“Walk the Wok” in the Year of the Ox: An "Electric" Chinese New Year Cooking and Ventilation Celebration


This Chinese New Year, Chef Rachelle Boucher of Kitchens to Life shared her tips and tricks for using induction cooking to make traditional Chinese holiday dishes. Boucher has worked with So Fun, a chef who specializes in various Chinese cuisines, to adapt these authentic recipes for induction cooking and ventilation. 

In the Electric Kitchen Workshop, Chef Boucher uses the Elica NikolaTesla Switch cooktop and the Elica Haiku hood for her induction cooking and ventilation demonstration. While the chef prepares a Chinese New Year fish recipe using a wok on her stovetop, Brady Seals from RMI explains some of the health impacts of gas cooking. 

Seals is a Manager in RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings program. Last year, she researched the health impacts of cooking with gas. She notes that 1 in 3 households cook with gas, while 1 in 4 homes are all electric.  

“We know that for the climate and increasingly, for health, we have to find new ways to use energy that are renewable and clean,” said Seals. 

Alex Siow, founder of Zephyr Ventilations, has been working with ventilators and electric systems both nationally and globally. At Zephyr, Siow worked with his team to build hundreds of ventilation products, focusing on air quality in residential kitchens. He explains that large ventilators have become more popular over the years. However, while they can be effective, large ventilators have significant drawbacks. 

“The byproducts are noise and energy consumption,” Siow said. “A lot of the time, you also have this big, bulky, restaurant-looking hood.”  

Another factor in the global scope of using gas cooking is the discrepancies in resources available to communities of different income levels. Brady Seals explains that low-income communities are more susceptible to the negative effects of gas cooking due to the prevalence of smaller housing units and higher numbers of occupants.  

“The more people who want to learn about this issue and want induction cooking is great,” Seals said, “but we also need policymakers to incentivize it for those who are feeling the effects of climate change emissions already in and around their homes.” 

San Francisco recently instituted a policy that prohibits all new building constructions from using gas cooking appliances. 

“We are helping to raise awareness. This isn’t the electric stove of twenty years ago,” Alex Siow said. 

Learn more about induction cooking and ventilation by watching this webinar at EEBA’s Learning Center here

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