You are here

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy: Stories of Chinese Food and Identity in America

The Museum of Chinese in America presents conversations around a dinner table with 34 Chinese and Asian-American chefs. Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy weaves together complex stories through a dynamic video installation featuring pioneering chefs. (October 06, 2016 - March 26, 2017)

When:
March 26, 2017 10:00am
Print

Join us for conversations around a dinner table with 34 Chinese and Asian-American chefs. Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy weaves together complex stories through a dynamic video installation featuring pioneering chefs such as Cecilia Chiang, Ken Hom, Anita Lo, Ming Tsai, and Martin Yan; new restaurateurs like Peter Chang, Eddie Huang, Vivian Ku, and Danny Bowien; and persevering home cooks like Ni Biying, Yvette Lee and Ho-chin Yang.

In Chinese the saying Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy refers not only to the delicate balance of flavors that defines Chinese cooking but also the ups and downs of life. Set in an immersive video installation, the tapestry of tales that emerges will be rich with immigration experiences, food memories, favorite dishes and cooking inspirations that define the culinary—and personal—identities of these chefs, drawing visitors into the middle of a conversation about how food defines Chinese in America. In the center of the gallery will be a monumental dinner table, with each chef represented by personally selected artifacts from their kitchens and place settings featuring unique ceramic vessels that will link cooking styles to regional culinary traditions.

Sour, Sweet, Bitter, Spicy is an imaginary banquet in which featured guests represent diverse histories, cuisines, and geographic regions. By understanding these elements, we can start to identify what Annie Hauck-Lawson and Jonathan Deutsch might call a “food voice” for Chinese in America. They write: “The concept of the food voice means that what people choose to procure, prepare, and eat—and what they do not eat—can reveal much about their identity and culture. Often, the food voice expresses what the spoken voice struggles to articulate.”

What does Chinese food in America, in its dizzying variety, say about who we are—or are not— today?

Cost: 
General Admission $10, Seniors w/ ID and Students w/ ID $5, Children under 12 free, MOCA members free
Phone Number: 
855-955-MOCA

Events

August 30, 2017 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California

The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a talk by Douglas Fuller from Zhejiang University. Fuller's new book, "Paper Tigers, Hidden Dragons," provides an in-depth longitudinal study of China's information technology industry and policy over the last 15 years. 

August 31, 2017 - 4:00pm
Los Angeles, California

USC US-China Institute director Clay Dube will ask Julie Makinen of the L.A. Times, Jonathan Karp of the Asia Society, and May Lee of CCTV what it takes to report on complex and ever-changing China.