Screw Authenticity: Asian Food in America

This week, Gilt Taste is running a fantastic series about Asian food in America — or rather, Asian American food. The series led with an article by former SFoodie editor (and current East Bay Express critic) John Birdsall, who described how Bay Area chefs like Richie Nakano, Dennis Lee, and Danny Bowien have bulldozed over the artificiality of 1990s-style Asian fusion by cooking food that's creatively, intuitively both Asian and American. (Props to Lee for telling Birdsall, “You look at a restaurant like Nopa, or even Chez Panisse. Everybody calls them

California-Mediterranean, but nobody ever calls them 'Mediterranean

fusion.'”)

Tuesday, Salon columnist and Berkeleyite Andrew Leonard wrote reconciling his passion for Sichuan food — and his voracious appetite for Sichuan cookbooks — with American ingredients. And yesterday, Thailand-born New Yorker Pitchaya Sudbanthad wrote about coming to terms with the sugared-up, altered flavors of Thai food in America.

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