From Millennia to Madame Wu: Culinary Chronicles of China  

Event poster for From Millennia to Madame Wu: Culinary Chronicles of China includes images of book cover of "Madame Wu’s Handbook on Homecooking'', which is pictures two red-coloured fish on a light brown and grey background.











Sold Out (click here to view recording) - Join us for an exciting journey through the rich culinary history of China at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library at the University of Toronto Libraries! 

This event will feature two talks: one by Eugene N. Anderson titled “Madame Wu’s Cookbook and Food in Song China,” and another by Sean J.S. Chen titled “Madame Wu's Medieval Chinese Home Cooking.” Both discussions revolve around Sean J.S. Chen's forthcoming translation book, “Madame Wu’s Handbook on Home-Cooking,” based on the original book “Wushi Zhongkuilu (吳氏中饋錄).” A panel discussion will follow, chaired by Jeffrey M. Pilcher. 

  • Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Location: The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th Floor, Robarts Library 130 St. George Street, Toronto. 
  • Light refreshments will be provided. 
  • For assistance or general inquiries, please send an email to

Click here to register for the event: The event is open for all to attend, but space is limited. Please register in advance. 

The event is organized by the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, and co-sponsored by the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Culinaria Research Centre, and the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. 

View event images from our online forum linked here.  

Watch the recording on MyMedia (UTORid / U of T) linked here. 

About the Speakers 

Dr. Eugene N. Anderson is a Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, at the University of California, Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1967. He has done research on ethnobiology, cultural ecology, political ecology, and medical anthropology, in several areas, especially Hong Kong, British Columbia, California, and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. His books include The Food of China (Yale University Press. 1988), Ecologies of the Heart (Oxford University Press, 1996), The Pursuit of Ecotopia (Praeger, 2010), Caring for Place (2014), Everyone Eats (2014), Food and Environment in Early and Medieval China (2014), and with Barbara A. Anderson, Warning Signs of Genocide (2012). 

Dr. Sean J.S. Chen is a researcher in Chinese culinary history and an Associate at the University of Michigan Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies. He is the award-winning translator of the books: Recipes from the Garden of Contentment and The Way of Eating, which earned Best-in-the-World awards at the 2018 and 2019 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. He was also a consultant and presenter for the award-winning PBS television series: Confucius was a Foodie. Outside of culinary research, he is a biomedical engineer by profession, working in the fields of medical imaging and computer-assisted surgery. 

Panel Chair 

Jeffrey M. Pilcher is Professor of History and Food Studies and Director of the Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He is the author of many books, including Food in World History, 3d ed (2023), and a forthcoming<br> global history of beer. 


Linda Rui Feng is Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, and the author of the monograph City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China. Her wider interest lies in the interconnections among cultural technologies, knowledge, writing, and the senses, including that of food studies. In 2021-2022 she was a recipient of the Chancellor Jackman Research Fellowship in the Humanities from the Jackman Humanities Institute, where she began working on the cultural history of aromatics in late Medieval China. 


Jackson Yue Bin Guo is a specialist in late imperial Chinese history of foods and drinks, trained at the University of Toronto's Department of History. In March 2023, he defended his dissertation, titled "Drinking in the Sea of Passion and Pleasure: Social Distinction, Public Sentiment, and Chinese Identity, 1680s-1930s," under the guidance of Professor Li Chen and committee members Daniel Bender and Jeffrey Pilcher. Dr. Guo's research integrates gastronomic historiography with late imperial Chinese cultural and legal history. He currently holds a postdoctoral position at the Department of History, where he is finalizing his manuscript derived from his dissertation. This work explores the fluidity in late imperial elite cultural practices and highlights the transformative potential in popular drinking customs. 

Event date
2-4 pm
The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, 8th floor, Robarts Library
Join us for an exciting journey through the rich culinary history of China at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library at the University of Toronto Libraries on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 2-4pm!