Episode 28: Jordan Andino + Filipino Breakfast

Photo credit: Katie Burton

Jordan Andino is the Chef/Owner of Filipino Tacqueria, Flip Sigi (formerly known as 2nd City). He joined us on the first episode of our Fall Season to explain what Filipino breakfast looks like (mmm…longanisa). We also discussed his new restaurant opening, and Cooking Channel show “Late Nite Eats”.

We're back after a month of summer break! Lynda and Iris catch up with each other and talk about what they were up to this summer. Lynda had an epic month full of travel including hiking in Banff National Park in Canada, and catching the total eclipse of the sun in Tennessee. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Iris enjoyed some serious chill time at home, thanks to a hurricane and a typhoon in the same week, and geeked out over the last season of Twin Peaks.

We've covered Philippine cuisine before on Episode 8 with Leah Cohen, but today we focus specifically on what Filipino breakfast looks like. We introduce our guest, Jordan Andino, chef/owner of Flip SigiJordan tells us about his upbringing and how he really started working in the kitchen at the young age of 9 years old, thanks to his father. Here's an amazing photo of Jordan modeling on a cookbook cover as a kid!

Jordan tells us about what he grew up eating for breakfast. Some of his favorite dishes are typical Filipino breakfast dishes like spam, eggs, and, rice; longanisa, eggs, and rice; and a more Southern Filipino breakfast which is a vinegar fish dish. 

Lynda and Jordan talk more about Filipino breakfast, including on how Filipino breakfast tends to be heavier than the average yogurt and granola that is popular in the west, and what exactly the sausage longanisa is.

We then talk about the breakfast-meets-late-night-eats food he serves at his restaurants, as well as the beauty of eating after a night of drinking to cure your hangover in advance. Jordan then tells us about the dream job he has somehow landed--his new Food Network show, "Late Nite Eats"--where he gets to travel North America, get drunk, and eat delicious, late night grub.

27:38 "Western culture is like, "I've had American, I've had Spanish tapas, I've had Chinese." Now what happens if you put all of those in a melting pot and press go? It exists. And that's Filipino cuisine." - Jordan on Filipino cuisine and why North America is starting to embrace it.

Finally, we talk about what's next for Filipino cuisine in North America. As Filipino food is an amalgamation of many already popular cuisines, and a culmination of great flavors, Jordan believes that it only makes sense that this is going to be the next big thing.

We hope you enjoyed another #FMWAsianBreakfast episode. Make sure to check out Jordan's new show. Also, never miss an episode of Feast Meets West by subscribing to us on iTunes or Stitcher!

A Love Letter to Pocky

pocky flavors.jpg

By Iris Van Kerckhove

Growing up in Asia, Pocky was a staple of my childhood. I lost interest in it after moving to the United States when I was 17, where only chocolate and strawberry Pocky was available. Instead, I opted for the heavier, fat and sugar-laden snacks of America. I mean, how can a skinny biscuit stick with barely-there coating compete with decadent chocolate bars, Ben & Jerry's, and Sandies Rainbow cookies? But ever since I moved back to Hong Kong in 2013, I've become fascinated with Pocky again. There is something elegant about how light Pocky is--it feels like a guilt-free indulgence.

Pocky first came into existence in 1966, thanks to Japanese food company, Ezaki Glico. Originally, there was only chocolate flavored Pocky. In the 1970s, the almond and strawberry coatings were introduced. These days, there's everything from matcha to dark chocolate to "Men's Pocky", whatever that means. Ezaki Glico has been on a roll with all kinds of interesting limited edition flavors, including Midi, Dream, and most recently, Colorful Shower, which is apparently lemon-flavored with sprinkles of colorful candy in the coating (pictured above). Not every new flavor makes sense, but I appreciate the hustle. 

Pocky is very popular in Japan, of course, as well as most of Asia. In Australia and North America, it is very common in Asian markets, although thanks to the diversity of New York City, my friends have spotted Pocky in their local bodegas. An interesting fact that I learned recently is that, in Europe, Pocky is produced under license by Mondelēz International and is sold under the name "Mikado". A friend who knows of my Pocky addiction copped a pack of Mikado for me, and as much as I would like to hate on it for being a French knock-off, it could be argued that it is actually a superior product! The subtlety of Japanese snacks probably wouldn't do well in the European market, so Mikado has more coating, with a richer, creamier, chocolate taste. There's also a similar Korean product called Pepero, produced by Lotte. Though widely regarded as a copycat product, Lotte denies that it was inspired by Pocky.


