1st Edition

American Chinese Restaurants Society, Culture and Consumption

Edited By Jenny Banh, Haiming Liu Copyright 2020
    340 Pages 62 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    340 Pages 62 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With case studies from the USA, Canada, Chile, and other countries in Latin America, American Chinese Restaurants examines the lived experiences of what it is like to work in a Chinese restaurant.

    The book provides ethnographic insights on small family businesses, struggling immigrant parents, and kids working, living, and growing up in an American Chinese restaurant. This is the first book based on personal histories to document and analyze the American Chinese restaurant world. New narratives by various international and American contributors have presented Chinese restaurants as dynamic agencies that raise questions on identity, ethnicity, transnationalism, industrialization, (post)modernity, assimilation, public and civic spheres, and socioeconomic differences.

    American Chinese Restaurants will be of interest to general readers, scholars, and college students from undergraduate to graduate level, who wish to know Chinese restaurant life and understand the relationship between food and society.

    Foreword Sidney C.H. Cheung

    Introduction Jenny Banh and Haiming Liu



    1. Creating and Negotiating "Chineseness" through Chinese Restaurants in Santiago, Chile
    2. Carol Chan and Maria Montt Strabucchi

    3. From Chinese Donuts to Leek Cakes: Navigating Los Angeles Chinatown’s Golden Waters
    4. Frances Huynh

    5. Feeding Prejudices: Chinese Fondas and the Culinary Making of National Identity in Peru
    6. Patricia Palma and José Ragas

    7. Selling Donuts in the Fragmented Metropolis: Chinese Cambodian Donut Shops in Los Angeles and the Practices of Chinese Restaurants
      Erin M. Curtis
    8. Talk Doesn’t Cook Rice: Chinese Restaurants and the Chinese (American) Dream in Ohio
    9. Anthony Miller



    10. Surveying the Genealogy of Chinese Restaurant in Mexico: From High-End Franchises to Makeshift Stands
      Yong Chen
    11. Live at the China Royal: A Funky Ode to Fall River’s Chow Mein Sandwich
    12. Oliver Wang

    13. Under the Banner of Northern Chinese Cuisine: Invention of the Pan-China Cuisine in American Chinese Restaurants
      David Y. H. Wu
    14. Oriental Palaces: Chin F. Foin and Chinese Fine Dining in Exclusion-Era Chicago
    15. Samuel King

    16. Chop Suey, P.F. Chang’s, and Chinese Food History in America
      Haiming Liu


    18. Chinese Restaurants and Jewish American Culture
    19. Jacob R. Levin

    20. Last Tango in Argentina
    21. Cheuk Kwan

    22. Chinese Restaurant Kids Speak About Labor, Lifeways, and Legacies
    23. Jenny Banh

    24. Chinese American Chef Ming Tsai: Life of East and West Hybridity
    25. Jenny Banh

    26. Culinary Ambassador Chef Martin Yan Speaks: Life, "Authenticity," and the Future of Chinese Restaurants
    27. Jenny Banh



    28. PROLOGUE: What Number Did We Get?
    29. Written by Isha Aran

      Illustrated by Karl Orozco

      #372 and #1 A Winning Combo:

      Written by Isha Aran, Daniel Tam-Claiborne,

      Sophia Park and Julian Tucker

      Illustrated by Karl Orozco and Sophia Park

      #249 Dim Sum Drama

      Written and Illustrated by Isha Aran

      #818 First In Our Hearts

      Written and Illustrated by Amelea Kim



    30. A Visual Habitat Study for Chinese Restaurants in a California Conurbation
    31. Nicholas Bauch and Rick Miller

    32. Redefining and Challenging the Boundaries of Chinese Cuisine: A Visually Based Exploration of Uyghur Restaurants in the United States
    33. Christopher Sullivan

    34. Diasporic Counterpublics: The Chinese Restaurant as Institution and Installation in Canada
    35. Lily Cho

    36. Toy’s Chinese Restaurants: Exploring the Political Dimension of Race through the Built Environment

    Hongyan Yang



    E. N. Anderson


    Jenny Banh is an Assistant Professor at California State University, Fresno in Anthropology and Asian American Studies. She received her BA from UCLA, her MA from Claremont Graduate University, and her PhD from the University of California, Riverside. Her research focuses on Asia/Asian American studies, cultural anthropology, and popular culture. Her current research is on restaurants, barriers/bridges to minority college students, and a Hong Kong transnational corporation. She has previously published "Barack Obama or B Hussein" (2012) and "DACA Spaces" (2018), and co-edited Anthropology of Los Angeles: Place and Agency in an Urban Setting (2017).

    Haiming Liu is a Professor of Ethnic and Women Studies at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, and received his doctorate from the University of California, Irvine. He is an expert on Chinese herbalists, food, restaurants, globalization, and migration. He has authored From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express: A History of Chinese Food in the United States (2015) and The Transnational History of a Chinese Family: Immigrant Letters, Family Business (2005), and numerous journal articles and book chapters on Chinese Americans.

    "This edited volume is a significant addition to the thriving Chinese food studies in America. Readers will gain inside stories of Chinese restaurants in the Midwest, East and West coasts, as well as Chinese restaurants in Mexico, Uyghur, Chile, and Canada." - Min Zhou, Ph.D. Professor of Sociology & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles 


    "The anthology provides contemporary and historical lived experiences of what it is like to work in an American Chinese restaurant.It is an innovative anthology that includes a historical and contemporary view of American Chinese restaurants in terms of culinary histories, comics, visual analyses, person centered narratives and interviews.  This book is a great contribution to Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, Anthropology, Global Studies and Food Studies." - Professor Xiao-huang Yin, American Studies; East Asian Languages and Cultures; Affiliated Faculty, History Occidental College


    "American Chinese restaurant is not just stories of social injustices but many tales of opportunities as well. This book is unique because it includes a diverse narrative collection of essays that tells what goes on inside, front, and behind the restaurant. This book has scholars’ contributions as well as perspectives from chefs like Ming Tsai and Martin Yan." - Professor Xiaojian Zhao, University of California, San Diego