Eddie Huang at a panel discussion
for TV show Fresh Off the Boat
|Born||Edwyn Charles Huang
March 1, 1982
Washington, D.C., U.S.
University of Pittsburgh
|Occupation||Chef, writer, food personality, attorney, restaurateur|
|Known for||BaoHaus (Manhattan restaurant)
Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir
Fresh Off the Boat
I've never said I was a chef – I think I make great food. I will never open a restaurant to do, like, tasting courses.
For me, juicing isn't about binging and cleansing; I try to incorporate it into a balanced diet.
BaoHaus is idiosyncratic, creative, and artistic. My restaurant doesn't look like a Taiwanese restaurant.
I'm so sick of people misunderstanding Asians in America and what we're about.
I'll always be American in my world view and allegiance. American in the naive way I go to other countries and tell them how they should treat their poor or clean their water.
My only goal as a comedian was to stomp the life out of the model-minority myth.
But what I'm very interested in, whether it's writing, whether it's hosting a show, whether it's cooking food, I'm just into the discussions of identity, culture and the politics of culture.
I don't think people understand the model-minority stereotype is negative. You are boxed in. You have to untangle that to find your own path.
I don't think people in America understand race, and how deep the hooks of whiteness there are in our consciousness.
I don't want to get burned when I'm cooking. To avoid getting hit when pan-frying, I stand far away and use chopsticks that are almost two feet long. I learned it from my mom, who does the same thing.
I saw an opportunity to use a restaurant to identify a lot of my issues and concerns with being an immigrant in America, and Asian in America, and a young person in America.
New York felt to me like what America should be – a representation of the world in this small pocket.
When I feel off, I read the 'Tao Te Ching' to get my equilibrium right. I started reading it in the eleventh grade.
I had no desire to be a chef, but I had a desire to be someone who was heard.
Sundays are for Dim Sum. While the rest of America goes to church, Sunday School, or NFL games, you can find Chinese people eating Cantonese food.
I want everybody to run at the same speed as me. But some people are more conscientious, they think more and they plan more. And they're more careful.
I choose to be American, I choose to live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I choose to have Puerto Rican/Jewish neighbors, and I choose to maintain my Chinese identity.
I like a walking culture; I need to be in a city where you can walk everywhere.
I don't like labels. I don't understand the need for them. When you define yourself a certain way, people have expectations.
I get so disenfranchised reading the news, because global borders and lines we've created are completely unnecessary. That's just another person on the other side, and it's his bad luck that he was born there and it's my good fortune that I was born here. It's all kind of illogical.
I wanted to inspire people not to work under a bamboo ceiling. Whatever you are – yellow, black, white, brown – you don't have to allow your skin to define who you are or how you operate your business. There's not one face to anything.
I'll always be Chinese first. It probably isn't politically correct to say or something that the majority understands; I can change my shoes, I can swap my passport, but, I'll always have this face.
People talk about perfect timing, but I think everything is perfect in its moment; you just want to capture that.
I want to prove you don't need to have academic syntax to be intelligent.
There is a lot of food culture that goes on in the home and in the community in non-traditional ways. Food is a lot more than restaurants.