But despite the more satisfying Mikado, or Pepero's delicious cookie and cream flavor, Pocky still has a special place in my heart. It is the OG, after all. And even if not every new edition is a winner, and sometimes the concepts get a little wacky, I will keep collecting every crazy flavor I can get my hands on.

Quick-fire Q&A: Eric Sze of The Tang

In Episode 26: The Tang + Zha Jiang Mian, we sat down with Eric Sze of noodle joint, The Tang, to talk about the iconic Beijing noodle dish Zha Jiang Mian. We caught up with Eric last week to learn a little more about him!

WhatsApp Image 2017-08-03 at 12.24.06 PM.jpg

Neighborhood of residence:
Long Island City, Queens

Favorite restaurant in your hood:
LIC Market

Favorite spot to grab a drink:
Kenka or The Nomad Bar

Most recent/Recommended dining out experience:
Golden Palace in Flushing.


How did you come up with the name "The Tang"?
"Tang" means a lot of things in Chinese. We picked it because it also means “place“, so it's kind of like "the noodle place". 

Why is zha jiang mian a popular noodle dish in Korea?
ZJM originated in the Shandong area of China which is very close to Korea. So, when Chinese people immigrated to Korea back in the 18th century, they brought the dish over and it became what it is today! 

What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of?
I feel like Chinese breakfast should be a thing.

What would be your last meal on Earth?
A bowl of beef noodle soup.

Quick-fire Q&A: Chef Seng Luangrath


We finally got a chance to catch up with James Beard Award Semifinalist, Chef Seng Luangrath! Read on to learn a bit more about Chef Seng, and make sure to listen to our interview with her on sticky rice and Lao cuisine.

  • Neighborhood of residence: Alexandria, VA
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: IndAroma (Indian Restaurant)
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: Room 11
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experienceThe Dabney
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Mieng Muang Luang and Tum Muk Houng
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of: Japanese Cheesecake, or Japanese Soufflé Pancakes! I've been craving them for a while now!

Quick-fire Q&A: Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau of Shuko

Photo credit: Evan Sung

Photo credit: Evan Sung

Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau of Shuko, joined us on Episode 25 to talk about all things sushi and omakase. Find out which spots these two co-chefs and co-owners recommend on the Upper West Wide and in Queens, and their favorite dishes to cook!

Nick Kim

  • Neighborhood of residence: Upper West Side
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: Sun Chan Izakaya
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: Via Carota for an old fashioned or a negroni
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: The Office. Great design, food, and drinks.
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Anything breakfast-y. I love eggs.
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more: Miso with its long and rich history. A lot of Asian countries have their own type of miso.
  • What would be your last meal on Earth: Peter Luger

Jimmy Lau

  • Neighborhood of residence: Jackson Heights, Queens
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: Spicy Shallot
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: Pata Paplean
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: Loring Place. The food and the drinks were great. My children got the non-alcoholic cocktails and loved them. The energy, the great service, and the food all come together to bring a certain warmth inside.
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: I like to cook steamed fish for my family--they love it
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more: Fermentation
  • What would be your last meal on Earth: Anything made by my mom

Episode 27: Okonomi + Japanese Breakfast

Photo credit: Okonomi

JT Vuong and George Padilla of YUJI Ramen are back by popular demand! But this time, Lynda and Iris talk to JT and George about Japanese breakfast and the Okonomi side of what they do, in another installment of our #FMWAsianBreakfast Series. 

The episode starts with our reflections on how fast time flies, as well as the delicious things we ate and drank over the last week. Can you believe that it's already the last episode of our summer season?!

We then introduce our guests JT Vuong and George Padilla of Okonomi/YUJI Ramen in Williamsburg. They previously joined us on Episode 9 to talk about the YUJI Ramen side of what they do, but as the restaurant serves traditional Japanese ichiju-sansai set meals for breakfast and lunch by day, they were the perfect folks to talk about breakfast in Japan. 

