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Susanna Foo  

Executive Chef / Owner of the award-winning restaurant "Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine" located in Philadelphia and "Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen" located in Radnor, PA

Cooking has always been a family affair for Susanna Foo. Born in Inner Mongolia, China and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, Foo became well acquainted with the spices, grains, and produce indigenous to the region. She has fond memories of learning to wrap dumplings with her grandmother, and owes her mother-in-law and cousin for teaching her about Hunan style cuisine and Chinese Northern-style pasta making.

Although Chef Foo has always had a passion for food, when she came to the United States in 1967 it was to pursue a degree in library science at the University of Pittsburgh, not a career in the culinary arts. But fate had its way and in 1979, she and her husband, E-Hsin, moved to Philadelphia to join his family's business. Together they opened the Foo’s family restaurant, Hu-Nan in Center City, Philadelphia.

While cooking at Hu-Nan, Foo met her mentor and teacher, the late Jacob Rosenthal, founder of the Culinary Institute of America. Rosenthal admired Susanna's unique cooking style and encouraged her to take a course at the CIA. She quickly mastered French techniques and by 1987, the Foos had opened their own Center City Philadelphia restaurant, Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine.

Foo's blend of fresh, seasonal ingredients, classical culinary techniques and authentic Chinese cooking quickly captured the attention of the culinary world. She has authored two cookbooks that have received critical acclaim, and has been honored with dozens of culinary awards, including being named to the first group of Food & Wine Magazine’s“ 10 Best New Chefs,” the coveted Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence in 1999, and two James Beard awards.

In 2003, Foo opened her second restaurant, Suilan by Susanna Foo, in the billion-dollar Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City. Suilan, named for Susanna’s full Chinese name, offers both her French-influenced dishes and a menu written in Chinese. In November of that year, Esquire magazine named Suilan one of the country's best new restaurants.

In the Fall of 2006, Susanna Foo Gourmet Kitchen opened in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The farm-fresh, family-friendly cuisine is inspired by the simple, flavorful dishes reminiscent of the Chinese dumpling houses Susanna loved to eat in when she was growing up in the Northern Chinese province of Shaanxi.

Now, nearly two decades after launching her culinary career, Chef Foo is regarded as one of the country’s top Chinese chefs. Every year, she returns to her homeland, spending time in Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, and Taiwan with the friends and family who were integral in her culinary education.

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