To open a restaurant takes a strong desire and the willingness to put everything you have on the line—everything. Naha, the restaurant owned by my cousin Michael Nahabedian and me, is the culmination of years of being in the only business I have ever known.
One can say this about American waitresses: despite their enormous numbers and their daily presence in American life, and despite all the stereotypes they carry (along with pad, towel, crumber, corkscrew, and tray), they have been overlooked and understudied.
As I donned my apron on the morning of October 7, 1989, and joined my fellow apprentices in the kitchen of the Ratshaus—the Mayor’s Office and Town Hall in Plauen, East Germany—I knew that I would be prepping for the most elaborate meal of my young career: the feast commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR).
- The March of Empire: Mangos, Avocados, and the Politics of Transfer
In fact, deliberate plant transfer into the United States dates back to the late nineteenth century, to the period when Darwinism spurred scientific interest in new typologies and in the recording of new species.
- Home Run: My Journey Back to Korean Food
I was harboring all sorts of yuppie anxieties about first-time fatherhood—the unit cost of diapers and 529 College Savings Plans chief among them. But as a Korean-American, I was also worrying about our son's cultural identity. I especially looked forward to introducing him to my culinary heritage.