First, Iris asks George and JT about what they ate for breakfast growing up. As George is first generation Filipino American and JT is Taiwanese American, they talk about the rice, protein, and veggies they ate, but with a lot of sugary cereals thrown in the mix too, of course.

JT shares some typical breakfast foods that are eaten in Japan. George explains what a ichiju-sansai set meal is, and what Okonomi usually serves, as well as the background story of Okonomi/YUJI Ramen and how that led to this format for breakfast and lunch. They also talk about their personal favorite iterations of these set meals, and why local bluefish is great.

Lynda asks what Okonomi means and JT explains how the original concept for the restaurant changed and why the name is a little ironic. George then talks about some useful Japanese terms to know when it comes to Japanese breakfast, though he feels it's not necessary to understand the language at all to appreciate Japanese food.

We then discuss the major difference between Asian and Western breakfast, and why maybe the difference in palates is why Asian breakfast in underrepresented in the US.

Finally, the guys tell us what's next for Okonomi and YUJI Ramen, but more importantly, take a moment to just appreciate the present.

"The epitome of a good dining situation is that, on all sides, people care about or appreciate what the other side is doing for them. Which is nice." - JT Vuong on the beauty of the restaurant business.

And that's a wrap for Feast Meets West's second season on Heritage Radio Network! We can’t wait to do it all again in the fall. We’ll be taking a short break, so you won’t see any new episodes for a few weeks, but you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or sign up for our mailing list for more content and updates!

Quick-fire Q&A: Jonathan Wu of Fung Tu

If you haven't heard Jonathan Wu's beautiful story of his grandmother's Chinese mahogany tree and his discovery of the seasonal edible leaves it produced, make sure to check out Episode 23. We couldn't agree more with the answer of the last question!

  • Neighborhood of residence: Clinton Hill
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: The Finch, Otway, Mekelburg's
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: Grassroots Tavern, Decibel 
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: Little Tong
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Nothing springs to mind -- I just love to cook.
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of: Talented Asian-Americans expressing themselves in food.

Episode 26: The Tang + Zha Jiang Mian

Photo credit: Ben Hon

Photo credit: Ben Hon

Eric Sze, owner of the contemporary Chinese noodle bar, The Tang, talked to us about Chinese noodle culture and one dish in particular: zha jiang mian. Listen to this episode to find out more about this iconic Beijing noodle dish and why he calls zha jiang “the mother sauce.”

As usual, Lynda and Iris start the show by talking about the best things they ate this week. #Thatawkwardmoment when Iris had to clarify that she ate crabs and didn't have crabs this week. Oh, live radio.

We then introduce our guest, Eric Sze, owner of The Tang. Eric tells us how growing up in Taiwan shaped the way he ate, as well as how his passion for food and the lack of good Chinese food options in NYC led him to open The Tang.

Lynda asks Eric what makes a good zha jiang mian, and Eric talks about the importance of good noodles and a sauce with a strong umami flavor. He also talks about how The Tang's zha jiang mian's sauce has become a "mother sauce" for them, like an Italian marinara, and has become their secret weapon whenever a dish needs a more complex umami flavor.

We then switch gears and discuss Chinese street food and Chinese noodle culture, as well as the noodle scene in New York. Eric talks about how there is no sense of competition in the Chinese restaurant industry in NYC, and how all these restaurants are working together to elevate Chinese food as a whole.

26:48  "The thing about the [Chinese] restaurant industry in New York is, it's super friendly. People try to help each other out. There's nothing but love."

You can follow The Tang on Instagram and Facebook, or check out Eric's personal Instagram account.

Just a reminder that there’s only one episode left of this season, and you won’t want to miss it because it’s another installment of our Asian breakfast series!

Episode 25: Shuko + Omakase

Photo credit: Evan Sung

Co-owners and co-chefs of Shuko, Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau, talked to us about their modern take on sushi, how omakase is changing, and how to have the best omakase experience.

As usual, we start the show reflecting on the best food we ate in the past week. Lynda talks about her experience at Shuko and Feast Meets West finally gets its first sound effect, thanks to our audio engineer, David! Iris talks about a honey-glazed halloumi she had at Maison Libanaise.

