The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) has announced the 3rd Annual CAAMFeast Awards: Stories, Food & You, a high-profile, multimedia awards ceremony celebrating Asian American culinary achievement.
This year’s CAAMFeast is hosted by Emmy award-winning ABC7 journalist Alan Wang and presented by One Kearny Club, Saturday, March 5, 2016. CAAM is proud to honor Cecilia Chiang (The Mandarin), George Chen (China Live, Betelnut and Shanghai 1930) and Brandon Jew (Mister Jius’s, Bar Agricole) for their contributions to food culture. Each honoree represents a distinct style and generation of Chinese cuisine, and their approaches are as diverse and complex as Chinese culture itself.
Cecilia Sun Yun Chiang is the 96-year-old “mother” of Chinese American cuisine, who introduced San Francisco foodies to Sichuan and Hunan cooking with her groundbreaking restaurant The Mandarin and weekly cooking classes, both favorites of James Beard, Chuck Williams and Alice Waters. Internationally renowned chef and entrepreneur George Chen has tantalized Bay Area palates with dynamic concept restaurants since the 1990s, soon to include the unparalleled fine dining establishment Eight Tables by George Chen, a celebration of China’s eight regional cuisines and one of the concepts within China Live, a 30,000-square-foot culinary and cultural landmark with multiple restaurants, bars, retail market and event spaces. For over ten years, Brandon Jew has worked in Michelin and James Beard award-winning restaurants including Bar Agricole. Jew is the classically trained chef behind the upcoming Chinatown restaurant Mister Jiu’s, serving up modern Chinese cuisine with an artisanal, farm to table ethos.
Launched in 2013, CAAMFeast pays tribute to the undeniable contributions of Asian Americans to our ever-expanding culinary landscape. Alumni honorees include pioneer Chef Martin Yan (M.Y. China, Yan Can Cook, Inc.); award-winning Chocolatier Wendy Lieu (Socola Chocolatier); celebrated food writers and organic farmers the Masumotos (Masumoto Farms); Host of PBS series LUCKYCHOW Danielle Chang (LUCKYRICE); and Restaurateur Tim Luym (Attic Restaurant).
Asia’s pervasive influence on American lifestyle and identity is perhaps best evidenced in the changing ways America eats. CAAMFeast celebrates this influence and the ways cultural memory and storytelling are passed down through food. Our 2016 honorees find inspiration in the unsung narratives of Chinese cuisine, and their contributions transcend the porous border between nations, personal memory and popular culture. In concert with a new generation of Asian American food celebrities, Asian-inspired cookbooks, pop-ups, food trucks and artisan products that have sprouted up across the nation, they are revolutionizing our gastronomic preferences.
This year’s CAAMFeast celebrates the ongoing Asian food revolution in the Bay Area community. This one-of-a-kind evening will commence with delectable tastings from award-winning restaurants, served alongside top-shelf cocktails courtesy of Remy Martin. Attendees will meet icons and game changers of the food world and watch exclusive film clips and moving honoree tributes. The exciting live auction will offer highly sought-after experiences such as gourmet dinners, tours and travel packages, including exclusive dining packages at China Live, Saison and Mister Jiu’s, to name a few.
All proceeds support CAAM’s legacy and future as the nation’s leading Asian American media arts organization committed to telling the stories of our communities. All donations are tax-deductible.
Saturday, March 5, 2016
One Kearny Club
23 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
$200 General Admission
Sponsorship opportunities and additional information available at http://caamedia.org/caamfeast-awards-stories-food-you/.
CAAM (Center for Asian American Media) is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. CAAM does this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media. For more information on CAAM, please visit www.caamedia.org.
About the 2016 CAAMFeast Honorees:
Cecilia Sun Yun Chiang / The Mandarin
Cecilia Sun Yun Chiang is a San Francisco culinary legend, credited for popularizing Chinese cuisine in the way that Julia Child did for French cooking. Chiang’s accidental foray into the restaurant business with her iconic restaurant, the Mandarin in 1960, turned American perceptions of Chinese cooking on its head. An extensive menu featuring then unknown dishes like Peking duck, sizzling rice soup and shredded abalone with bean sprouts brought the complex flavors of the Szechwan and Hunan provinces to a star-studded clientele, with regulars like Jackie Onassis, James Beard and Wolfgang Puck. No longer relegated to the takeout realm, Chiang’s vision ushered in a new way of thinking about and eating Chinese food that has forever altered America’s palate. Cecilia Chiang is 96 years old and currently resides in San Francisco, where she is an active philanthropist. Cecilia is the author of the cookbooks The Mandarin Way and The Seventh Daughter.
George Chen / China Live & Eight Tables
George has been a serial entrepreneur for more than 30 years. He opened his first restaurant, Betelnut, in 1995, which introduced different Asian cuisines in the form of “street food.” The restaurant was nominated for a James Beard Award for the Best New Restaurant in America in 1995. Following the success of Betelnut, Chen went on to launch the multi-unit LongLife Noodle Company, which was named one of the “Five Hottest Concepts” in the U.S. by ChainLeader and Restaurant Hospitality magazine. In 1997, George saw the second coming of Shanghai as an international center for culture and the arts, and developed the celebrated Shanghai 1930 Restaurant and the Guanxi Lounge in San Francisco. Chen’s other past restaurants include Xanadu Restaurant, Dragonfly Café & Restaurant, BeauCoup-Grand Bar Salon atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, Shikumen Bistro, The Strip Steakhouse and Lounge and Roosevelt Prime Steakhouse, which has been consistently recognized as the best American restaurant/steakhouse in Shanghai.
Brandon Jew / Executive Chef and Managing Partner, Mister Jiu’s
Brandon Jew’s childhood was flavored by trips to San Francisco’s Chinatown markets and time spent in the kitchen with his Chinese grandmother. This formative introduction to food had a lasting influence on Jew. After graduating from college, Jew decided to fully immerse himself in the gastronomic world and spent the next ten months traveling in Northern Italy, where he cut his teeth at the Ristorante la Pernice e la Gallina in Bologna. Jew’s time in Italy exposed him to a cultural pride and culinary integrity that echoed his own upbringing.
Upon his return to San Francisco, Jew stepped into a number of celebrated kitchens, including Zuni Café, Quince, and the Museum of Modern Art in Shanghai to name a few. In 2010, Jew signed on as opening chef of Bar Agricole, where he wowed diners with his fresh combinations of authentic, seasonal Californian flavors, and his masterful technique. Since leaving Bar Agricole in 2013, he has been teaching a ‘Chinese Classics Reinvented’ class at the San Francisco Cooking School, traveling to experience some of the best restaurants in the world, and planning the opening of Mister Jiu’s. He is also featured on season two of the PBS show Mind of a Chef, Vice Munchies, and the BBC show Ching’s Chinese New Year.
Alan Wang / Master of Ceremonies
Alan Wang is an Emmy award-winning reporter for ABC7 News in San Francisco, an active member of the “Hep B Free” campaign and an advocate for the Asian American community. He has extensive experience covering local and national stories, and doesn’t shy away from prickly topics like race, gender and other complex social issues. Wang graduated from the University of Texas, Austin and lives in Berkeley, CA with his family.
SOURCE: CAAM / Larsen Associates