Well, this headline is a little misleading. Every week is a good week to celebrate mapo tofu or green curry clam chowder — and possibly try it for the first time. If you’ve been reading Food Republic for a while, you know the editors are crazy for Korean barbecue, Vietnamese pho and the ridiculously fresh num cha found in Sydney. We love Asian cuisine for the chefs, the ceremony and, more immediately, how it is absolutely blowing up right now.
But this week has been the tipping point. On Tuesday, our favorite chronicler of the vast American food zeitgeist Josh Ozersky published a Time column celebrating a so-called A-Funk Collective. He explains:
I chose this name because 1) these chefs are Asian American, 2) their various styles all have in common a certain earthy vigor and 3) they all seem to know, like and respect each other in a marked way.
And true to his word, he included not just well-known A(sian)-listers Paul Qui, Eddie Huang and David Chang, but lesser known forces like Joe Ng and Kris Yenbamroong.
A day later, Details published a massive feature declaring the Asian-Food Revolution. Well-known travel and food writer J.J. Goode, an Asian food freak like us, is currently writing the Pok Pok cookbook with Andy Ricker and very up to date on the subject. He writes:
We’re in the middle of an Asian-food renaissance that’s being led on two fronts—by devoted students of Eastern techniques and culinary traditions, and by barnstorming young chefs who are reinventing the genre, from Oakland to Atlanta, Minneapolis to Manhattan.
And this weekend is the main event. Well, an event featuring what is arguably the largest gathering of cool Asian (and Asian-inspired) chefs in a very long time. New York City-based Asian food and culture festival Luckyrice has expanded to Las Vegas with a 20-chef event on Saturday at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. (Disclosure: I write freelance stories for Luckyrice.)
The lineup is likely making Josh, J.J. and, most certainly Team Food Republic, re-think our weekend plans. Sang Yoon, Dale Talde, Pichet Ong, Jordan Kahn, Jet Tila and Paul Qui are a few of the presenting chefs. Here’s the full lineup.
Like celebrity deaths and the Dixie Chicks, big things happen in threes. But none of that smelled this good.