You probably won't be able to hear it, but I was moved to tears by my interview with dumpling queen Helen You on this week's Special Sauce. Helen is the owner of Dumpling Galaxy, the finest dumpling shop in NYC, and coauthor of The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook, written alongside former Serious Eats editor Max Falkowitz. Her dumplings, as good as they are, weren't what got to me, though—it was her remarkable personal story. Before Helen was born in mainland China, her father was sent to a labor camp, where he remained for 22 years. His crime: writing critically about the government, a transgression for which Helen was ostracized in school. She found solace in her mother's kitchen, where her mother and grandmother made dumplings every day, and when Helen was 12, she embarked on a 20-hour journey to deliver dumplings to her father.
The rest of Helen's story is just as harrowing and inspiring. I won't reveal any more of it here, but my guess is you'll be reduced to tears as well. It's okay. We all need a good cry, especially when it comes with a happy ending.
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