Chefs Are Taking Asian Cuisines to the Next Level in Los Angeles


As regional Asian cuisines achieve more mainstream popularity in the US, many restaurant owners are still faced with outdated attitudes, including the unfair assumption that certain kinds of food should have a low price point. More recently, anti-Asian sentiment intensified in the wake of COVID-19 and subjected Asian-owned restaurants to further stigmatization. However, here in LA, as the city continues to dip its toe into more tasting menu-type dining experiences, a new wave of talented Asian-American chefs are challenging racial biases and dated assumptions about their ancestral cuisines.

Unlike their immigrant parents, many of whom entered the restaurant business simply to make a living, this generation of chefs is following their passions and utilizing the resources their families didn’t have to create more ambitious concepts.

“I’d imagine most parents didn’t want the harsh restaurant life for their children and that’s why they pushed us to other professional fields,” says Andy

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Meet Andre Chiang, the celebrity chef who gave up his Michelin stars in Singapore and moved back to Taiwan to train the next generation of chefs

Chef Andre Chiang laughing in the kitchen of his Singapore restaurant

Chiang in the kitchen of Restaurant Andre. Courtesy Netflix

  • André Chiang is the only Chinese-born chef listed in the World’s Best 50 Restaurants.

  • His Netflix film, “André and His Olive Tree,” is the top-grossing documentary in Taiwan for 2021.

  • He’s now devoting himself to shaping the next generation of young chefs in Taiwan.

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At Restaurant André in Singapore, nothing was left to chance, and nothing was out of place.

The menus were hardback novels inscribed with Chef Chiang’s sketches. Chairs were placed at a perfect 45-degree angle to the table. Dishes were presented in line with Chiang’s trademark Octaphilosophy and represented his chosen eight elements of food: texture, memory, pure, terroir, unique, salt, south, and artisan. Food lovers from as far away as Germany and Brazil would fly to Singapore for a taste of Restaurant André’s S$450 ($333) degustation menu.

In the

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These were America’s top chefs the decade you were born

The idea of the celebrity chef has changed enormously in America over most of our lifetimes. Back in the 1940s, most restaurant chefs’ names were completely unknown to the general public, but by the 1990s dozens of working chefs were legitimate celebrities, usually because of appearances on television or through best-selling cookbooks. Get a glimpse into what chef culture was when you were born by exploring the best-known chefs of past decades.

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These AAPI chefs are reclaiming the narrative of what Asian cuisine means

For chefs, food is often a personal journey — maybe even the journey of their ancestors — and a function of social, economic and political events. It’s nearly impossible to make any one chef or restaurant a representative for an entire culture. Every region has their own unique influences, history, ingredients and techniques. “It would take me multiple lifetimes to master Sri Lankan cuisine,” said chef Samantha Fore, “because there are that many regional nuances.” And when you add in that layer of diaspora, it’s even harder to define what authenticity even means.

When it comes to Asian cuisines, the story has often been simplified and told by people who aren’t part of the culture. Dishes that were once ridiculed only start being revered once they are promoted by white food personalities. But now, more than ever, chefs from different Asian cultures are seizing the moment to cook

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