A new documentary investigating the complexity and history of Asian-American cusine is now available online.
“Off the Menu: Asian America,” premiered last night (December 8) on PBS. Directed by Grace Lee—the Peabody-winning filmmaker who made “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs“—and co-produced by the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and PBS member station KQED, “Off the Menu” travels into the kitchens of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) chefs around the country. In a release from CAAM, Lee describes the film’s focus on multiple API communities:
Asian America is already such a vast, complex and contested idea. Focusing on food was a way to explore the deeper connections of culture, family and ideas of authenticity and adaptation that link us all.
To that end, Lee visits Houston-based food entrepreneurs mixing sushi and tofu with Tex-Mex specialties, Native Hawaiians working to preserve traditional octopus-spearing practices and Sikh women preparing a meal at the same Wisconsin gurudwara (Sikh house of worship) where a white supremacist murdered six people in 2012, among other places.
Visit CAAM’s website for more information on the film.