Home & Food Content and Streaming, Warner Bros. Discovery, acknowledges in the news release that Fang family dynamics are a push/pull scenario with Kathy determined to retain her father Peter's vision while ushering in a new era of Chinese fusion cuisine. Calling them Bay Area royalty, Latman notes the dichotomy of tradition/innovation while recognizing the allure of restaurant drama unfolding in the new docuseries.

There's no word yet on whether chef Peter, the so-called "Godfather of Chinese Cuisine," will make an onscreen appearance. But co-owner and mover-shaker chef Kathy will take her place in Food Network infamy, teaching viewers the basics of Chinese cooking while incarnating her stated goal of "Chinese cuisine world domination."