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Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoirby Eddie Huang
Synopses & Reviews
“Long before I met him, I was a fan of his writing, and his merciless wit. He’s bigger than food.” — Anthony Bourdain
Eddie Huang is the thirty-year-old proprietor of Baohaus — the hot East Village hangout where foodies, stoners, and students come to stuff their faces with delicious Taiwanese street food late into the night — and one of the food world’s brightest and most controversial young stars. But before he created the perfect home for himself in a small patch of downtown New York, Eddie wandered the American wilderness looking for a place to call his own.
Eddie grew up in theme-park America, on a could-be-anywhere cul-de-sac in suburban Orlando, raised by a wild family of FOB (“fresh off the boat”) hustlers and hysterics from Taiwan. While his father improbably launched a series of successful seafood and steak restaurants, Eddie burned his way through American culture, defying every “model minority” stereotype along the way. He obsessed over football, fought the All-American boys who called him a chink, partied like a gremlin, sold drugs with his crew, and idolized Tupac. His anchor through it all was food — from making Southern ribs (and scoring drugs) with the Haitian cooks in his dad’s restaurant to preparing traditional meals in his mother’s kitchen to haunting the midnight markets of Taipei when he was shipped off to the homeland. After misadventures as an unlikely lawyer, street fashion renegade, and stand-up comic, Eddie finally threw everything he loved — past and present, family and food — into his own restaurant, bringing together a legacy stretching back to China and the shards of global culture he’d melded into his own identity.
Funny, raw, and moving, and told in an irrepressibly alive and original voice, Fresh Off the Boat recasts the immigrant’s story for the twenty-first century — it’s a story of food, family, and the forging of a new notion of what it means to be American.
"Huang, the founder of the popular East Village food shop Baohaus, tells his unconventional immigrant fable with his FOB ('fresh off the boat') parents and his unusual relatives living the Yankee dream. He traces his food jones to his father's restaurant in Orlando, Fla., wrestling with his Chinese identity, while embracing a love of old school hip-hop, Michael Jackson, Charles Barkley, and Jonathan Swift's satirical 'A Modest Proposal.' Writing with attitude, Huang details his journey from novice cook sampling Haitian ribs, Southern cooking, Japanese Izakaya wings, Bon Chon Korean fried chicken, and Taiwanese foods to opening his landmark eatery known for its fashionable, simple Asian street food. 'I grew up in the excess of the Brat Pack — Madonna — Joe Montana — Michael Jackson 80s and the NWA — MJ — Nirvana — World Wide Web nineties, and we saw the residual battles from seminal cases like Roe v. Wade or Regents of the University of California v. Bakke,' Huang writes. Brash, leading-edge, and unapologetically hip, Huang reconfigures the popular foodie memoir into something worthwhile and very memorable." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Mercilessly funny and provocative, Fresh Off the Boat is also a serious piece of work — and an important one. Eddie Huang is hunting nothing less than Big Game here — a question, a conversation, an argument: Who are we? If somebody’s going to put a thumb in your eye, it should probably be Eddie Huang. He does everything with style.” Anthony Bourdain
About the Author
Eddie Huang is the proprietor of Baohaus. He hosts Munchies for VICE TV, hosted Cheap Bites for the Cooking Channel, and co-hosted episodes of Anthony Bourdain’s The Layover. He’s written for Eater.com, The New York Observer, Grantland, and his own popular blog, Fresh Off the Boat. He lives in New York City.
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