Faces of the Industry: Chris Cheung
Chris Cheung, aka the “Godfather” of the Asian Food Mafia, joined us on Episode 55, where he shared the story behind this collective of culinary professionals, and how they support the education and growth of Asian food.
Chris is a New York native and grew up in the heart of Chinatown. He cooked in the kitchens of Jean Georges and Nobu, and was chef of The Monkey Bar and Ruby Foo's before opening up East Wind Snack Shop, a restaurant inspired by the tea houses of Chinatown that he grew up with. The original location is in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, with an outpost recently opened last year in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is also the chef and partner of Tansuo in Nashville, Tennessee.
When eating out, what neighborhood do you end up in the most?
What’s your favorite restaurant in NYC right now?
Hop Kee on Mott St. (Note: Chris filmed a segment there with Anthony Bourdain on “No Reservations” where they discussed ordering off ‘phantom menus’ in Chinatown.)
What’s a restaurant you haven’t been to yet, but on your hit list?
Shorty Tang for the sesame noodles.
What’s your favorite dish to cook?
I’m in pursuit of the perfect dumpling.
Favorite drink to pair with that?
Chrysanthemum tea. It’s soothing and refreshing, and one of the few Chinese teas where it’s ok to put a touch of sugar in.
What would be your last meal on Earth?
Peter Luger’s steak, Hop Kee’s fried flounder, Di Fara’s pizza. And one more meal at my grandmother’s table.