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Western-Chinese food is authentic — and isn’t white washing our culture

by Kathryn Mannie, CBC, Jun 22, 2021

Dismissing this cuisine also dismisses the legacy of chefs like my grandparents.

“Sik jor fahn mei ah? Have you eaten yet?”

This common Cantonese greeting indicates just how closely Chinese culture associates food and well-being. My gung gung (maternal grandfather) fiercely proclaims that food and money are the two most important things to possess — in that order.

Like many second- and third-generation Chinese-Canadians, I was partially raised by my grandparents while my parents worked full time.

And at the centre of their home was the kitchen. Read more…

Though we can’t gather at our usual dim sum restaurant anymore, my family still gets together every Sunday around noon to share a meal. I join in virtually when I’m in Toronto. (Kathryn Mannie)

A Family’s Quarantine-Kitchen Bonding in “Have You Eaten”

By Han Zhang, Film by Lina Li, The New Yorker, December 18, 2020

In the first few months of quarantine, Lina Li was especially well fed. In mid-March, Li, a junior at Ryerson University, in Toronto, decamped from her apartment downtown and moved back to her parents’ house in the suburban town of Thornhill, about half an hour’s drive from the city. Li’s mother, Yan Gao, was prepared for the lockdown—in January, after learning about the spread of the coronavirus in China, she stocked her pantry with staples: for starters, four bottles of soy sauce and ten bags of jasmine rice; a restaurateur friend supplied brisket, for the freezer. The only thing Gao didn’t stock up on was vegetables—she doesn’t believe in frozen greens. She grows zucchini, cucumbers, green onions, chives, and tomatoes in her garden. The pandemic brought Gao’s two adult daughters and her husband—who, for decades, had split his time between Beijing and Toronto for business—under one roof. The family played board games, watched movies, and took daily walks together—that is, between gulping down the elaborate meals that Gao whipped up. Read more…

What it’s like eating Dim Sum out on the Patio/Parking Lot during covid

By Tim Lee

While our restaurants are still not allowed to serve dine-in meals, many places have been creatively using their patios and even their parking lots to offer an out door dining experience. Today, I get a chance to try dim sum outside at Neptune Seafood Restaurant in Richmond BC Canada where we’ll have lots of dim sum dishes, seafood, and an incredible Lobster fried noodles

‘The Keefer Yard’ Prepares to Tee Off in Chinatown

By Andrew Morrison, Jul 28, 2020, Scout Vancouver

You know that narrow but deep vacant lot beside The Keefer Bar in Chinatown? It’s currently being transformed into The Keefer Yard, an al fresco space dedicated to outdoor games and good times.

The idea for The Keefer Yard is simple: run long rows of bench-style seats against both walls and front them with a 9-hole putting green. Putters and balls are available to rent for a small fee that will be donated to local charitable organisations, starting with the Hogan’s Alley Society. There will be other games to play, too (eg. horseshoes), and GM Keenan Hood tells me he’s also planning for a food truck to be present. read more…

‘What Is Chinatown?’ Artist Jiawei Zhao Looks At Chinatown Under Lockdown

by Nadja Sayej, Apr 21 2020, Forbes

Jiawei Zhao is a Chinese artist based in New York City. As the country is under lockdown, Zhao uses familiar Chinese symbolism in his artwork to create a feeling of familiarity and comfort in this time of crisis.

The Brooklyn-based artist looks to Manhattan’s Chinatown, and the various Chinatowns across the country, as a point of inspiration for his artworks, be it his series that looks at the closed Chinese-language movie theatres, to his Wallpaper series, which reexamines historic public monuments and their relevancy in our current pandemic—looking back to see a clearer future, so to speak. read more…

Wallpaper #2 (ongoing) JIAWEI ZHAO

Guo Ding: Chinese Canadian Museum will counter flawed narratives about B.C. and Canadian history

by Guo Ding, August 2nd, 2020, The Georgia Straight

Last month, the B.C. government announced $10 million in funding for the Chinese Canadian Museum project.

This marks the first time that a North American government has supported such a project. And $10 million is only the beginning.

This shows that Premier John Hogan is a leader who fulfils his campaign promises.

I still remember when I wrote an article in Sing Tao Daily on May 1, 2017, suggesting that B.C. should build a Chinese Canadian history museum to identify the contributions of the Chinese community since 1860. The next day, I received a phone call from NDP headquarters, telling me that the party leader, Horgan, endorsed my idea. read more…

He’s probably been in more movies than any actor in history

By Trisha Gopal, Dominique Turner and David Yim, August 2, 2020, CNN

Hear more of James Hong’s Hollywood tales in the latest episode of Great Big Story, a new podcast by CNN about the delightful, surprising stories all around us.

James Hong is everywhere.

He spoke Mandarin with Keanu Reeves in “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” He backflipped his way out of a fight in “Wayne’s World 2.” He was the supportive, noodle-loving Mr. Ping in “Kung Fu Panda.” On television, he was the maître d’ in the episode of “Seinfeld” titled “The Chinese Restaurant.”
Without exaggeration, Hong might be the most prolific actor in Hollywood history. With more than 600 credits to his name, he may lay claim to the most credits of any actor, living or dead. …read more

With more than 600 acting credits, James Hong might be one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood history.

‘Intolerable’ hate incidents continue to rise in Vancouver: police

By Amy Smart, Jul 17, 2020, Canadian Press

VANCOUVER — Reported “hate incidents” have more than doubled this year in Vancouver and police say offenders are targeting the city’s Asian community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Insp. Dale Weidman, incident commander for the Vancouver Police Department’s new hate crime project team, said the department has identified 155 hate-associated reports this year, up from 69 over the same time in 2019.

The city’s Asian community is seeing more than nine times the number of incidents at 66 compared with seven last year, he said.

“It’s an alarming increase and I want to assure you that the department takes these things very seriously,” Weidman said. …read more

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past the boarded up shops along Robson Street in downtown Vancouver, Monday, May 4, 2020. Reported “hate incidents” have more than doubled this year in Vancouver and police say offenders are targeting the city’s Asian community as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Keeping Chinatown’s 1,000-Seat ‘Floata’ Afloat in the Pandemic

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson 15 Jul 2020,

You can’t have Chinatown without Chinese food. In Vancouver’s historic neighbourhood, there’s the tourist, looking for a bite of culture. There are politicians like Justin Trudeau, looking for a place to campaign. There’s the immigrant senior, looking for familiar food. There’s the resident from the Downtown Eastside, looking for something hot, affordable and a place to sit. But in a pandemic, how are Chinatown’s eateries faring? After our visit to Gain Wah, our series continues with Floata.

“Last year, Justin Trudeau came here for Chinese New Year! And now, we’re losing money whether we close or we open,” said Andre Ruan with a sigh. “These are very difficult times.”

There were always massive crowds at Floata, Canada’s largest Chinese restaurant: fundraisers, weddings, tour groups and parties by various Chinatown societies all brought people to Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. …read more

‘This is the biggest venue in Chinatown,’ said Andre Ruan, a general manager of the neighbourhood’s 1,000-seat Floata Seafood Restaurant. Photo by Joshua Berson.
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