Have You Eaten Yet? A dialogue with CHEUK KWAN
The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library's Event for the Asian Heritage Month 2022
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Time: 4:00-5:00pm EDT
The Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, University of Toronto, cordially invites you to this online event in celebration of Asian Heritage Month 2022. Join us for this dialogue with filmmaker and writer, Cheuk Kwan, about his new book, Have You Eaten Yet? The book draws out a global narrative of the Chinese diaspora by linking together personal stories of chefs, entrepreneurs, labourers and dreamers who populate Chinese kitchens worldwide.
The dialogue will be led by Dr. Jo (Jayeeta) Sharma, Associate Professor of History, Global Asia Studies & Food Studies at the University of Toronto, and Director of the Feeding City virtual research lab at the Culinaria Research Centre.
About Have You Eaten Yet? Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World
From small-town Saskatchewan to Cape Town, South Africa, family-run Chinese restaurants are global icons of immigration, community and delicious food. Inspired by his 15-part documentary Chinese Restaurants, film-maker, director, writer, story-teller Cheuk Kwan's Have You Eaten Yet? considers the international Chinese diaspora through the lens of food—creating an intrepid travelogue of grand vistas, adventure and serendipity, charting a living atlas of the global Chinese migration, and revealing the synergies of politics, culture and family.
Family-run Chinese restaurants are cultural outposts of far-flung settlers, bringers of dim sum, Peking duck and creative culinary hybrids like the Madagascar classic soupe chinoise, Chinese restaurants are a microcosm of greater social forces—an insight into time, history and place. From Africa to South America, the Jade Gardens and Golden Dragons reveal an intricate tangle of social schisms and political movements, offering insight into global changes and diasporic histories, as the world has moved into the 21st century.
Cheuk Kwan, a self-described "card-carrying member of the Chinese diaspora," weaves a global narrative by linking the personal stories of chefs, entrepreneurs, labourers and dreamers who populate Chinese kitchens worldwide. Behind these kitchen doors lies an intriguing paradox which characterizes many of these communities: how Chinese immigrants have resisted—or often been prevented from—complete assimilation into the social fabric of their new homes, maintaining strong senses of cultural identity, while the engine of their economic survival—the Chinese restaurant and its food—has become seamlessly woven into cities all around the world.
Curious to know more? Members of the University of Toronto community can access a copy of the Chinese Restaurants documentary from the University of Toronto Libraries.
About the author:
Cheuk Kwan grew up in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan; and worked and lived in the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Canada. His international and diasporic upbringing gave him an early start in world travel and opportunities to meet people from numerous countries. Kwan’s 15-episode Chinese Restaurants television series brings together his personal experiences, love of food and travel, and appreciation of the Chinese diaspora culture worldwide.
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