Celebrating AAPI Heritage Month on HRN

By: Thao-Vy Duong

Coined in 1968 by Yuji Ichioka and Emma Gee, the term “Asian American” is a marker of collectivism. Its inception is inseparable from the founding of the Asian American Political Alliance, which aimed to unite Asian American voices. Prior to the invention of this phrase, Asian Americans were simply identified by their ethnic subgroup or broadly by obtuse and racist terms. The organization of various subgroups under the banner of “Asian American” worked to centralize and amplify Asian American activist power. Now in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing targeted bigotry, this sense of collectivism is crucial.

As we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, HRN turns to podcasts that explore how AAPI influences have shaped — and continue to shape — the topography of American gastronomy. 

In this 20-episode playlist enjoy interviews from HRN’s archive with chefs, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, academics, authors and Youtube stars. These conversations span topics from food and family traditions to businesses, art and community building, drawing on Chinese, Filipino, Lao, Indonesian, Hawaiian, Korean, Thai, Burmese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Indian heritage. 

Tech Bites Episode 232: With Warm Welcome: Amplifying the Asian American Culinary Community: With Warm Welcome started in 2019 as a podcast with the intention to bring together the Asian American restaurant community. Today it is a digital media platform with a magazine, pop-ups, merchandise, and events on Clubhouse. On this episode, host Jennifer Leuzzi talks with Arnold Byun, founder of With Warm Welcome, about how the mission and community of WWW have evolved to meet the challenges of the moment.                                                     

Eat Your Words Episode 396: Coconut & Sambal with Lara Lee: Host Cathy Erway dials up Lara Lee, whose acclaimed new book celebrates Indonesian cuisine. Hear how Lara’s fond memories of cooking with her grandmother inspired her to explore her food and culture more, and how Indonesian cooking can be replicated anywhere in the world. Finally, we’ll discuss 2020 in food media and lessons learned from an incredibly difficult year for all.

The Line Episode 75: Chef Dennis Ngo: Host Eli Sussman welcomes Chef Dennis Ngo the chef / owner of Di An Di, a Vietnamese restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Dennis left his job as a consultant to pursue being a chef and has since helped open numerous Vietnamese restaurants in New York City, including An Choi, Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen, Hanoi House and founded Lonestar Empire, a Texas style smoked brisket operation, which has been at Smorgasburg since 2012. Di An Di, which opened to acclaim in 2018 has become an instant neighborhood favorite.


Speaking Broadly Episode 78: Vulnerability, Shame, VR and Other Motivators in the Kitchen: When chef Jenny Dorsey creates culinary experiences, she wants the conversation to be about a whole lot more than the food. With projects such as the experimental pop up dinner series, “Wednesdays,” and her “It’s Disgusting” lunch boxes campaign, Dorsey wants people to be courageously present: to shed their inhibitions, open up to new and uncomfortable ideas, and ultimately leave the meal more empathetic. Her latest undertaking, “Asian in America,” is a blend of VR, poetry, and food, where each ingredient is mined for its many layers of meaning. Tune in to this episode of Speaking Broadly to learn more about how Dorsey’s struggle with binge-eating and being an introvert led her to culinary school, why she thinks that culinary education needs to be reimagined, and how an acupuncture session led to a now-realized vision of marrying VR and food.

The Feedfeed Episode 47: What’s for Dinner? Alice Choi from Hip Hop Foodie Mom Joins Julie to Talk All Things Korean Food!: Alice talks about life growing up in Dallas as a Korean American, her parents’ restaurants and Korean market, and how they inspired her lifelong love of food. Alice also shares how she has grown her platform on Instagram, Tiktok, and the web during her career as a food blogger. Listen for some of Alice’s fan-favorite recipes and tips for cooking Korean food.                                                                                                                                   

All in the Industry Episode 281: Hong Thaimee, Thaimee Love: Shari Bayer’s guest is Hong Thaimee, Chef/Owner of Thaimee LOVE, her latest venture centered around a “Thai-inspired way of living,” including a six-month pop-up restaurant featuring homestyle Thai cuisine in New York’s West Village, virtual cooking classes, meal delivery kits, and a Thai product line. Originally from Chiang Mai, Thailand, Hong is a chef, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has served as a global ambassador for Thai cuisine and culture for nearly a decade. She has appeared on TV in the US and across Southeast Asia, including on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” in a major TV campaign for Air Asia, and as a judge on a prominent Thai cooking series. This episode also features Shari’s PR tip to put love into everything; Industry News discussion about pastry chefs finding new freedom, stuck at home; and Michelle Obama’s new kids cooking show, Waffles + Mochi, on Netflix; plus, Shari’s outdoor Solo Dining experience at Havana 1957 in South Beach, FL.                                                                                                                                                               Food Without Borders Episode 31: The Lao Food Movement with Chef Seng Luangrath: Laos-born Seng Luangrath is the chef and owner of Thip Khao, Washington D.C.’s first Lao restaurant.  Chef Seng fled Laos as a refugee with her family and learned to cook from her Lao neighbors as a child at a refugee camp in Thailand. After decades of suppressing her true calling of cooking professionally, she’s now an award-winning chef based in Washington D.C and the founder of the Lao Food Movement.

Eat Your Heartland Out Episode 9: Asian Influences on Midwestern Foodways: Host Capri S. Cafaro is joined by an inspiring lineup of guests who will share their insights on how Asian immigrants have impacted the Midwestern food landscape. Dr. Ashley Rose Young of the Smithsonian Institution will provide context to the migratory patterns of Asian immigrants into the Midwest, while Yia Vang and