Kung Fu Café
Since 2011


Kung Fu Café

Welcome to the Kung Fu Café. I hope you enjoy looking around at my adventures in the kitchen, and my various travels around the world sampling some of the most interesting and delicious foods.

Why Kung Fu Café?
I couldn’t come up with a name for this blog, and so titled this domain “the Café.” This means that I can change the name when I feel. 🙂
But I finally came up with Kung Fu Café. Briefly, Kung Fu is a classical Chinese martial art, and all styles of Kung Fu can be divided into four aspects: 1) form, 2) force and skill, 3) application, and 4) philosophy. Not only does Kung Fu Café have a nice ring to it, but it also encompasses mine and my brother’s love for martial arts, their culture and their philosophies.
One other reason for using the term “kung fu” as opposed to “wǔshù” or “wǔyi” is because “wǔshù/wǔyi” can be translated from Chinese as ‘martial art,’ whereas “kung fu” or “gōng fu” refers to skill. But not just any skill; it refers to the skill in anything that is acquired through hard work.
Therefore, one can have good kung fu in cooking, or gardening, or in playing tennis, or, well, anything! This blog encompasses my journey through the development of my skill of cooking. I also feel as though this is an appropriate name to capture what I believe to be so true; that hard work and planning is the only way to truly get what you want!

Why start this food blog?
Good question! I love food, travelling, photos and would like to get into web-designing and using graphics software…so what is a better combination of those passions than to start a food blog?

Charlotte [Last updated: 27.10.2012]

Spahetti in Marseille!
Savouring spaghetti in Marseille.
For those of you who are interested in knowing about the author of this blog, my name is Charlotte, and I’m a 23 year old second-year PhD student in Applied Chemistry.

I absolutely love to travel. That does include going on holidays, but for me, being abroad is about experiencing the culture and becoming immersed in the local’s way of life, and language if possible. A large part of that is loving how the locals live, and eating what they eat.
Italian ice cream is the best!
Licking ice cream in Venice.

My stay in China and Argentina was when I was really immersed in a new lifestyle, whether I liked it or not! I went to China for a two month kung-fu adventure to fuel my passion for martial arts; it was something I had wanted to do for God knows how long! I finally went one summer (after the first year of my course, when I changed from BSc(Hons) Psychology to Applied Chemistry), and it was an experience that will be carried in my heart for the rest of my days.

Training on one of our last days
Training hard in China.

I really started to overcome my shyness, develop my self-esteem, meet people from England and China, and practised and developed my passion of martial arts. I went to Scott’s Rising Dragon Academy alone, and met plenty of other English people out there. The group was small and intimate, and we all got on well, despite the gruelling routine of getting up early to run and staying up late to play games, while others would drink Chinese beer.

Mountain view
The stunning view I would wake up to every morning.

The most impressive picture of me by far!
A flattering picture of myself I must say!

Dragon boat race
We were also lucky enough to have participated, and to have lost, a Dragon Boat Race against the locals held every year in Taining.

Relaxing after a hard day’s training.

We stayed in the rural area of Taining in the Sanming prefecture in the Fujian province. We were about a half an hour bus ride away from the main town, which we would visit almost every weekend. We would always look forward to having a staple meal other than just rice and vegetables! I could go on and on for hours about my experience in China, but I’ll save that for perhaps a different area of my site.

Our dining hall
Our dining hall in the academy.

Taining Geological Museum
Taining Geological Museum.

In the summer of 2010, I was selected to go to Argentina through IAESTE for a 2 month placement in Buenos Aires. This was a big eye opener in terms of the number of people in the world, and I drastically improved my Spanish by being plunged into such a huge and busy city with limited English speakers about. Luckily, I was in a really nice residence where quite a few people could speak English…but then again, quite a lot couldn’t. But I managed to obtain a lovely placement that looks great on my CV!

Field work
Field work in the lovely Chascomús area in the Buenos Aires province collecting water samples where the pejerrey thrive..

A UV-Vis spectrophotometer – not the most exciting work, but hey, it’s work.

I sampled some typical and delicious South American food, and also travelled to some beautiful and wonderful places whilst meeting some fantastic people.

Tamale y humita
A tamale (at the back) and an humita. I absolutely loved them, especially the humitas.

Iguazú Falls
I visited the stunning Cataratas del Iguazú with my good friend, Chen, from China.

Cementario de la Recoleta
La Recoleta Cemetery in the city of Buenos Aires.

Experiences like these are what I live for and seek out.

When I’m in the UK studying, I’m either planning my next adventure, studying, playing sport, learning Spanish or chilling with my bro on the Xbox. I’m extremely close to my family, and would be lost without them. They’ve provided me with the foundation for life, given me a good home, raised me to believe in dreams and have enabled me to develop a close bond with my brother.

Pizza in Marrakech
My brother, Tim, and I enjoying pizza in the busy square in the heart of Marrakech, Morocco.

As I already mentioned, my brother and I are very close, and I shouldn’t be calling him “little” anymore. Well, he’ll always be my little brother, even though he’s taller than me, and sure does pack a punch when we spar in our martial art classes! We always do things together, and that includes going on holiday with or without parents, having sleepovers in my university accommodation, playing video games together, sharing personal opinions and secrets, and finally enjoying similar hobbies. That’s not to say that we don’t appreciate our time apart, as one does with anyone, but we do go to Taekwondo, Kickboxing and Shaolin lessons together, and occasionally we play badminton together in our local club, too. Although I think badminton is more of a passion of mine than of Tim’s. The bottom line is, is that he’s probably my best friend, and I’d give anything up for him. I hope the feeling between us is mutual. 😛

Pizza in Marrakech

February 2010: Tim eating a crepe in the local café…

Pizza in Marrakech

…before our last day of hard snowboarding on the beautiful slopes of Switzerland…with minimal visibility!

6 Comments to “About”

  1. Me says:

    Lovely pictures of you and your family and great stories and fantastic recipes!

  2. Slawcia Tomkiw says:

    Beautifully written. Even though I know you have done all this,being your Aunty, I had to read it to the end! It is so interesting and well put together. Well done.

  3. tiggy says:

    Thank you very much for such sweet comments. 🙂 Hope you’re well? And I’ll keep on updating as I get more pictures and more time 😀

  4. Kt says:

    Wow amazing dishes, they jump out of the page!

  5. Aani says:

    all look soooo good! Great shots, very well done!

  6. Timmo says:

    Love you my amazing sister – of course I feel the same would give up all for you – hey Plymouth uni here I come lol xx
    Love the food – I enjoy sampling it and so far I give it all 10/10 xxxx

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