- Release Date: January 29, 2013
- Audiobook Hours: 7 hours and 55 minutes
- Genre: Memoir
- Publisher: Speigel & Grau (Random House)
I really wanted to start this review by saying something like ‘move over Anthony Bourdain, there’s a new bad boy chef on the market, but that doesn’t really fit what Huang is trying to do with this book. While Huang’s claim to fame is his restaurant, Baohaus, this book isn’t really a food memoir. It’s about Huang’s fraught relationship with his Asian identity while growing up around what he calls American Whiteness.
As he recounts growing up in suburban Orlando Huang dismantles the idea of the model minority. Fear of assimilation is a point of tension for him. There is a long history of America being the worst to Asian immigrants and then erasing them from history. His story is a story we don’t hear and I think Huang put together a biting and honest memoir that was also entertaining.
Most people are probably familiar with the ABC show based on this book and while I enjoy the show Iknew Huang publicly expresseda lot of dislike for it and after reading his memoir I get it. ABC bowdlerized the crap out of his story, but kept his family’s names are all over it. I think when Huang sold the rights for a show he wanted something like Aziz Ansaris’s show Master of None where they tackle issues of racism with more dark humor and edge that doesn’t care about offending the audience.