Category — Restaurant News & Reviews
Eddie Huang always knew that when Jeremy Lin hit it big he’d call the player’s sandwich “The Taiwanese Te-Bao.”
“I called him the Taiwanese Tebow because I knew he was super Christian,” says Huang, a Taiwanese-Chinese American whose New York restaurant BaoHaus serves the traditional Taiwanese dumplings called bao. He’d been working on the sandwich — a curried pork chop, pickled daikon and carrot, jalapenos and cilantro – since the Knicks brought on Lin in December. “We finally we got it right with this pork chop.”
Huang says he and his friends in the Asian community have been following Lin since Sports Illustrated wrote about him in 2009. “My thing with Jeremy is that it’s such a huge breakthrough for us,” says Huang, who is a lifelong (and therefore long-suffering) Knicks fan. “There are not many of us who are physically dominant. The last one I remember is Bruce Lee. It’s a step in the right direction. We’re not all guys with glasses and pocket protectors.” (Though it’s highly likely that Harvard graduate Lin has a pocket protector stashed somewhere.)
So what happens when Lin cools off? Will the Taiwanese Te-Bao be whisked from the BaoHaus lineup, benched like just another fading player?
“The sandwich is part of the menu,” Huang says passionately, “it’s never coming off.”
It’s a Lin-stitution.
Read more about Lin-spired food and drink in a recent piece I did for Associated Press.
February 22, 2012 Comments Off
Dumplings shaped like money; long, slippery noodles to symbolize longevity. I’ve always looked at Chinese New Year as a time to reflect on my blessings — and get back on the wagon with my (Gregorian calendar) New Year’s Resolutions.
But it’s tough since the food surrounding Chinese New Year is so spectacular. Chinese chefs around North America celebrate in their restaurants with extensive menus of symbolic foods and ingredients intended to make the coming months prosperous: scallions, with their hollow tube, represent an open mind; kumquats and oranges resemble gold and promise fortune; a whole fish, because the Chinese character for fish is pronounced nearly identical to the one for “abundance.”
“Food is knowledge, it’s history,” says Susur Lee, Chinese chef and restaurateur in Canada and the United States. “Eating is a symbolic of how much you live, how much you know…Even though Chinese are not very expressive, when it comes to food we’re very expressive. We talk about texture inside the mouth, how it smells. All that is very sensual, really connected with your body.”
Last year — the year of the rabbit — Lee featured rabbit dumplings on the menu of his eponymous Toronto restaurant. At his Washington restaurant Zentan, there won’t be any dragon — as this year’s creature is rather difficult to come by — but there will be plenty of crispy red snapper (the “abundance” course) and the knock out Singapore Slaw.
How do you say “off the wagon again” in Chinese?
January 23, 2012 Comments Off
You may know Stephanie Izard as the first — and still the only — woman ever to win Top Chef. On the show, she wowed the judges with bold, inventive flavors like lamb medallions topped with pistachio, blackberry and mushrooms.
But she’s taken that experience and pushed it even further, mixing and matching the biggest, baddest flavors she can find from cultures across the world. The award winning Fergus Henderson-meets-Zak Pelaccio cuisine she turns out at her Chicago hot spot Girl and the Goat features items like yuzu harissa, fish sauce vinaigrette and escargot with tamarind and miso.
“We always want people to come in take a bite and go ‘Holy crap that’s flavorful,’” Izard says. Please check out her story in this piece I did for AP.
November 2, 2011 Comments Off