Asian-American food! It’s a thing now. We’ve kind of been at the forefront of the trend, if we do say so ourselves, here in San Francisco with pioneering, genre-defying restaurants run by Asian chefs like Benu, Mission Chinese Food, and Namu/Namu Gaji (Jonathan Kauffman first talked about it two years ago). But the trend has moved east, and that means New York media people are writing about it now, and it’s all brand new to them. Josh Ozersky just penned a piece for Time in which he dubs the new generation of Asian-American chefs the A-Funk Collective, noting that chefs like Corey Lee, David Chang, Roy Choi (of L.A.’s Kogi BBQ), and Danny Bowien are all part of a generation born of new immigrant parents in the 1970s who are just now coming into their own professionally.
Granted, Chang opened Momofuku in New York back in 2004, opening the door for some of this sophisticated playing around with Asian cuisines by young Asian-American chefs, but we’d argue that it was San Francisco where this trend really took hold beyond the ramen realm.
Today we also have a piece in Details about the “Asian food revolution” which talks about these same chefs, and names Mission Chinese and Benu among the Best New Asian Restaurants in the country, even though both are two years old. So, you see? It takes a little time for the East Coasters to take notice … forgive them.
Talented, Young and Asian American [Time]
The Asian Food Revolution [Details]
Earlier: Regarding Danny Bowien and the Reception for His Hybrid Chinese Food in NYC
Kauffman to Bauer: ‘Fusion Was for White Guys’ [Grub Street]