Wednesday, March 31, 2010

San Francisco's Ultimate Chinatown Tours

       photo courtesy of Shirley Fong-Torres

Within moments after joining Shirley Fong-Torres on a tour of her beloved Chinatown, it’s easy to understand why, in 2007, San Francisco Weekly named her company, Wok Wiz Chinatown Tours and Cooking Company, 'The Best Chinatown Tour in San Francisco.' The New York Times, Gourmet, and Cooking Light also have called the tours top San Francisco attractions.
Photo courtesy of Kenny Wardell

Fong-Torres lives and breathes Chinese history, culture, and cuisine as she shares the area she knows so well, coupled with a dazzling smile and boundless energy. She and her guides enchant visitors during the Wok Wiz Daily Tour, and the I Can't Believe I Ate My Way Through Chinatown! tour. 

photo courtesy of Shirley Fong-Torres

Because each tour leader speaks fluent Cantonese, visitors can experience some of Chinatown’s oldest restaurants. A traditional Chinese breakfast or dim sum luncheon; visits to a Chinese temple or a neighborhood farmer’s market; history lessons about Chinese immigration to the area, and tips regarding the best places to shop, are only a few tour highlights.

If Wok Wiz tours can help participants achieve a greater understanding of Chinese immigrants and their contributions to American life – while introducing them to great food – then Fong-Torres believes she has accomplished her mission.

While this 5’2” human dynamo lights up San Francisco’s culinary and cultural world, Wok Wiz is far from her only pursuit. Fong-Torres is a passionate food-lover and traveler who also has shared her infectious enthusiasm with Good Morning America, the Food Network, the Discovery Channel, Fine Living TV, PBS, and Rachel Ray viewers, plus European and Australian networks. She frequently gives talks and seminars, and has been a guest chef at food fairs such as Goldsboro, North Carolina’s "Feast in the East,” and the Iowa State Fair.

Fong-Torres’ books include her most recent, The Woman Who Ate CHINATOWN: A San Francisco Odyssey. This freelance travel writer also has appeared on the History and Discovery Channels and in (in-flight) videos for Qantas and Hawaiian Airlines, and JetBlue.

The next time you visit San Francisco, sign up for a tour of Chinatown with Fong-Torres. You'll learn a lot, eat well - and have a blast!
photo courtesy of Shirley Fong-Torres