Feast of Resistance 2021
In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM), we’re examining five moments in Asian American history and pairing them with an original dish to tell the story of these often forgotten or otherwise untaught or outright ignored events. Watch us live every Sunday this month on our Twitch channel.
In college, one of my favorite classes was Asian American Film and TV with Professor Emily Lawsin, whom I lovingly and respectfully refer to as Auntie Emily. Auntie Emily was the first person to introduce me to “Feast of Resistance” - as a potluck she hosted in class where each of us brought a dish from our culture and talked about it, pulling from Tony Osumi’s “Feast of Resistance: Asian American History Through Food” in Teaching about Asian Pacific Americans. I learned so much about Asian American activism and Asian American history from Auntie Emily and my many mentors during my time at the University of Michigan. One such mentor, Cat Knoerr, was the one who actually gave me the idea to do something like a Feast of Resistance for MSG.
This is a dinner series I’ve been working on over the past couple of years. I’ve researched and crafted recipes to tell stories about Asian Americans throughout history, as well as their crossroads with other immigrants in the US. So much history has been left out in our primary education, so my hope is to shed some light on these moments from the past that should not be forgotten.
Our rendition of Egg Foo Young tells the tale of the first wave of Chinese immigrants and their relation to Irish immigrants in the 1800s.
We have chicken wings to speak to the story of Vincent Chin.
The Oxnard Sugar Beets Strike of 1903 is encapsulated in a Beet Salad dish.
Collard Greens will introduce the story of David Fagen and the Philippine-American War.
And finally, Black Bean Ribs to represent the murder of Latasha Harlins by Soon Ja Du and the LA Riots.
As Anthony Bourdain showed me, sometimes food is the best way to bring people together to start a conversation. I’ve always believed that food has the power to tell stories and introduce culture and conversation. During this series, we hope to highlight stories of our pasts, truly American tales, as well as make something delicious to bridge these gaps. We hope to continue this series in the future as there are so many stories to tell, so much history to learn, and so many people to feed. We’re here to cultivate an enriched understanding of what it means to be American, what it has always meant to be American.