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#foodbeast Animals Culture Health News Plant-Based Sustainability

Eddie Huang Goes Vegan Amidst Amazon Rainforest Crisis

Photo: May S. Young on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Incase you’re living under a rock or somewhere off the grid like Tibet, you’ve probably heard that the Amazon rainforest has been on fire for over three weeks. In a time where climate change is a hot button issue, this news should alarm you.  The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering over 5.5 million square kilometers and producing more than 20% of all oxygen. To give you an idea of how significant 20% is, the Amazon is referred to as our planet’s lungs.  Suffice to say, it plays a major role in the fight against climate change.

There have been a reported 72,843 fires in the rainforest this year, the highest rate since Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) began tracking them in 2013. What’s really crazy about all of this is the fact that news outlets only began reporting on the fire this past Wednesday. Word of the fire set the internet ablaze as news spread throughout social media, with news outlets receiving heavy scrutiny for the three-week coverage delay.  

Photo: Unknown on Pxhere, CC0 1.0

Thankfully, information on how you can help is now reaching the masses. In addition to speaking out, one celebrity is taking it a step further in an effort to show solidarity. Announcing that he is going vegan in response to the environmental crisis, writer, host, chef and restaurateur Eddie Huang had this to say:

“After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, I’ve decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat,” he wrote on Instagram. 

As a famed restaurateur and former host of Vice’s HBO show “Huang’s World,” Huang is no stranger to eating meat. He continued, “[I love food] but I don’t love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug.”

With a newfound beef with beef, he explained further, “I’m going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems.”

View this post on Instagram

After watching videos of the Amazon on fire this week, Ive decided that this corned beef I ate at Junior’s last week will be the last piece of beef I ever eat. I love beef, I love ox tails, I love Peter Luger’s, I loved growing up in a steak house cutting NY Strip on xanax. It was soothing but beef is fucking us. Actually, we are fucking ourselves on multiple levels and we need to make changes. Im going to go vegan because it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan than a meat eater and over 90% of the land cleared in the amazon rainforest since 1970 is used for grazing livestock, but if all of us just stopped eating BEEF it would solve huge problems. Eat fish, eat chicken, eat pork until the next crisis but if all u can do now is quit beef, please do it. I know a lot of ass backwards people think vegetarianism or veganism is some uppity white girl thing to do but its not. There have been Asian Buddhist Vegetarians for thousands of years, Ital Rasta, Hindu as well, this is not some new age thing to laugh at. We are getting back to roots, healing the Earth, and ourselves. Ive eaten my last bite of meat. I wish I had planned this better and ate my mom’s ox tail soup but fuck it. There really isnt time to waste. Some things have to start today. I started to get these feelings shooting the last season of Huang’s World and fasted for 5 days because my producer David’s mom said I looked sick. She was right. The 5 days not eating fundamentally changed me and I shot the second half of the season while intermittent fasting. Ive made a lot of food videos because I love food but more than anything because food was fertile ground for exploring difference, but I dont love what food tv and more importantly what food has become in our culture: a drug. I had a really rough 2018- early 2019, got high and just ate myself to sleep watching Harry Potter a lot lol but Im getting back on my shit. Take a moment, think about it, and reexamine your relationship with food because it’ll make the Earth and ourselves very very sick if we keep abusing it.

A post shared by Eddie Huang (@mreddiehuang) on

Whether or not he sticks to his guns and truly switches to vegan, the stance alone is a powerful one. Oftentimes it takes celebrities speaking out to inspire action on a large scale and Huang’s actions are certainly commendable. You definitely don’t need to go vegan in order to help, but everyone should feel inspired to do something. It can be as simple as sharing a post. Let’s hope climate awareness continues to grow as the world comes together to save the Amazon. 

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#foodbeast FOODBEAST Going In Restaurants Video

Every Dish You HAVE To Try At 15-Year-Old Actor Hudson Yang’s Restaurant

Actor Hudson Yang, who portrays a younger version of chef Eddie Huang in the ABC hit series, Fresh Off The Boat, is just 15-years-old. However, he’s already getting his feet wet in the restaurant business, much like the culinary icon he portrays.