We then introduce the concept of omakase, as well as the show's guests, Nick and Jimmy. They tell us the quirky and personal stories of how each of them got into cooking. Lynda then asks how the "bromance" that led to the opening of Shuko developed when they were both working at Masa.

We unpack the different aspects that sets Shuko apart from traditional omakase restaurants--from the music, to the chefs who come from Western techniques, to the elements of spice and heat on the menu. Lynda asks Nick and Jimmy what advice they can give patrons to optimize their omakase experience. We also talk about the Munchies video featuring Nick and Jimmy and we ask, where do they forage in New York City?!

Lynda asks how they stay inspired, as well as omakase trends.

31:38 "We use a lot of farm-raised [fish] where it's in a controlled environment. Even the tuna is farm-raised in Spain. Hopefully, that movement helps the matter." - Nick Kim on the future of sushi and overfishing.

Just a reminder that Heritage Radio Network's Summer Drive is ending soon! Please donate to Heritage Radio Network to keep your favorite shows on the air. If you donate before July 31, and every dollar will be matched! Just head on over to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/heritageradionetwork

Quick-fire Q&A: Jet Tila

LA listeners, this one is for you! Celebrity Chef and cookbook author of 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die, Jet Tila, shares his favorite spots in the city. If you missed his episode on the Philosophy of Yum, check it out here.

  • Neighborhood of residence: Silverlake, LA
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: Square One
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: Red Lion Tavern
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: Rossoblu 
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Anything with my kids
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of: More Isan (Northeastern) Thai food

Episode 24: Seng Luangrath + Lao Sticky Rice

Photo credits: Portrait by Jai Williams, Others by JC Gibbs

While the food of Laos is underrepresented here in the West, you’d be surprised to learn that you may have actually already had Lao dishes, but thought they were Thai! Restauranteur and James Beard Award Semifinalist, Chef Seng Luangrath, joined us in the studio to help us navigate the world of Lao cuisine and talk about sticky rice, a Lao staple food.

Lynda and Iris review the best things they ate in the past week. Lynda hopped on the #NationalIceCreamDay bandwagon by visiting OddFellows Ice Cream Co. in Brooklyn, while Iris finally got a good banh mi at Le Petit Saigon in Hong Kong. If you've never heard our pre-HRN episode on banh mi, check it out here!

Iris then defines the subject of the day: sticky rice. A lot of people in the west associate it with Thai cuisine, but it's actually a staple of Lao cuisine and not eaten everywhere in Thailand! She also gives a quick overview of Laos geography, and the many political changes it has gone through over the centuries.

Lynda then asks Chef Seng about her story, and she tells us how she grew up learning to cook with her family, her neighbors, and at the refugee camps in Thailand. Her first cooking lesson was making sticky rice! She then tells us how cooking continued to be a huge part of her life, and finally realized she wanted to cook professionally at age 40.

Chef Seng tells us about her restaurant, Thip Khao, and the bamboo baskets that sticky rice is served in. She tells us about the significance of sticky rice to the Lao people and culture, how it's eaten, and the different ways it can be prepared. The Lao people call themselves luk khao niaow, or "children of sticky rice", for a reason!

Lynda and Chef Seng then switch the conversation to Lao cuisine in general. They talk about its unique attributes, and how it's different to other Southeast Asian cuisines. She also tells us about the #LaoFoodMovement she started.

23:33 "A lot of people are afraid to present [their food] as Lao because it's hard to market. Part of the Lao Food Movement we set up is to encourage people to come out, be proud of our own identity, and be proud of what we grew up eating." -  Chef Seng on Lao food in the US.

Chef Seng tells us what she hopes to continue achieving and her hopes for the future of Lao cuisine. We are personally very excited to see the #LaoFoodMovement take off and you can follow it on Twitter and Instagram.

Finally, as you may know, this show is only possible thanks to member donations. We wouldn’t be able to reach you every week without the generosity of our HRN members around the world. Join the club and keep food radio on the airwaves this summer by signing up at heritageradionetwork.org/donate.

