What is my responsibility to the AAPI community? I work for a Chinese American restaurant, have close Asian friends, and revere Asian cuisine and culture. This week has prompted folks to ask themselves this very question and some have not only spoken up unprompted, but committed to action.
Check out @meimeiboston IGtv with @brassicakitchen and @ireneshiangliyesterday on allyship as white, Jewish owners of a restaurant celebrating Asian culinary traditions. Noah and Jay don’t pretend to have it all figured out, but i admire their candor, humor, empathy, and willingness to engage in a dialogue.
15 years ago i spent my senior year of undergrad doing “field work” at Eden Center, a 1950s shopping plaza turned Vietnamtown in suburban northern Virginia, for my anthro thesis on Vietnamese American Cuisine and Culture. This obsession culminated in the trip of a lifetime with our honeymoon to Vietnam in 2016. Since I am white, i can never begin to understand the lived experience of Asian people, even after years of study and travel. By acknowledging my whiteness in conversations about race, I’m showing the AAPI community the respect they deserve in making clear that I understand my privilege and that i always have so much more to learn.
Vietnamese Street Food is by two white expats from Australia @lister.tracey and Andreas Pohl who have lived in Hanoi for decades and run @hanoicookingcentre where we took a wonderful class. Bánh mì trứng (omelette baguettes) are a quick breakfast often served wrapped in newspaper so they it be easily eaten on the go in the morning. Eggs seasoned with fish sauce, cucumber and chili make the perfect bite – unfortunately this is not a true Vietnamese baguette, which would be half rice flour/half wheat for that light, airy crunch. But still absolutely delicious 🍳❤️🥖