Yang is an investor in Không Tên, a restaurant in Los Angeles, California that serves New American food through a Vietnamese lens. That means you’ll find dishes like eggs Benedict, charcuterie, and other nationwide favorites, all with a Vietnamese spin on it. Yang sees it as a start on his own pathway to potentially becoming a chef, a dream inspired by his grandmother and her cooking.

On a recent episode of Foodbeast’s show Going In, hosts Elie Ayrouth and Marc Kharrat joined Yang and his father, Jeff, to sample the entire menu at Không Tên. With executive chef Kim Vu’s menu ranging from crab fried rice to a unique take on fried chicken & waffles, there was plenty to choose from in terms of standout dishes. These are the ones, though, that the whole squad kept going back for.

K10 Chicken & Waffles

Chef Vu’s take on chicken & waffles spins the concept totally on its head. The fried chicken breast is coated in a Saigon cinnamon breading and served with plum sugar syrup and Fresno chili hot sauce as a blend of sweet and spicy condiments. As for the waffle, it’s a Vietnamese-style sweet potato spider waffle, which looks more like a bed of deep-fried noodles but still provides that sweetness you’re looking for in the beloved brunch combo.

House Made Vietnamese Charcuterie

Charcuterie is more in the realm of Europe, but as it grows universal appeal in the United States, you’ll find more creative versions of it like this one. Chef Vu’s platter includes chicken pate, Vietnamese mortadella, pork head cheese, and grilled skewers of pork — all made in house.

Crispy Whole Fish

 

 

If you’re looking for a massive plate for the entire table to share, the crispy whole fish is the way to go. With house sauce, lettuce cups, a giant rice cracker, and plenty of fresh herbs to go with it, there’s a variety of creative ways to enjoy this meal as well.

Hudson Yang has definitely picked an innovative first restaurant to invest in, and it’ll be interesting to see how his work here influences the food he may eventually cook at a restaurant where he’s the chef, as he has aspirations to eventually become one.

To get the lowdown on what Yang and the Foodbeast squad thought of every single Không Tên dish, peep the full episode of Going In in the video at the top of this article.

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Celebrity Grub Hit-Or-Miss

Watch Chef Eddie Huang Beat The Crap Out Of Sean Evans In A Boxing Match

During First We Feast‘s latest episode of “Sean in the Wild,” chef Eddie Huang did what a lot of celebrities probably wish they could do to Sean Evans, who is also the host of the popular wing challenge web series, “Hot Ones.”

Huang meticulously beat the crap out of Evans in a boxing match, as a bit of revenge for having to endure the mouth-burning, and apparently dick-burning, Hot Ones Challenge.

“That was so painful,” Huang said after his appearance on Hot Ones. “… I took a giant hot shit, and accidentally touched my dick, so now my dick’s on fire.”

Huang destroyed Evans, as the wing-master’s lack of endurance caught up to him. They stopped 38-seconds in, as Evans was getting pummeled and winded.

They kept things friendly, though, and had a post-fight meal of consisting of New York-style hot pot.

Huang took the time to dish out some hot pot secrets, as he said it’s not an easy thing to do.

The first step in the hot pot mission was easy as Huang picked a bunch of meat from the menu. Some of it a bit pricey, but Huang made note that it didn’t matter since Sean was the one fitting the bill. One of the keys to the meat, was beef tripe, as Huang said it provides the most flavor. He also recommended getting the tripe in first, then adding the rest of the meats however you wish.

After the specific meats tips, Huang took Sean to the sauce bar, and gave some of the most crucial advice to perfecting the hot pot in “classic Chengdu” style.

Huang said you don’t want to mess up the sauce, and revealed that the if you want to do it right, the way they do in China, all you need to pour in your bowl is some sesame oil, a lot of garlic, oyster sauce, lots of cilantro, and scallions.

