World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Los Angeles' Koreatown in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook. This story ran in 2010, and we're sharing it again as Bourdain explores the role of food in Asian-American identity.
Susan Chun is a Producer with AC360°.
A negative review of a new restaurant can be devastating, especially when it comes from the New York Times. Restaurant critic Sam Sifton recently reviewed Eddie Huang's Taiwanese/Chinese restaurant Xiao Ye on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and while Sifton had a lot of praise for Huang's food, he also had a lot of criticism over the menu and the chef himself. He declined to give Xiao Ye a star.
But that didn’t really discourage Eddie Huang, who is a writer as well as a chef and restaurant owner. Huang responded publicly to the review by posting an e-mail from his mother Jessica on his blog "Fresh Off the Boat". Jessica called it a "review of your life". She wrote, "You have always tried to be different or funny for the sake of funny, to cover up your anger and discomforts about how we Asian are being perceived. It is not necessary to do that, your true talents will lead you above it all."
Her e-mail prompted a lot of comments from readers of Eddie's blog on both his food and his Asian American identity. CNN Eatocracy's editor Kat Kinsman recently sat down with Eddie and Jessica at Xiao Ye to talk about these issues and find out why Eddie was actually pleased with the review.