Affordable Dim Sum Joints We Love in Hong Kong

Pork buns at Tim Ho Wan

Pork buns at Tim Ho Wan

By Iris Van Kerckhove

With three episodes under our belt about dim sum, you can probably tell we’re a little dim sum obsessed here at Feast Meets West. And as I have been living in Hong Kong for the past four years, the city most associated with this Cantonese cuisine, I want to share some of my favorite dim sum spots in the city with you.

While there are some very excellent high-end dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong, I’ve decided to focus on the more affordable options for budget-travellers. After all, Hong Kong has one of the highest restaurants per capita in the world, so you’re going to have to save your dollars for the five meals you’ll eat every day!

And If you haven’t heard our interviews with Tony Chan of Tim Ho Wan, Wilson Tang of Nom Wah Tea Parlor, and Alex Chau of Ding Dim 1968, go check them out now!

Dim Sum Square
I’m not usually a fan of hyperboles or having strong opinions in general. But I’m not afraid to say Dim Sum Square is the best. Or at least, it’s my personal favorite dim sum spot in Hong Kong. It’s clean, and foreigner-friendly, yet very local in terms of its excellent dim sum - which is still made in-house in this day and age where most dim sum restaurants outsource the work. Plus it wouldn’t be a local joint without the grumpy servers. Everything is good here, but you absolutely must get the crispy BBQ pork buns. They are to die for.

G/F., Fu Fai Commercial Centre, 27 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan. +852 2851 8088

Lin Heung Tea House
One could argue whether it’s the “best” dim sum in the city, but Lin Heung Tea House is worth a visit if you want to step back in time and see a slice of old school Hong Kong. It’s been around since 1926 and is one of the few places where you can still order your food from old women pushing carts around the restaurant. It’s loud and chaotic, but a dim sum experience like no other. If you want to enjoy the traditional dim sum Lin Heung makes without the stress of having to hunt for your food, check out their much calmer, newer branch, Lin Heung Kui, in Sheung Wan. Order the old school dim sum items you can’t get at more modern dim sum spots, like the quail egg siu mai.

Lin Heung Tea House: 160-164 Wellington Street, Central. +852 2544 4556
Lin Heung Kui: 2-3/F, 46-50 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan. +852 2156 9328


One Dim Sum
I actually don’t frequent One Dim Sum so often because it’s on Kowloon-side, or “the Dark Side”, as we Hong Kong-Islanders call it. After ten years of living in Queens and complaining that no one visited me from Manhattan or Brooklyn, I finally understand that the struggle is real. But if you’re visiting Hong Kong, you absolutely must spend time on Kowloon-side. In a sense, Kowloon is much more “Hong Kong” than Hong Kong Island, with its gritty character, truly local Cantonese culture, and Asian immigrant communities. One Dim Sum is a favorite in the city, and this cheap all-day dim sum restaurant has a Michelin Star. I love that the menu has specials and less common dim sum dishes.

Shop 1 & 2, G/F, Kenwood Mansion, 15 Playing Field Road, Prince Edward. +852 2789 2280

Tim Ho Wan
Well, you didn’t think I was going to make a Hong Kong dim sum list without mentioning Tim Ho Wan, did you? Tim Ho Wan was created because Chef Mak Kwai Pui, formerly of the prestigious three Michelin starred Lung King Heen restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel, wanted to make excellent dim sum at affordable prices that everyone can enjoy. He partnered with Chef Leung Fai Keung and opened their first 20-seater top dim sum restaurant in Mongkok in 2009. They received one Michelin star a year later, and the rest is history. Some argue the quality of food has gone down since they opened so many branches, but it is still some of the most consistent restaurant groups in Hong Kong and continues to achieve its mission of creating delicious, cheap eats. Be prepared to queue up, but do go visit. And get the famous pork buns.

Various locations.

Episode 23: Jonathan Wu + Seasonal Chinese Vegetables

We love seasonal produce here in NYC, but sometimes that curiosity stops at our favorite ethnic restaurants where we see the same produce served year-round in the city. Chef Jonathan Wu of the Chinese-American restaurant Fung Tu talked to us about seasonal Chinese vegetables, especially one that’s near and dear to his heart.

