You were kind of thrust into the position of poster child for a current spate of white chefs cooking Asian cuisine. Why do you think this became such a hot button topic for people?
I don’t know, really. Probably lots of reasons. I notice though that there’s not a lot of criticism of American chefs cooking Italian or Spanish food despite what their ethnic background is (Irish guy making some of the best Italian food in the city, anyone?)
You were more recently involved in a bit of an imbroglio about the fact that you charge for rice. Is this indicative of New York’s perception of Asian cuisine overall, that it should automatically come with free rice, or is this a larger, nationwide expectation?
It’s a larger issue than just rice. We seem to think that Asian food should be cheap and plentiful no matter what effort or ingredients go into it or what rent or wage is paid to produce it.