LUCKY CHOW: Season 1
Airs Saturdays, May 14-28 & June 25-July 9, 2016 at 3 p.m. on KPBS TV
Friday, May 13, 2016
Credit: Courtesy of Noah Fecks
LUCKY CHOW travels across the United States to explore Asian cuisine's impact on American food culture. Hosted by Danielle Chang, the six-part series explores a wide variety of Asian food and drink—from a famous Japanese noodle dish to Korean kimchi to Chinese fusion—while meeting the new generation of chefs and entrepreneurs dedicated to keeping the traditions alive.
The series features many of the country's most renowned chefs and culinary personalities such as Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, YouTube sensation Maangchi, Chinese master chef Susur Lee and ramen renegade Ivan Orkin.
Episode 1: “Ramen Mania” airs Saturday, May 14 at 3 p.m. - Ivan Orkin, the renegade New Yorker-turned-Japanese-ramen-chef, discusses ramen culture in New York versus Tokyo. Chef Nakamura from Sun Noodles explains what makes a great bowl of ramen. Later, seafood purveyor-turned-ramen-chef Yuji Haraguchi creates a New York deli-style version of his broth-less ramen dish, mazemen, using sustainable and typically discarded seafood from a nearby supermarket. The episode ends in Berkeley, California with a tour of the local greenmarket from three former Chez Panisse chefs. After traveling to Japan, they opened a restaurant in the U.S. that serves ramen dishes with their local and personal spin.
Episode 2: “Koreatown U.S.A.” airs Saturday, May 21 at 3 p.m. - This episode visits New York and Los Angeles—home to the two largest Korean populations in the United States—to explore what distinguishes each. Both are 24-hour hubs of food and drinking culture. However, New York City's Koreatown covers just one block, whereas Los Angeles' Koreatown seems like a city unto itself. At dinner with Lisa Ling and her husband Paul Song, Chef Sang Yoon breaks down the basics of Korean cooking. Back in New York, at Saveur Magazine's test kitchen, Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, a Seoul-born Korean adoptee, receives her first-ever Korean cooking lesson, a kimchi tutorial, from Korean homemaker and YouTube sensation, Maangchi. The episode ends with a night out at Pocha 32, an export of Korea's popular "tent" restaurants.
Episode 3: “Northern Thai Cuisine” airs Saturday, May 28 at 3 p.m. - Andy Ricker, a carpenter-turned-chef from Portland, Oregon, is known for bringing "authentic" Thai food to America. At a food festival in Las Vegas, Ricker prepares a welcome dinner for the participating chefs at the much-loved Lotus of Siam, with chef/owner Saipin Chutima at the helm. The duo create their collective version of a spicy Issan dish. At the table, Jet Tila rhapsodizes about the days when his family opened America's first Thai grocery store in Hollywood, California., and introduced lemograss, kaffir lime leaves and other ingredients to the American palate. The episode also includes visits to a Thai temple in Los Angeles.
Episode 4: "Filipino Entrepreneurs" airs Saturday, June 25 at 3 p.m. - Filipinos comprise the second-largest Asian-American population nationwide, yet their cuisine is relatively unknown. PJ Quesada, founder of the Filipino Food Movement, explains Filipino cuisine while feasting at his friend Tim Luym's global-Filipino restaurant in San Mateo, California. Meet restaurateur Nicole Ponseca, who left her life as a advertising executive in New York to give voice to her culture through food. And finally, the two friends behind Bling Bling Dumplings manufacture thousands of dumplings—from scratch, at home—to serve at Coachella and other festivals.
Episode 5: "Bay Area's Pacific Rim Cuisine" airs Saturday, July 2 at 3 p.m. - This episode introduces Olivia Wu, designer of the original Asian restaurant concepts on Google's "campus." Go behind-the-scenes at Google's first sit-down restaurant, as the assembly line churns out 2,000 servings of the Indian fried rice dish, biryani. A visit to Google's purveyors showcases the ethos of the Bay Area food culture — local, seasonable and sustainable. After a career in Silicon Valley, two retired Japanese executives returned to their ancestral farming roots and constructed an indoor vertical farm which services some of the top restaurants in the Bay Area. The episode ends at a now-mainstream tofu factory.
Episode 6: “Chinatown, Reimagined” airs Saturday, July 9 at 3 p.m. - Track the evolution of Chinese food in America through the lens of two third-generation Chinese-American restaurateurs. Wilson Tang preserves the legacy of his family's dim sum parlor (America's oldest) while opening a fine-dining Chinese restaurant on Chinatown's expanding Lower East Side. Ed Schoenfeld, a self-proclaimed Chinese food expert and owner of one of the most critically acclaimed Chinese restaurants in New York, provides a tutorial on Peking duck preparation. The episode concludes at Hakkasan, a global Chinese brand that includes nightclubs and restaurants from Beverly Hills to Dubai to Shanghai.
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