This is also a special episode because co-host Iris is in the studio, in person! Iris starts the show by talking about her eating adventures in Toronto (Basque cake!) and Lynda talks about how everything tastes better on a boat.

We then introduce our guest Jonathan Wu. He tells us about his passion for food, his journey to working in professional kitchens, as well as the concept for his restaurant, Fung Tu.

Lynda then asks Jonathan about his story around the seasonal vegetable xiang chun, also known as Chinese mahogany, Chinese toon, or red toon, or by its Latin name, Toona Sinensis. He tells us the story of how his grandmother had a big Chinese mahogany tree in her backyard in Yonkers that she planted in the 1960's. Growing up, Jonathan didn't pay much attention to this plant but after he started cooking, he became interested in what kind of edible foods she had in her garden, and thus discovered toon leaves. He talks about its flavor, its hyper-seasonality, and how he serves it at Fung Tu.

14:45 "Cooking Chinese food is very important because it's my deepest connection to Chinese culture. And not just Chinese culture in a broad sense, but also my family history."

We also talk to Jonathan Wu about other seasonal vegetables, why many other Chinese restaurants don't incorporate seasonality into their menus, and the other side projects Jonathan is working on.

If there are any new listeners tuning in for the first time, here's a quick reminder that you can subscribe to Feast Meets West on iTunes and Stitcher, stream our episodes here on feastmeetwest.com or heritageradionetwork.org, and follow what we’re up to and what we’re eating on Facebook or Instagram.

Quick-fire Q&A: Maiko Kyogoku of Bessou

Get to know Maiko Kyogoku of Bessou from Episode 18 in our Quick-fire Q&A with the restauranteur!

  • Neighborhood of residence: East Village
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: Minca Ramen
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: The Ten Bells
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: Hemlock. I admire their use of 1 ingredient in 2 ways in many of their dishes. Very creative!
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Cioppino. I love seafood and tomatoes anytime of year but especially in the summer! It's an easy dish to throw together for yourself or for a group. 
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of: Regional cuisine. Nowadays, diners are ever-curious about knowing everything and anything about a particular cuisine and it's a great thing. The world is getting smaller! At Bessou, we introduce people to northern Japanese regional dishes like with our inaniwa udon which is a style of noodles specific to Akita prefecture. 

Episode 22: Judy Joo + Korean Barbecue

UK Iron Chef, international restauranteur, and cookbook author Judy Joo joined us for this special 4th of July episode to talk about Korean BBQ! Tune into this episode to learn what makes Korean BBQ different from other barbecue and why it’s so popular.

We kick off the episode with our usual discussion of what's the best thing we ate. Lynda had a great raw wagyu steak sushi at Salt + Charcoal in Williamsburg, while Iris real-talks about crappy takeout (we can't always eat great food!) and K-Roll, a Hong Kong kimbap fast food concept.

We then introduce our topic, Korean BBQ, as well as our guest, Judy Joo. She is a cookbook author, UK Iron Chef, and host of Cooking Channel’s ‘Korean Food Made Simple’. Her restaurant, Jinjuu, has locations in both London and Hong Kong. And fun fact: she was the first person on the Food Network to use the term "foodgasm" on TV. She tells us about the interesting path she took from engineering to finance to the kitchen and the challenges of opening a Korean restaurant in London. She also tells us about how one of her missions is to get non-Koreans trying and cooking Korean food.

We then switch gears and talk about Korean BBQ. Judy explains how it works and how it's most famed for being cooked at the table, unlike many other forms of barbecue. She also explains why traditionally Korean food, like Chinese food, has often been cut or diced up since knives were considered to be weapons and not present on the dining table. She then tells us the best way to enjoy Korean BBQ and why it's totally worth it, even if you have to throw all your smoked out clothes in the laundry after a meal out!

31:10 "My story of success is really speckled with a thousand more stories of failure, and you have to get used to failure." - Judy Joo on the challenges of being female and Asian in food and media.

Finally, she talks about what's next and her thoughts on being one of the few Asian women in both media and the kitchen, and why that's important. Remember to pick up a copy of Judy's cookook, Korean Food Made Simple, and make sure you check out Jinjuu the next time you’re in London or Hong Kong.

