The New York times published a major national profile on him in 1981, and later that year his first book on Chinese cookery techniques was published to much acclaim. Ken still regards the book and the NY Times article as one of the turning points in his career. From there, he landed his first television series in 1983 – Ken Hom’s Chinese Cookery which bore the same title as the book that many still regard as the ‘bible’.
The show introduced and demystified Chinese cooking for the UK over 30 years ago, and was an instant hit, broadcast throughout the world. The book accompanying the series became a bible for anyone who wanted to learn Chinese cuisine and sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide. At the time of publication, it made publishing history by being the first non-fiction book with a first printing of 350,000. In 2009, the BBC celebrated the 25th anniversary of the book, which continues to be a top-seller after more than three decades in print. Since that first success, Ken Hom he has written 36 books, many translated in more than 16 languages, with a total of 80 books published worldwide in all translated editions. He presented a further five television series – Hot Chefs, Ken Hom’s Hot Wok, Ken Hom’s Foolproof Chinese Cookery, Travels with a Hot Wok and Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure, attracting millions of viewers.