Huang guaranteed that this simple sauce mix goes with any order, and really gives the hot pot great flavor.

“Hot pot is kind of tricky to enjoy,” Huang said, but if you follow his tips, you should be well on your way to a delicious bowl.

Peep the video, and watch as Huang and Evans discuss the hot pot, food media, and Huang accidentally burning his dick after a hot wing challenge.

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Features News

How Chefs Feel About Roy Choi’s Zero Star Review From The NYT

Recently, a New York Times food critic made headlines by slapping Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s Locol restaurant with a zero-star review.

If you’re unfamiliar with Locol, the chefs opened the fast food restaurant with the intentions of bringing wholesome, affordable food to economically challenged areas, referred to as “food deserts,” such as Oakland and Watts, California.

The Times’ Peter Wells was not impressed by the restaurant, at all, and sparked a conversation about whether it was a fair assessment of the restaurant.

From the notion that he was unnecessarily harsh to a “fast food” restaurant, to the defense that the food should be better considering the famous faces behind the restaurant, opinions were flying out left and right.

We reached out to some highly-respected chefs, and also took to social media to get a sense of what the culinary brotherhood had to feel about the review.

Chefs have to deal with critics all the time, from newspapers to Yelp reviews, so they know what it’s like to take on harsh criticism. For the most part, the chefs felt the review was a bit of a stunt to bring attention to the newspaper, but there was also an overarching feeling that there is still a lot of value to what the chefs are trying to do with the restaurant.

Check out some chef reactions below and see if you agree:

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Andrew Gruel – Slapfish

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“I think we are giving way too much attention to this review. Obviously Wells reviewed this place because he knows he needs to create controversy in order to continue to entice readers. He is one step away from creating click-bait at the expense of chefs like Roy Choi.

With that said, I think all fast-food/fast-casual joints are fair game for reviews — negative or positive, they will draw customers to see what all the commotion is all about and that’s the real chance to win your guests. People saying he shouldn’t have reviewed the restaurant because of Choi’s altruistic perspective is bullshit. It’s a restaurant and should be treated with all the same standards as any other restaurant.

In our digital world, Yelp is more powerful in the long run, so let Mr. Wells try and keep creating fake food news.”

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Eddie Huang – BaoHaus

I received a 0 star @nytimes review, I pooped on Red Rooster, it’s important to hold people accountable even a saint like @RidingShotgunLA 🙏

— Eddie Huang (@MrEddieHuang) January 5, 2017

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Linh Nguyen – Crave 410

cheflinh

“In my opinion the overall tone of the review was a bit harsh. Anyone who employs at-risk teens in a poverty stricken neighborhood deserves at least 4 stars.

As chefs, we are prepared to envision menus based on demographics, cost, availability and other variables. Reading some of the menu items LocoL provides I can see where the chefs were going based on flavor profiles, availability, and especially food cost. At the the end of the day, they humbled themselves with zero egos , bringing a seemingly impossible idea to fruition. They challenged corporate fast food on their own turf with healthier options at the same price point.

If that’s not ‘punk’ as fuck, I don’t know what is!

Also, The NY Times brought up good sentiments about the restaurant as well as even recommending items at the end of the article. It almost feels that Pete Wells wanted to give LocoL a couple stars. Maybe zero stars was intended to shock and get the article a little more shine.”

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Aron Habiger – Cooking on the Lam

aronh

“When a reviewer comes in for a chef like Roy Choi or Daniel Patterson, the expectations are set at a certain bar. Any time they open a new restaurant, there’s pressure… the limelight is put on you, the pressure’s on, and you know you really have to nail it out of the gate. You expect, the minute they open that door, that it’s spot-on.

I feel bad when I see a really bad review for chefs. I know it hurts, ’cause I’ve been in those shoes, too.”

David Chang – Momofuku

David Chang with the subtweet here, but we do all know who he was talking about. He also jumped on Instagram and posted a photo of Locol, hashtagging it #welocol.

