Fresh Off the Boat
From Library Staff
he author is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus, the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night, and one of the food world's brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he cre... Read More »
Before the author became a celebrated chef, he had to define himself within the context of his wild family of FOB ("fresh off the boat") hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan.
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I was a Chinese-American kid raised by hip-hop and basketball with screaming, yelling, abusive parents in the background. If that makes me a rotten banana, well, tell it like it is.
From the people at Christian Fellowship to First Academy to my parents to Confucius to thousands of years of ass-backwards Chinese thinking, I knew how it felt. Everything my parents did to me and their parents did to them was justified under the banner of Tradition, Family, and Culture.
Important distinction. Note that I say “a voice” not “the voice.” I don’t speak for all Asian Americans, I speak for a few rotten bananas like me.
My mom always wanted to send food back. Everything on the side, some things hot, some things cold, no MSG, less oil, more chilis, oh, and some vinegar please. Black vinegar with green chilis if you have it, if not, red vinegar with ginger, and if you don’t have that, then just white vinegar by itself and a can of Coke, not diet because diet causes cancer.
sell. I spent the first five years of my life handcuffed to a playpen in the middle of this mini-mall furniture-store office. Before I even knew about guns, I was trying to shoot myself.
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