Bay Area culinary icon Cecilia Chiang dies at 100

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Cecilia Chiang, the Shanghai-born restaurateur who revolutionized the national culinary scene with her approach to northern Chinese cuisine, passed away this week on Chronicle of San Francisco reports. She was 100 years old.

Born on September 18, 1920 to a wealthy family in Wuxi, Chiang grew up in Beijing in a 52-room mansion. During China’s war with Japan, Chiang and his sister, “disguised as peasants” (Saveur wrote in 2000) fled hundreds of kilometers to Sichuan. It was the first of many escapes from war-torn areas, as Chiang – then married to Chiang Liang – fled to Japan and then to the United States.

In the late 1950s, Chiang visited her sister in San Francisco, where she met two aspiring restaurateurs who asked her for help opening a restaurant on Polk Street, the Marin Independent Journal written in 2007. She invested $ 10,000 and signed the lease, thinking it was the end… but her partners then backed down.

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