Friday, December 4, 2020
Home Lead Story Scientist Turned Chef Yunan Yang Ditches Lab to Experiment with Food

Scientist Turned Chef Yunan Yang Ditches Lab to Experiment with Food

Yunan Yang never intended to open a restaurant when she first arrived in the United States from China 10 years ago

Yunan Yang never intended to open a restaurant when she first arrived in the United States from China 10 years ago. Her plan was to study cancer. As a post-doctorate cancer researcher, she spent six years in Madison, Wisconsin, and worked to publish her findings in scientific journals.

She used radiation and chemicals in her research, which took a toll on her body. She said her job affected her platelet count, which made her bleed easily.

“After I (lost) two babies when (I was) pregnant, I had to make a big decision. My doctor told me, ‘Yunan, you have to write your last words (will) because we don’t have time to save you. Your body, whole body (at any) moment could be bleeding,’” Yang recounted.

For her health, and to prevent future miscarriages, Yang chose a second career as a restaurateur, moving in the opposition direction of many immigrants in the United States. Instead of entering the restaurant business first in hopes of sending her kids to college, Yang began working in the restaurant business after her life in research.

Scientists, Chef, Yunan Yang
Pepper Twins owner Yunan Yang left her career in cancer research and started her first restaurant four years ago in 2015. She now has six Sichuan Chinese restaurants throughout Houston. VOA

Her inspiration for opening a restaurant came during a trip to a conference in California, where she saw an hour-long line of hungry patrons waiting to get into a Chinese restaurant.

In Madison, the small city where her lab was located, she said “We don’t have a good Chinese restaurant.”

Yang did not start a restaurant in Chinese enclaves like many other immigrants across the U.S. She opened restaurants outside of Chinese communities, in affluent neighborhoods. In Houston, the most diverse city in America, she said its residents’ tastes in Chinese food have become quite discerning.

“American guests, they can find out which one is authentic Chinese restaurant.” Yang continued, “They travel a lot around the world. They know (what) original Chinese food looks like.”

Also Read- Why U.S. Women’s Soccer Dominates on World Stage while Men’s Game Continues to Falter

Ravi Chawda is a diner who loves spicy food. He has never been to China but knows the difference between the so-called American Chinese food and something more like what he would get in China.

“I’ve done a lot of business with the Chinese, so I’ve been to some pretty authentic places. This is by far one of the most authentic,” Chawda said.

Yang said one key ingredient in her restaurant is fresh peppercorns from her hometown of Chongqing, China near Sichuan, a province known for its spicy dishes. The peppercorns are shipped overnight to Houston and create a flavor called “mala” in Mandarin meaning numbing, tingly, and spicy.

The hometown flavors are also drawing loyal Chinese guests, such as Yan Xiang Yu, who attended university in Chengdu, a city in Sichuan.

Scientists, Chef, Yunan Yang
Some of the popular dishes at the Pepper Twins restaurant, clockwise from the upper left: Golden Eggplant (top), Spicy Persian Cucumber (right), Crystal Pudding (left). VOA

“I think the biggest highlight is they can really deliver well the ‘ma’ (numbing/tingling) feeling. The peppercorns are very flavorful,” said Yu who would eat at Pepper Twins when he craves the “mala” feeling in his mouth.

Yang started her first restaurant four years ago, since then, she’s expanded to six locations throughout Houston.

Also Read- Leaders of Texas Abandoning Proposal that Would have Essentially Banned Abortions in Their Community

Not only does Yang have a successful restaurant business, she also now has two children who inspired the logo for Pepper Twins. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

19,120FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,778FollowersFollow

Most Popular

‘Operation Talwar’, A Story Of The Valour Of The Indian Navy

BY SHANTANOO MISHRA If the border of a country is secure, then both development and history can be created. All the three armies of India...

Indian American Teen Gitanjali Rao Is ‘Kid Of The Year’ By TIME Magazine

TIME magazine has put an Indian American teen "scientist and inventor" Gitanjali Rao on its first-ever 'Kid of the Year' cover, selected from a...

Christopher Nolan: Indian Films Are Wonderful And Are Kind Of Fundamental

Christopher Nolan feels Hindi films happen to retain the fundamental reasons due to which we enjoy cinema, and that Hollywood has lost some of...

Natural Antioxidants That Helps Body To Deal With Pollution

The air that we all are breathing has reached dangerous levels of pollution yet again. People with no known history of respiratory problems are...

A Focus On Academic Entrepreneurs In India

India is the third-largest tech start-up hub globally, yet academicians are still on the fringes when it comes to entrepreneurship in the country. The...

Indians Willing To Take Salary Cut To Work From Home

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, at least 54 percent of working Indians said that they love working from home (WFH), of which 34 percent are...

Energy Efficiency Sets Slow Not Reaching Climate Goals

The already sluggish pace of global progress on energy efficiency is set to slow further this year due to the economic impacts of the...

Plant Food Instead of Red Meat Decreases Heart Disease Risk

Replacing red meat with high-quality plant foods such as beans, nuts, or soy may be linked to a modestly reduced risk of coronary heart...

Recent Comments