Ken learnt to cook from the age of eleven when he started working in his uncle's Chinese restaurant in Chicago after school and at weekends. In those days he earned around the equivalent of 30p per hour! In order to help pay his University fees he gave cooking lessons which proved so popular that he was recommended to the Culinary Academy. Ken has taught many great chefs such as Charlie Trotter from Chicago, whose famous Trotters restaurant is always booked months in advance. When the BBC was looking for a Chinese chef to produce a new series he was recommended by Madhur Jaffrey who had seen him giving lessons in California. This was the start of his UK TV career with his first series Ken Hom's Chinese Cookery in 1984. This series was then transmitted throughout the world and he has remained highly acclaimed worldwide since then. Ken is now regarded as the world's leading authority in Chinese cookery and has cooked for many heads of state.