Monday, March 17, 2008

The Filipov awards: Dinah Shore

I'm reviving the Filipov awards for notable non-Chinese persons of the past and present who have revealed themselves to be Chinese food mavens. This award harkens back to an on-going topic in a now-defunct message board I hosted a few years ago. It is named for Alexander Filipov, a victim of American Airlines Fligh 11 on 9/11. According to Katherine Brengle, in an article at, "Mrs. Filipov introduced us to her beloved husband, telling small anecdotes, such as his ability to say, 'Do you like Chinese food?' in 14 different languages."

The first Filipov award goes to Dinah Shore, chanteuse and TV personality of the 40's and 50's. According to her good friend, entertainer Steve Lawrence,
"She was a wonderful cook, by the way. Chinese food she would make like you can't believe! Oh my goodness, she could have opened a Chinese restaurant. You would not have known Dinah Shore was in the kitchen putting out that Chinese food. ... She had woks built into the kitchen, you know those holes where the actual wok goes into the fire. Not a make-believe thing where you put a ring over it."