Ken Hom OBE (born May 3, 1949 in Tucson, Arizona, United States) with ancestry from Taishan, Guangdong is a notable Chinese American chef, author and British television-show presenter. In 2009 he was awarded by HM The Queen with an honorary OBE for ‘services to culinary arts’. The OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) recognizes his achievements and the impressive social and historical impact he has made on the way the UK has ‘adopted’ Chinese cuisine, which has now become one of the UK's favourites.
Hom was born in Tucson, Arizona, and raised in Chicago, Illinois, by his widowed mother, after his father died when Hom was eight months old. He first learned cooking at the age of eleven when he worked in his uncle's Chinese restaurant. He went to California to study History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley.
During this time he taught Italian cooking lessons at weekends to supplement his college fees. This led him on to teach Chinese cookery classes. In 1977 he was invited to join San Francisco's new California Culinary Academy as an instructor.
In 1982, the BBC were looking for a Chinese presenter and chef to do a series on Chinese cookery...