Word Vomit

Eddie Huang’s Not Good at Making Friends

Oh, Eddie.
Oh, Eddie. Photo: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

No stranger to controversy, Eddie Huang’s at it again with the word vomit. (Remember that time he announced he smoked weed in his restaurant? Yeah.) Sassy Huang isn’t afraid to offend his industry peers, and he’s made some interesting friends and foes as a result. Marcus Samuelsson: Foe. Guy Fieri: Friend. And now, Danny Bowien: Foe (but Michael White and Sam Sifton: Friends!). The Baohaus chef sat down with The Wall Street Journal and said a lot of controversial things, including that he’s bothered by the success of Danny Bowien. Consider this the start of his uncensored press tour: His first book, Fresh off the Boat: A Memoir, comes out this month. We’ve picked out the oh-no-he-didn’t quotes from the profile for your entertainment.

• “I had no desire to be a chef, but I had a desire to be someone who was heard. There are these people in New York who are ‘foodies,’ and I thought it was kind of corny, but they think chefs have things to say. I thought: ‘I could spend the next nine years of my life telling the same joke every night, or I could open this restaurant.’”

• “People in the industry don’t like me because they want you to feel like there’s one way to do things: Work for 10 years, learn the rules, put your head down, sweat. People want you to pay your dues, and I was like: ‘No. My concept is good.’”

• “The first few times I went to Mission, I’d be upset. It bothered me. I don’t get it. It boggles my mind. It challenges me. I think everyone likes Mission for the story and its place on the restaurant timeline. Now the tables have been turned, and I can see why people are mad at me for not coming up in restaurants the way they did. I look at Danny’s Mapo tofu, and I’m like: ‘That’s not how you do it. That’s not authentic. That’s not good to me. But that’s how Danny has decided to make Mapo tofu, and a lot of people like it.’”

“I’m the traditionalist now. My heart tells me I’m mad at that Mapo tofu, but my head tells me: ‘Congratulations, Danny. You did it, man.’”

• And finally: Huang, soon to be a published writer, thinks he’s “like Woody Allen.”

A Chef’s Dinner and a Memoir [WSJ]
Earlier: Er, Eddie Huang is the New Bourdain?
Eddie Huang, or Maybe Grub Street, Ruffled Marcus Samuelsson’s Feathers
Someone Still Loves You, Guy Fieri

Eddie Huang’s Not Good at Making Friends