Having grown up in her father’s grocery store, Asia Market, and around his delicious cooking, Kristina Zhao discovered her love for food as a child. That passion grew as she visited eateries across the world and learned to cook herself. She would often call her father with cooking questions, experiment with different ingredients, and host dinner parties to share her food creations with friends and family. Food always brought people together, and she loved that.
The San Antonio native graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and had been living and working in Dallas when her father announced that he would be opening a restaurant. Afforded the opportunity to be closer to home, follow in the footsteps of her entrepreneur father, and pursue her passion, Kristina moved back to San Antonio shortly after to help expand her family’s business into the unfamiliar restaurant industry and open the doors at Sichuan House, a small and now beloved eatery.
Sichuan House specializes in authentic Sichuan cookery, one of the eight culinary traditions of China. “食在中国，味在四川" (shi zai zhong guo wei zai si chuan): China is the place for food, but Sichuan is the place for flavor. Home-style food from Sichuan, a province in Southwest China, is most renowned for its “mala” fiery hot and mouth-numbingly spicy flavors; however, the famous culinary tradition is far more intricate. The art of Sichuan cookery is characterized by the skillful combination of spices and ingredients with masterful cooking techniques to achieve a harmonious symphony of complex flavors within each dish. “一菜一格，百菜百味” (yi cai yi ge, bai cai bai wei): Each and every one of a hundred Sichuan dishes will have its own signature and unique flavor. Boasting more than 5000 documented recipes, 56 cooking techniques, and at least 23 formally defined flavor profiles, Sichuan culinary arts is legendary for diversity and sophistication.
Kristina and her family, together with their team at Sichuan House, are delighted to bring the rich culinary traditions and authentic flavors of Sichuan to San Antonio, and they are excited for everyone to eat Chinese and savor Sichuan.