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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

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

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson 15 Jul 2020, TheTyee.ca

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.

In the Pandemic, ‘Gain Wah’ Keeps Dishing Out Chinatown Classics

By Christopher Cheung and Joshua Berson, 13 Jul 2020, TheTyee.ca

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? In this series, we’ll bring you inside the doors of three longtime favourites.

“Son, you know what? You need some skills.”

“What skills?”

“If you know how to cook, you’ll get a job. There are restaurants all over the world.”

The advice from his father would eventually lead Andrew Leung to run Gain Wah in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and for a lot longer than he thought he would. When Leung bought the restaurant from a friend in 1989, he told his wife he’d try it for eight, maybe 10 years. …read more

After running Gain Wah for 31 years, Andrew Leung is still dishing out all the familiar favourites in Vancouver’s Chinatown. Photo by Joshua Berson.

‘The physical legacy of struggle and sacrifice’: How Chinatown is part of Vancouver’s past — and its future

Jennifer Van Evra, CBC Radio, Feb 12, 2020

In recent decades, much of Vancouver’s Chinese community has moved to areas such as Richmond and Burnaby, which has led some to ask, “Why preserve Chinatown?”

But at a special forum hosted by The Current’s Matt Galloway at Floata Seafood Restaurant in the heart of the historic neighbourhood, prominent Vancouver entrepreneur Carol Lee argues it is an essential part of Canadian history.

“If it were any other part of Canadian history, I don’t think we would even be asking that question,” says Lee, founder of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation, who also opened the popular Chinatown BBQ, a restaurant aimed at revitalizing the neighbourhood through food. Read more

The Current’s Matt Galloway explores Vancouver’s Chinatown with historian Judi Lam Maxwell. (Andrew Nguyen/CBC )
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