Edited by Margaret Wong & T.K. Brady
In February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic officially locked down the U.S., UB Preserv’s chef de cuisine Nick Wong of Houston, Texas received an odd reservation cancellation.
“We got a call on Valentine’s Day about somebody wanting to cancel Easter brunch with us, citing coronavirus. The reason was a shock to me, because none of the other major restaurants in the area fielded any calls about reservations being cancelled due to coronavirus. And me, being a Chinese-American head chef of this restaurant with a somewhat Asian menu — it was just terrible.”
And just days before national shelter-in-place laws went into effect, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council executive director Manjusha Kulkarni found herself at a salon seated next to two women loudly discussing the “kind of food” Asians eat, and making false claims that Asian Americans brought COVID-19 to the