Luke Tsai in San Francisco Magazine: What do you get when you mix three OG Asian chefs, a hot grill, and a healthy dose of dad jokes? If you’re lucky, lifelong friendships.


Next is Lawrence Chu, proprietor of Chef Chu’s, a 48-year-old Los Altos institution, who’s giddy over the recent success of Crazy Rich Asians , which was directed by his son Jon M. Chu.

These are markers of any normal friendship. But the three chefs do share a unique bond: They all started cooking Asian food in America more than 30 years ago, before that was any kind of obvious path to success—before today’s Asian American superstar chefs, the Brandon Jews and David Changs of the world, could have even imagined such a future in food. What was it like for Chu to open his little restaurant in a place where 90 percent of his customers were white and many had never experienced much Chinese food beyond chop suey? What was it like for Yan to start cooking on TV in 1982, thick accent and all, when there wasn’t any Martin Yan for him to look to as an example—when there were barely any established models, really, for an Asian face to be so prominently featured on the screen?

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