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“Fast, Casual, Ethnic”: Asian Food Beyond Misnomers and Myths (Smithsonian Asian Art Museum) – VIRTUAL
June 9, 2021 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Today, critically acclaimed Asian restaurants, food brands, and other food spaces in the United States are carving new paths forward, transforming both fine and casual dining. These cultural destinations receive both accolades and criticism in equal parts, yet their existence was unimaginable even ten years ago.
While past Asian American generations may have seen fast food as simply a means for entry-level job opportunities, children of Asian immigrants are flourishing in these fast-casual and food-brand spaces. Is this a trend, or a lasting opportunity for advancement for Asian communities here and abroad? What lessons have fast-casual and food-brand entrepreneurs learned, both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic? How can Asian American restaurateurs and entrepreneurs ensure their survival while also sustaining their family traditions and legacies?
A national panel of Asian American food professionals explores the pervasive, harmful, and persistent myth that so-called “ethnic” food is supposed to be cheap and fast. The panel includes Kim Pham, co-founder of the Asian cooking kit company Omsom, a pioneer of “proud, loud Asian home cooking”; chef Katsuya Fukushima, owner of Washington, DC’s Daikaya, Bantam King, and Haikan; chef Dale Talde, a three-time contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef, with restaurants in Brooklyn, Jersey City, and Miami; Sana Javeri Kadri, a third-generation Mumbai native and Diaspora Co. founder and CEO working toward a more equitable and delicious spice trade; and Thrillist senior food editor Khushbu Shah, whose primary interests include the foodways of the South Asian Diaspora.
How have Asian American food establishments evolved from immigrant ownership as social advancement to second- and third-generation entrepreneurship rooted in a desire to promote and preserve cultures? Speakers examine the origins of long-held assumptions about Asian food and challenge us to grapple with how we might collectively move beyond them.
Free / registration required: https://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/251298
Part of CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America
Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art