Become a KCTS 9 Passport member for just $5 a month to access thousands of hours of PBS programs and specials
Your donation supports an essential community service, is tax-deductible, and helps make the programs you depend on possible
Asian cuisine is increasingly the engine driving the growth of the American food industry. Danielle talks to three Asian-American entrepreneurs about the secrets of their success: Tim Wildin, the young Chipotle executive; Lynda Trang Dai, the queen of banh mi sandwiches in Orange County’s Little Saigon; and Charles Phan, the chef whose Slanted Door was named best restaurant in the country.
Danielle gets back to her roots in an episode devoted to the distinctive, rustic cuisine of Taiwan. With Cathy Erway, author of “Foods of Taiwan,” she makes the island’s most famous dish, beef noodle soup. At Taiwan Bear House she tries a New York take on the box lunches known as biandang. And in California’s Orange County, she pays a visit to America's closest version of a Taiwanese night market.
A new generation of chefs and entrepreneurs is finally bringing the amazing cooking of the world’s second-largest country to a broad American audience. Danielle interviews a former financier who offers a light, healthy take on Indian classics at his fast-casual start-up Inday; the adventurous restaurateurs behind Babu Ji; and an engineer who started selling chai by bicycle in San Francisco.
The rise of China has meant the rise of Chinese culinary traditions in America. Danielle checks out an industrial kitchen where traditional “confinement meals” are made for new mothers across the country; an underground Manhattan cocktail den whose main ingredient is the fiery liquor baijiu, the world’s most heavily consumed spirit; and a wedding in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.
The relationship between faith and food is evident at three Asian houses of worship: an imposing Buddhist temple where Danielle is served an artful vegetarian feast; a Sikh temple where she helps cook Indian flatbread for a communal meal where all are welcome; and a Queens mosque’s annual food fair, where she samples Indonesian dishes and learns about life as a Muslim in America.
Farmers are the new rock stars of the food world, and in this episode Danielle visits agriculturists large and small. Ross Koda, a third-generation Japanese-American, runs a renowned Central Valley rice farm and hopes to keep it in the family. Kristyn Leach hand grows artisanal, heirloom Asian produce for one of San Francisco’s most popular restaurants.
Japan has mesmerized American foodies for generations and a new wave of Japanese culinary culture continues to intoxicate us. Exploring American manifestations of otaku, the Japanese trope that combines cutting-edge pop culture with fetishistic obsession, Danielle visits New York’s first cat cafe; a Brooklyn izakaya run by a Frenchman; and a California suburban mom who's a star of the bento-box.