In Search of China’s Soul: New York’s Next-Gen Chinese Chefs Talk Food and Identity
Where: China Institute
100 Washington St.
212-744-8181 Price: $25
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Red lanterns and dragons be gone! A gaggle of modern-minded restaurateurs from China has been opening chic new eateries that reflect the best of authentic, design-conscious Chinese gastronomy. Can we find China’s soul in the Mapo Tofu of today? Chinese food lover Adam Platt asks them all about it.
Adam Platt is the restaurant critic for New York magazine. His favorite Chinese dish is Peking Duck.
Simone Tong, chef-owner, Little Tong Noodle Shop, was born in Sichuan. Before embarking on her culinary career, she studied in Chengdu, Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006 with degrees in economics and psychology. Chef Simone later enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, then went to work at wd-50, Alder, and 15 East. In 2016, she embarked on a three-month culinary and research adventure through Yunnan province. Little Tong opened in 2017.
Yiming Wang, founder and co-owner of Café China, China Blue, and Birds of a Feather, grew up in Harbin. She started her first restaurant, Café China, after leaving her banking job, with no prior restaurant experience. Within a year, Café China had earned a star from the prestigious Michelin Guide. Prior to her restaurant life, Yiming worked at Citigroup and Allianz Global Investors as a finance manager. Her passion for photography, Chinese literature and interior design inspired her design of Café China and China Blue.
Yong Zhao, co-founder and CEO of Junzi Kitchen, a fast-casual Chinese concept currently expanding in New York. Its menu is a modern take on traditional Northern Chinese “chunbing” snacks. Yong grew up in Liaoning, received a BS at Peking University, and then received a MESc and deferred his doctoral program in environmental science at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He and a team of Chinese Yale graduate students founded Junzi Kitchen in 2016.Buy tickets/get more info now