EATING ASIAN AMERICA PANEL DISCUSSION | Saturday, May 10, 2014. 2-4pm. Co-presented by the Culinary Historians of Northern CaliforniaRSVP on Facebook!

From Chop Suey to Korean tacos, Asian American food’s popularity has a profound impact on the way we perceive Asian Americans. Join food scholars and contributors of the Eating Asian America anthology Lok Siu and Mark Padoongpatt, Thy Tran of Asian Culinary Forum and moderator Erica J. Peters of the Culinary Historians of Northern California for a rousing discussion of the history, development, and cultural significance of Asian foods in America and its impact on our understanding of “Asian American-ness”.


Erica J. Peters, moderator, Culinary Historians of Northern California.

Mark Padoongpatt, Asst. Prof. in the interdisciplinary degree programs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, author of “ ‘Oriental Cookery’: Devouring Asian and Pacific Cuisine during the Cold War” and ‘Too Hot to Handle Food, Empire, and Race in Thai Los Angeles’, the first-ever comprehensive history of Thai food in the United States.

Lok Siu, Assoc. Prof. of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, author of “Twenty-First Century Food Trucks: Mobility, Social Media, and Urban Hipness”.

Thy Tran, founder and director of Asian Culinary Forum, co-author of “The Essentials of Asian Cooking, Taste of the World”, and author of Wandering Spoon food blog.

LITERARY SRIRACHA | Saturday, May 17, 2014. 2-4pm. Co-presented by Asia SocietyRSVP on Facebook!

A mix of poetry, mini-memoirs, and flash fiction curated by journalist and writer May-lee Chai. Asian Pacific American writers and poets are asked to submit new works in response to the artwork in the show. Come hear they’re reactions in this unconventional reading that melds poetry, visual art, and prose.


Winberg Chai is the author of more than twenty books on Asia and co-author, most recently, of a family memoir, The Girl from Purple Mountain as well as China A to Z. Born in Shanghai, he immigrated to the United States after World War II in 1950. He is a professor emeritus of political science from the University of Wyoming.

Qingmei Chen is a practicing acupuncturist. Born in Guangdong Province, she immigrated with her family to San Francisco when she was seven. She has a BA in Psychology from UC-Santa Cruz and a Master’s in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She is currently at work on a novel.

Gwynn Gacosta has a B.A. in political science from UC-Berkeley and an M.A. in English-Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. She works as a Special Education para educator for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District, as well as a tutor for Sylvan Learning Center’s after-school literacy program.  She is the mother of two boys. She writes frequently about the Filipino Diaspora.

George Lew has studied at Amherst College and Peking University. A native of San Francisco’s Chinatown, he has traveled worldwide and speaks five languages. He is currently working on a research project on the all-too-often overlooked Maritime Silk Road. In his spare time, George enjoys used bookstores, horticulture, and rare hand-woven textiles from around the world.

Shizue Seigel is a third-generation Japanese American who explores history, place and spirituality through visual art, prose and poetry. She was chief cartographer for “Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas” and recently spoke at the National World War II Museum about her book In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese American during the Internment .

Debanti Sengupta is a scientist by training. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Amherst College, and a PhD in Chemistry from Stanford. She has also lived on three different continents, and has been nourished by Indian achaars, African piri piri, Thai nam prik pao, and American hot sauce.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Michigan and Hawai’i. She writes for ethnic new media, teaches Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at University of Michigan, has published three chapbooks of prose poetry, and she will have a multimedia artwork with Jyoti Omi Chowdhury entitled, “Dreams of the Diaspora,” as part of a Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center Indian American Heritage Project online and traveling art exhibition. Check out

**Admission to the exhibition and programs is free and open to the public.