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Taiwanese-American chef hosts U.S. cooking show

2012/01/04 20:33:39

New York, Jan. 3 (CNA) A Taiwanese-American chef in New York who rose to fame by selling Taiwanese-style hamburgers has been selected as the host of a TV cooking series in the United States.

The first show in the series "Cheap Bites" was broadcast Jan. 1 on the Cooking Channel. The host, 30-year-old Eddie Huang, is a former lawyer and clothing designer whose parents are Taiwanese and moved to the U.S. before he was born.

In 2008, Huang opened a sandwich shop named Baohaus in New York to introduce Taiwanese food to mainstream America.

Baohaus is a tiny popular spot located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The shop's specialty and bestseller is "Chairman bun," made with red cooked pork belly and a topping of the classic Taiwanese condiments -- peanut powder and red sugar.

In an interview with CNA, Huang said he used to be very upset when he heard his schoolmates criticize his meal box as stinky and filthy, which was the stereotypical view of Chinese cuisine.

In the U.S. at that time, there were only two kinds of Chinese restaurants -- the cheap and dirty ones and the high-class but unaffordable ones, he said.

With this thought in mind, Huang decided to make a career move and open a restaurant to sell gua bao -- Taiwanese-style hamburgers.

He was following in the footsteps of his mother and grandfather, who both sold gua bao in Taipei.

Huang's restaurant became extremely popular and he was named in Zagat Survey in May 2011 as one of 30 up-and-coming chefs under the age of 30.

The sometime journalist and frequent blogger said his work as host of the TV series will include traveling around the United States to find cheap but high quality dining places.

In addition, Huang said, he will talk about culture and politics to help people realize that Asian Americans have a wide range of opinions and ideas. ( By Leaf Chiang and Maia Huang)

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