We would also like to invite everyone to the Feast Meets West community online! You can find us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. Not only will you stay updated on what’s coming up next on the show, but we also post content on many other Asian foods you love. 

Episode 21: Jet Tila + The Philosophy of "Yum"

Jet Tila, Celebrity Chef, Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine, and cookbook author of 101 Asian Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die, joined Lynda in the studio to talk about the Philosophy of “Yum”, and how you can incorporate this concept into your cooking.

Jet Tila starts the show by announcing he's been inspired by the HRN Summer Drive and is planning on signing up to become a member! Join Jet and many others in supporting the world's only food radio network by heading on over to heritageradionetwork.org/donate to help keep your favorite shows on the air.

Lynda asks Jet about his background. He talks about growing up in Los Angeles in the first Thai food family in the country, how he tried to resist working in food and following in his family's footsteps (but failed), and the different cultural influences that shaped the way he ate growing up in LA.

Jet then explains the concept of "Yum" and how it's the balance of five flavors and how it's a great way to explain why certain Asian cuisines taste the way that they do. He then gives examples of how different Asian cuisines hit the "Yum" balance and the different key ingredients they use. He then tells us about Sriracha, the area in Thailand, and his issue with what we associate Sriracha with here in the US. He also gives his "hot tips on how to achieve maximum Yum"!

Finally, Lynda asks Jet about what else he has been working on and how he manages his time with so many projects. They talk about kids and cooking (and Lynda calls Jet a tiger mom/dragon dad). Lynda also asks Jet what he wants to be known for in the industry.

28:52 "I see all these young chefs in the industry and all the attitude. It's so much energy to be a jerk. It's so much easier and it bears fruit to be nice."

Make sure you pick up a copy of Jet Tila's book, 101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die!

Quick-fire Q&A: Hannah and Marian of Mimi Cheng's

On Episode 17, we talked to Hannah Cheng about Mimi Cheng's and their modern, healthy spin on dumplings. We caught up with Hannah and her sister/business partner, Marian, after the show to find out where they like to eat and what Asian food they'd like to see more of! (Photo credit: Nicole Franzen)

  • Neighborhood of residence: Greenwich Village
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: Lupa and the new Emily’s Pizza
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: Caffe Dante
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: Love Lilia and Wildair
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Fish tacos with all the fixings! 
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of: More regional specific cooking and Asian breakfast

Episode 20: Chul Kim + Bringing Korean Food Out of K-Town

Chul Kim, owner of Little Dokebi and Dokebi Bar & Grill in Brooklyn, talked to us this week about Korean cuisine in America, why it took so long to get noticed outside of Korea Town (K-Town), and his thoughts on the current state of the restaurant business.

First, your hosts ask each other what's the best thing they ate this past week. We had a good week for food--we both had some of our favorite meals! Lynda talks about the amazing egg and cheese bagel sandwich she had at Frankel's Delicatessen and Iris had a banging eggplant and minced pork for staff meal.

We then turn the conversation to Chul Kim. Chul talks a bit about his career change from banking to the restaurant industry, how he chose food over a career in fashion, and his thought process for this big life decision.

We then briefly discuss Korean immigration to the U.S. and K-Town culture. Chul then tells us about opening Little Dokebi, from selecting the perfect location to building the space to the story behind the name Little Dokebi ('dokebi' is a devil-like creature in Korean mythology and Chul's nickname growing up).

Next, Lynda asks about the menu at Little Dokebi. He tells us his inspirations include popular Korean dishes, his mom's cooking, and his favorite Korean foods. Chul then admits he initially wasn't too educated about where food comes from before opening Little Dokebi. He was influenced by contemporaries in the neighborhood who were doing farm-to-table cuisine and started trying to source the best ingredients possible, even asking farmers to grow Korean produce. 

He then talks about public relations and marketing in the restaurant business, and how he's never quite believed in paying someone else to promote your restaurant. The first "PR" he did was giving unsold food to people living and working in the neighborhood. Aspiring restaurant owners, make sure to listen to this part because Chul tells us about what he thinks is a great strategy for longevity when opening a restaurant!

24:30 "In the same way that I think you want to grow your food organically, I think sometimes growing your business that way is a much healthier way to sustain a business." - Chul Kim on growing your business organically vs. paying PR companies to do it for you.

