Grace Young wants to keep Chinatown restaurants in business

1 min read

Growing up in San Francisco, Grace Young watched her father shop every day in Chinatown for everything she needed to cook traditional Cantonese meals at home. “He’ll say, ‘Hey, I saw the delivery guy come in with these fresh baby bok choy hairs, so I got some,’ or ‘I saw the butcher take a whole pig into the store, so I followed him and I got a pig. cut,” she recalls. As the author of an award-winning cookbook and culinary historian, Ms. Young, 66, has shopped similarly for decades in New York’s Chinatown, one store for meat, another for produce.

When Ms Young found these familiar streets empty at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, she realized that the way of life she had taken for granted was suddenly under threat. Misinformation about Asian-Americans carrying the virus has a particularly big impact on Chinese businesses. “The waiters were standing around, the businesses were losing 80% of their customers,” she recalls while frying flowers and snow peas at Mi Sum Cafe on Pell Street, in the midst of preparations for the Chinese New Year celebration, which runs until February 5. “I realized I hadn’t really appreciated how much Chinatown meant to me.”

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Jay M

Hi there, I'm Jay M, and I'm a journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth and sharing important stories with the world. I've spent years working for various publications, covering everything from politics and finance to social issues and human interest stories.