jamie bilbow cooking with granny

New show: Granny knows best 奶奶最懂得 (2019, TV series)

In his new show “Granny Knows Best” Jamie Bilbow takes the audience on a journey to rural China to learn from the true kitchen heroes – Chinese grandmothers. How did the British moderator become so fluent in Mandarin?! Three reasons why you should watch the show.

About 奶奶最懂得 (2019)

  • Year: 2019
  • Duration: 8 episodes X 30 min.
  • Subtitles: Chinese
  • Difficulty: Intermediate / upper intermediate
The series’ rating on Douban (04.12.2019)

Three reasons to watch the show

  • Expand your cooking vocabulary and culinary horizon
  • Be impressed by Jamie’s Chinese skills and how smoothly he communicates with the locals
  • Meet 16 wonderful grannies and discover places in China you have never seen before

The 16 inspiring women I met on my journey were such a pleasure to film with and I can’t wait for you to meet each and every one of them! The show promotes the universal message that grannies are the cornerstones of families, they bring us together and their cooking provides an important reminder of how good simple traditional food can be.

Jamie Bilbow on facebook about his show Granny Knows Best (09.10.2019)

How did Jamie (大米) become so fluent in Chinese?!

Jamie Bilbow speaks Chinese amazingly fluent, knows his cooking vocabulary and has his way of communicating with the locals, making them feel at ease and disclose their culinary secrets. How did he become so fluent?

Jamie (1988) was born in England and moved to Hong Kong at the age of one, but but didn’t learn Mandarin or even Cantonese during the first 18 years of his life. Learning Mandarin became a crucial goal, once he realized that he wanted to become a chef de cuisine in China and learn everything about Chinese food.

His recipe for success: “I say yes to any opportunities that present new challenges, even if they aren’t related to the ‘final goal’. I say yes more often than no and put myself into as many new situations as possible.” (South China Morning Post, 14.06.2017)

These challenging situations include training chefs in North Korea, peddling a hummus cart business, publishing a Western cookbook in Chinese and running a cooking school in Beijing. Before he got famous in China, Jamie also participated in Chinese language competitions with other foreigners.

Jamie Bilbow selling homemade hummus through the old streets of Beijing (Source: Jamie Bilbow on LinkedIn)

Not that his fame and Chinese skills don’t speak for themselves, but Jamie actually holds an undergraduate degree in Chinese from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) as well as a Chinese teaching degree from the Institute of Education, UCL, both based in London.

You can find more about his activities on facebook or weibo.

Watch all episodes of Granny Knows Best here.

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8 thoughts on “New show: Granny knows best 奶奶最懂得 (2019, TV series)

  1. Jamie Bilbow’s Mandarin is amazingly authentic. Thanks for providing these interesting contents on your blog site. I am adding a link to my “Learn Chinese Weekly” blog site.

  2. Hi Jorrit! I had never heard of this show and it looks very nice, thanks for the recommendation. Chinese people do love seeing foreigners speaking Mandarin on tv, haha. This guy has a very pleasant accent and voice.

    BTW, your blog is great! I’m not actively studying Chinese anymore but you have lots of good tips here.

    1. Hi Marta! Yeah, I think Jamie is a very talented guy who’s living his dreams. Now he’s so popular in China, he has become a “bridge builder” between cultures. His Mandarin is excellent of course and he has a way of dealing with people. And thanks, nice to hear you like this blog! : )

  3. PS. I had never eaten 烤红薯 before coming to China but now I think it’s one of the most delicious things on Earth, haha. Especially the ones sold on the street, however they have added sugar so I never buy them anymore. The ones I make at home are not the same. Maybe the ones from the street also contain some kind of addicting drug xD

  4. Jamie is an amazing man, I wish all the best for his culinary pursuit and I hope he could continue his passion on cooking.

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