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Off the Menu

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Directed by award-winning filmmaker Grace Lee, Off the Menu: Asian America takes us on a road trip across the US—from Honolulu, Hawai‘i to Oak Creek, Wisconsin to New York, New York—in an exploration of how family, history, faith, and geography shape our relationships to food and our communities. Lee, producer Eurie Chung, food scholar Krishnendu Ray (NYU Food Studies), chef Jonathan Wu and his partner Wilson Tang (whose innovative restaurant Fung Tu is featured in the film) join us for a post-screening discussion, moderated by film scholar Chi-hui Yang.

Co-sponsored by CAAM (Center for Asian American Media), Museum of Chinese in America, and Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.


As a graduate student at UCLA in Asian American Studies, Eurie Chung produced and directed Metro es Para Todos: Hee Pok ‘Grandma’ Kim and The Bus Riders Union,
a documentary short profiling an elderly Korean immigrant activist. Other work includes independent documentaries Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings (Dir. Tad Nakamura) and American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (Dir. Grace Lee) as well as projects for ABC/Disney, Warner Bros., and HGTV.

Grace Lee’s credits include directing and producing the documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles
Film Festival before its broadcast on the PBS series POV. Other projects included documentaries Makers: Women in Politics (PBS 2014), The Grace Lee Project (2005) and feature film Janeane from Des Moines, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. Lee lives in Los Angeles.

Krishnendu Ray is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health in NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. A food studies scholar, he is the author of The Migrant’s Table: Meals and Memories in Bengali-American Households(Temple University, 2004) and co-editor of Curried Cultures: Globalization, Food and South Asia (University of California Press, 2012). Ray’s newest book,The Ethnic Restaurateur will be published by Bloomsbury in 2016. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals: Food, Culture & Society; Gastronomica; Contemporary Sociology; and Loukik. Ray received his PhD in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton and also  holds a master’s degree in Political Science from Delhi University, India. Prior to joining the NYU faculty in 2005, Krishnendu was a faculty member and an Associate Dean for Curriculum Development at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA).

Wilson Tang is the owner of the historic Nom Wah Tea Parlor, a Chinatown institution that he restored and reopened in 2010. He is also an owner/partner in The Bowery Station in Nolita, an event space dedicated to incubating food concepts, and Fung Tu, a Chinese American restaurant located in the Lower East Side which opened in November 2013. With a passion for food and the food service industry, Wilson left a career in finance and insurance to take over the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, an establishment that has been in his family for a half century.  In March 20015, Wilson opened a Nom Wah Tea Parlor in Philadelphia. He  has sought to modernize the business while honoring the traditions established long ago in Chinatown’s first dim sum restaurant, and is a founding participant in Chinatown’s first Restaurant Week. Wilson was born and raised on the Lower East Side. He currently lives in the Financial District with his wife, Mae and 2 children, Ryan and Lucy.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Connecticut, Jonathan Wu grew up with his feet in two worlds–Chinese tradition and suburban America. His family’s pantry was stocked with items culled from both supermarkets and Asian grocery stores, an eclectic mix of ingredients that formed a basis for his uniquely personal cuisine.  After receiving a degree in English from the University of Chicago, Wu moved to New York to take cooking classes at the French Culinary Institute. His nights were spent gaining experience in the city’s kitchens including Blue Hill, Annisa, Vong, and Le Bernardin. After stints in France and Spain, he joined the opening team at Geisha, a sister restaurant of Le Bernardin, where he worked directly with Eric Ripert and Michael Vernon. He then became chef de partie at Per Se where he stayed for two years working almost every station in the kitchen. Afterwards, he spent three months at Al Covo in Venice, then worked as a private chef. In 2013, he partnered with Wilson Tang, Jason Wagner, and John Matthew Wells to open Fung Tu. In 2015, the restaurant was awarded two stars by The New York Times.

Chi-hui Yang is Program Officer for Ford Foundation’s JustFilms initiative, a global effort that supports emerging and established filmmakers whose work addresses the most urgent social issues of our time. Yang has worked extensively as a film curator and educator. He has presented film and video series at film festivals and events internationally, including the MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (“The Age of Migration”), Seattle International Film Festival, and Washington D.C. International Film Festival. From 2000-2010 he was the Director and Programmer of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the largest showcase of its kind in the US. Yang has taught at the Columbia University School of Journalism, Hunter College, and the New School and was an A/P/A Institute Visiting Scholar from 2011-2015. He lives in New York City.
Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: NYU Cantor Film Center, Theater 101
36 East 8th Street
New York, NY 10003 United States
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Add to Calendar 10/16/2015 07:00 PM 10/16/2015 09:00 PM America/New_York Off the Menu More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/off-the-menu/ NYU Cantor Film Center, Theater 101, New York, NY, 10003