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In Search of China’s Soul: New York’s Next-Gen Chinese Chefs Talk Food and Identity
In conversation with New York magazine restaurant critic Adam Platt

January 24, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, January 24, 6:00-7:30PM
Event Fee: $15 Members, $25 Non-members, $8 Students
Moderator: Adam Platt, restaurant critic, New York magazine
Speakers: Simone Tong, chef-owner, Little Tong; Yong Zhao, co-founder, Junzi Kitchen; Yiming Wang, co-owner, China Café, China Blue, Birds of a Feather
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

Red lanterns and dragons be gone! A gaggle of modern-minded restaurateurs from China has been opening chic new eateries that reflect the best of authentic, design-conscious Chinese gastronomy. Can we find China’s soul in the Mapo Tofu of today? Chinese food lover Adam Platt asks them all about it.

Speaker Bios:
Adam Platt is the restaurant critic for New York magazine. His favorite Chinese dish is Peking Duck.

Simone Tong, chef-owner, Little Tong Noodle Shop, was born in Sichuan. Before embarking on her culinary career, she studied in Chengdu, Beijing, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006 with degrees in economics and psychology. Chef Simone later enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, then went to work at wd-50, Alder, and 15 East. In 2016, she embarked on a three-month culinary and research adventure through Yunnan province. Little Tong opened in 2017.

Yiming Wang, founder and co-owner of Café China, China Blue, and Birds of a Feather, grew up in Harbin. She started her first restaurant, Café China, after leaving her banking job, with no prior restaurant experience. Within a year, Café China had earned a star from the prestigious Michelin Guide. Prior to her restaurant life, Yiming worked at Citigroup and Allianz Global Investors as a finance manager. Her passion for photography, Chinese literature and interior design inspired her design of Café China and China Blue.

Yong Zhao, co-founder and CEO of Junzi Kitchen, a fast-casual Chinese concept currently expanding in New York. Its menu is a modern take on traditional Northern Chinese “chunbing” snacks. Yong grew up in Liaoning, received a BS at Peking University, and then received a MESc and deferred his doctoral program in environmental science at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He and a team of Chinese Yale graduate students founded Junzi Kitchen in 2016.


January 24, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Downtown Office
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States
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