San Francisco Social Diary: Culinary Icon Cecilia Chiang at 94

Cecilia Chiang accepting her 2013 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in New York City.

This has been a banner year for San Francisco culinary legend Cecilia Chiang, still gracious and energetic at 94. She received the 2013 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in New York City and was the subject of the biographical documentary Soul of a Banquet, which premiered in San Francisco.

Often credited with introducing Americans to authentic Chinese cuisine and hailed as “the Julia Child of Chinese food” by chef Alice Waters, Chiang is the founder of legendary San Francisco Chinese restaurant The Mandarin, which remained under her stewardship from 1961 to 1991.

Cecilia Chiang with her son Philip Chiang, founder of the popular chain, P. F. Chang Chinese Bistro, at the James Beard Awards Ceremony.

Cecilia Chiang accepted her James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in an authentic Qing-era red brocade qipao.

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Shanghai Social Diary: Spring Entertainment Events

Quincy Jones, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Caterina Murino, Yue-Sai Kan, Halle Berry, and Andie MacDowell at Yue-Sai Kan’s Shangai apartment.

Shanghai Film Festival Attracts Crowds and Celebrities: Yue-Sai Kan Throws Pre-Opening Party

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”) was president of the awards jury at the 12th Shanghai International Film Festival. The panel also included Andie McDowell (memorably Hugh Grant’s co-star in “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) and the prolific Hong Kong director/cinematographer Andrew Lau, known in the west for his action and crime films such as the “Young and Dangerous” series.

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San Francisco Social Diary: International Film Festival and a “Jersey Boys” Fete

SF International Film Festival’s 50th Anniversary.


San Francisco rolled out the red carpet for its International Film Festival’s 50th Anniversary. All the action centered in the heart of the city at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in Union Square, where the star-studded gala honored George Lucas, Spike Lee, Robin Williams, and playwright Peter Morgan.

The legendary George Lucas received the Irving M. Levin award, named for the festival’s founder. Nancy Livingston and Fred Levin served as chairs along with Karen and John Diefenbach, with Mrs. Irving Levin as celebratory chair and William R. Hearst III as honorary chair.

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