I’m Maggie Zhou-Mathews. I was born and grew up in China. I came to the United States for graduate school and became a teacher here in the States after I finished my program. I am currently living in Houston, TX with my husband. I love cooking, writing, traveling, and fashion.
My passion for cooking started when I was a little girl. I am the oldest among my siblings, so I was always in the kitchen helping my mom. By the way, my mom is a good cook! But if you ask her for a recipe, she will point to her head and say, “ They are all here!” That is so true. She never uses a recipe. I love my mom’s cooking and have learned most of her dishes. They are yummy authentic Chinese dishes. Thank you, Mom!!
At graduate school when we had potlucks, everybody loved my dishes, and they wanted recipes. Then I started to write my own recipes. Now my family, friends, and co-workers all love my cooking. A tray of my spicy fried noodle is my favorite for a gathering. Sweet-and-sour ribs and beef stew are my daughter’s favorites. My husband loves everything I cook except bitter melon. I started to watch food channels and food videos several years ago. That enlarged the varieties of my cooking. My husband cooks good Southern food, which he learned from his big mama (grandmother) and mom. I learned a lot from him!
Why do I name my blog Peppercorn and Chili? I grew up eating Sichuan food. In Sichuan (Szechuan) cuisine, peppercorn (specifically Sichuan peppercorn) and chili are widely used. Of course, they can be whole peppercorn and chili, or crushed, or powder. “Hot pot”, originating from Sichuan, has lots of peppercorn and chili! It is absolutely delish!! My blog name Peppercorn and Chili reminds me where my interest in cooking starts, and they are one of the main ingredients I use in my cooking. Is every dish I cook spicy? No, they range from very spicy to not spicy at all.
Besides cooking, I like to write. I am very interested in learning different cultures. My book, The Chinese Way of Doing Business: A Practical Guide to Chinese Business Culture and Etiquette, is available on Amazon. I also love to travel, and I would love to share some of my trips with you. I am also into fashion. It is a hobby that started from childhood and has never changed!
Welcome to Peppercorn and Chili!!