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#welocol

A photo posted by Dave Chang (@davidchang) on

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Jason Quinn – The Playground DTSA

1-star-yelp-jason

“That’s pretty brutal. I feel as if Pete Wells makes a fantastic point, but I think it would have been better not to write the review. These are two great chefs, opening alternatives to the evil of McDonald’s, and getting shit on.

Not only have some people “forgotten” about these demographics, no one seems to be concerned about their health.

I always thought it was very bold of Choi and Patterson to take on this venture. Always admired their dedication to feeding the masses, and didn’t know how it would end up. I certainly didn’t think the New York Times food critic would come out to write about them.”

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Hit-Or-Miss

Watch Eddie Huang And Stephen Colbert Eat Baos Together

eddie-stephen

Eddie Huang is a well-spoken, well-fed and distinctly vibrant motherfucker within the food community. Seeing him on this week’s episode of Stephen Colbert’s late night show was a welcome treat. A sea of Eddie virgins likely sat in the audience (hopefully less so than I’d assume) getting treated to his culturally poetic answers regarding “rebellion” within food. “Absolutely” there’s rebellion within food he responds, and “there should be.”

Food certainly has a story, and the steamed bao buns appear to have two-fold meaning in Eddie’s lexicon. The buns are his big foray into entrepreneurship through his New York city-based Baohaus. The buns alternatively bring attention to baos as a product of China instead of getting chalked up as a product of a fancy NY chef, at least according to Eddie.

baos-eddie-huang

The rebellion essentially is a give-and-go of accolade back to his country of origin. In a New York city full of food trends, Eddie sees rebellion as finding the proper label and accolade for a country’s own cuisine. Citing where it came from, not who it came from.

If you haven’t read any of Eddie Huang’s books (get one), or caught him speak on one of his shows…watch him explain his Human Panda nickname to Stephen Colbert with a mouthful of Birdhaus, and you’ll get the rebellion he’s jiving with:

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Hit-Or-Miss

Watch the Trailer for Snack-Off, Rob Dyrdek’s New MTV Cooking Competition Show

If you’ve ever caught an episode of Food Network’s Chopped and wondered how come there wasn’t a show like that for the college-aged snack food-inspired generation, then Rob Dyrdek was wondering the same thing. Introducing Snack-Off, a half hour cooking competition show highlighted by a group of amateur chefs battling it out in a host of “snack” inspired challenges.

The show is hosted by Eddie Huang and supported by a panel of judges including supermodel and Foodbeast Chrissy Teigen, chef and entrepreneur Jason Quinn, and what appears to be a rotating/TBA third judge. For fans of the internet, it’s fair to note this show isn’t the first of its kind, with Epic Meal Time having imagined a season of a snack-based gluttonous cook-off in the form of Epic ChefNo word on whether Dyrdek’s show was inspired Epic Meal Time’s programming, but the similarities are interesting.

snack-off-crew-mtv

According to the MTV show page, the contestants will all be battling for a cash prize, a golden spork necklace, as well as getting their recipe published in the inevitable Snack-Off cookbook.

Who’s excited for this show?

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Hit-Or-Miss

Food Writer Eddie Huang Gets TV Show — “Cheap Bites”

The COOKING CHANNEL is getting a new batch of energy to kick off 2012, and part of it comes courtesy of NYC Chef and outspoken food writer Eddie Huang getting his own special, CHEAP BITES. The show will follow Eddie on a road trip as he scours America for some great food deals. Everything from free pizza in New York, to donuts that only cost a quarter in Memphis, Tennessee.

Here’s a quick taste:

Could it be Rachael Ray‘s $40 A Day with a more urban flair? That’s the vibe we get, and to be real, sounds like a show I would watch. Cooking Channel’s website has a two-week air time posted,and we’ll be sure to tune in. You know why?

Because Eddie posts stuff like this on his blog as a promo: “Tune in, tivo, tell your friends, nurse your hangover, and what Chinese people NOT do gymnastics on T.V.

I can get behind that. See you in 2012 Eddie!