Skip to main content
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!

Saving Chinatown and Our Legacies

Part of CULINASIA: The Future of Asian Food in America

Presented in collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Evening Program on Zoom

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0406
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
Select your Tickets
Gen. Admission
Powered by Zoom

Grace Young, Brandon Jew, Jennifer Tam and Victoria Lee, Daphne Wu, and Wellington Chen (left to right) 

(Photo credits, left to right: Christine-Han, Pete Lee,  NA, Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office )

NOTE: Free program, registration required.

Since its introduction to the United States more than 150 years ago, Chinese cuisine has become an American staple. Its cooking techniques, from stir frying and smoking to steaming and braising, have grown in popularity over the decades. At the same time, Chinese Americans have been ridiculed, shunned, excluded, and discriminated against. In the COVID-19 era, anti-Asian racism and violence against Asian Americans have been widespread, and many storied institutions—from small mom-and-pop shops to massive dim sum banquet halls—have permanently closed their doors. Why is the survival of Chinese restaurants so essential to the future of American culture and to the soul of our cities? How do we preserve the legacy of Asian food in America, and why do these efforts matter now?

Join a panel of chefs, advocates, and activists who discuss the future of Chinatowns across the country. The panel includes food writer Grace Young, a James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and co-creator of Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories; Brandon Jew, chef and owner of Mister Jiu's, Moongate Lounge, and Mamahuhu in San Francisco, and author of Mister Jiu's in Chinatown: Recipes and Stories from the Birthplace of Chinese American Food (Ten Speed Press); Jennifer Tam and Victoria Lee, founders of Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative supporting New York City’s Chinatown businesses; Daphne Wu, co-organizer of Save Our Chinatowns, an arts and culture initiative uplifting Bay Area Chinatown communities; and Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown BID/Partnership in New York.

Book Sale Information


Asian foods and cooking have long been an indelible part of America’s food culture, and yet we also harbor complicated relationships with the people who prepare our meals. Earlier this year, Asian American activists carried signs reading “Love Us Like You Love Our Food” as they denounced a surge of anti-Asian racism in communities across the United States during the global pandemic.

CULINASIA is a dynamic, free series of virtual conversations that explore food legacies and the ways in which Asian Diaspora cuisine continues to change and enrich our lives. Join chefs, food writers, food entrepreneurs, home cooks, cookbook authors, and other participants whose heritage and experiences span the complex spectrum of Asian Diaspora identities in the United States as they discuss the successes, challenges, and future of Asian food in America.

CULINASIA is curated by Burmese American restaurateur and cultural connector Simone Jacobson.

The series received federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

Recordings of these programs will be posted on the Freer and Sackler Gallery's YouTube channel within the next few weeks:

Additional CULINASIA programs

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.