Pieces of China is an online series that tells the story of China, one object at a time.
Lift the lid off of a Chinese clay pot, with Chef Lucas Sin, Head of Culinary Arts at Junzi Kitchen, a fast casual restaurant chain. Called “Shāguō” 砂锅 in mainland China, or “Wǎ bāo” 瓦煲 in Hong Kong, Chinese clay pots are believed to be one of the oldest earthen cooking vessels in the world. Most Chinese household have at least one of these classic cooking implements — a workhorse in the kitchen that can be used to make soups, stews, or simple rice and noodle dishes, such as claypot rice, or bao zai fan 煲仔飯.
Lucas Sin is the Head of Culinary Arts at Junzi Kitchen. An Eater Young Guns Class of 2019 and Forbes 30 under 30, Sin opened his first restaurant when he was 16 in an abandoned newspaper factory in his hometown of Hong Kong. While studying Cognitive Science and English as a Yale undergraduate, Sin became spent weekends running a “Y Pop-up” restaurant out of his dorm. Beyond the bings and noodles at Junzi Kitchen, Sin also directs the funkier After Hours menu: fried chicken, instant noodles, juice-box cocktails, and the like. His monthly personal project is a collaborative high-end tasting menu exploring the narrative of contemporary Chinese cuisine, called Chef’s Study.