Chul also tells us about how he ended up opening a kimchi factory to supply his two restaurants, and now Murray's Cheese too! Finally, he tells us what his hopes are for Korean food now that it has left K-Town, and his concerns too.

We hope you are enjoying Feast Meets West, as well as all the other great free shows on Heritage Radio Network. As you may know, these shows are only possible thanks to member donations. Support your favorite shows by joining the club! It is super easy to become a member, and it comes with limited edition summer swag like t-shirts, drink koozies, and pins. Sign up for a one-time donation or become a monthly sustaining member by visiting heritageradionetwork.org/donate right now. Let’s keep food radio on the airwaves this summer!

Episode 19: Floyd Cardoz + Home-style Indian Food

Chef Floyd Cardoz of Tabla and Top Chef Masters fame joined us in the studio this week. He shed some light on what home-style Indian food is and how it differs from the Indian cuisine in restaurants. We also discussed his casual modern Indian restaurant, Paowalla, which opened last year.

First, we share what the best things we ate were this week. Shout-out to Caleb Chao's surprise pizza and Samsen's delicious Thai noodles in Hong Kong! Iris then talks about why she thinks it's important to talk about the gap between home-style food and restaurant food, and how only being exposed to restaurant food can misrepresent a cuisine.

We then talk to Floyd Cardoz and ask him what home-style Indian food is and how it's different to Indian food in New York. He tells us about how when he moved to the US, the Indian food he found was nothing like the food he grew up eating. Floyd had never had naan until he was 18 years old! He then talks about pao, the Portuguese-influenced bread he grew up eating in Goa, as well as the various other breads at Paowalla.

13:50 "Most Indian restaurants, I believe, are not about spreading the good news of the cuisine. Take French food, Japanese food, Italian food. It's the chefs who want to show the world, "come and look at what we have". It's this wide variety of ingredients and dishes that you can enjoy and not be afraid of. Indian restaurants for the longest time, haven't done that." - Floyd on why Indian restaurants in the US haven't ventured beyond the usual chicken tikka masala until recent years.

Lynda then asks what Indian dishes Floyd eats or cooks at home that isn't found on the typical Indian restaurant menu. He talks about the fish curry and pork vindaloo he grew up eating in Goa and the importance of seafood in this region. He recalls memories of the fresh food he ate in Goa, and how his grandmother slaughtered pigs and used all parts of the animal over the course of days. Floyd also talks about how he ended up becoming a chef.

Finally, we discuss how Indian food is finally becoming cool and Floyd hints at an exciting new project that he can't reveal until later this year!

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Quick-fire Q&A: Eddy Buckingham of Chinese Tuxedo

We asked Eddy Buckingham, co-owner of Chinese Tuxedo, where he likes to eat and drink, and what Asian food he wants to see more of. If you haven't heard our interview with Eddy and Chinese Tuxedo Executive Chef, Paul Donnelly, check it out here!

  • Neighborhood of residence: Greenwich Village, Manhattan
  • Favorite restaurant in your hood: King on 6th Ave for a local dinner, and for Chinese I head over to Han Dynasty in the East Village
  • Favorite spot to grab a drink: In the warmer months, one of the street side tables at Dante on MacDougal Street
  • Most recent/Recommended dining out experience: Taking a large party to Ping's on Mott Street in the heart of Chinatown is always a good time. Make sure to ask your server for recommendations from the live fish tank. Their preparations are always on point.
  • What's your favorite dish to cook: Sadly my Manhattan apartment doesn't lend itself to anything more ambitious than takeout. I do enjoy event cooking for large parties when in vacation mode though. Thanksgiving roast is always an annual highlight.
  • What Asian food staple/trend do you want to see more of: Just more accessibility to some of the dishes which might be considered a little bit obtuse here in New York but are staples in towns with a robust Asian dining scene. It's been great to see the proliferation of Vietnamese Pho and really good Dan Dan noodles the last couple of years, but there's still only one or two places in all of Manhattan where one could go for a good Malay Laksa or a Roti Canai. I hope in the future there will be a good Malay joint, a good Thai joint, a good Vietnamese joint, etc. in every neighborhood.