Dumpling Night at MoCA!

betty ming liu Food 17 Comments

Last night’s sold-out talk-&-tasting event at the Museum of Chinese in America was a hit. We had the best time because both the dialogue and the dumplings were totally delicious!

The 6-8 p.m. food fest began with an hour-long panel discussion. Afterwards, about 100 guests wandered through MoCA’s new building, sampling 10 different types of dumplings catered from six NYC restaurants.

Thank you, Rachel!

Dumpling Night was sponsored by Rachel Sha of Prudential Douglas Elliman. We became pals years ago, when we were both MoCA trustees. For months, she searched the city for the best goodies to feed us. Her choices were nuanced, varied and elegant.

I’ve got links below to all the places she ordered from — and more. At some point, MoCA is making a video of the panel conversation; I will post that when it’s available. So read on, if you’re interested in a dumpling adventure.   :-)

(left to right) Eddie Huang, Chris Cheung, Andy Coe, Kian Lam Kho — and I moderated!

The dumpling panel

Our four terrific speakers were:

  • Kian Lam Kho, 55, private chef and blogger (“Red Cook: Adventures from a Chinese Home Kitchen”). He teaches an in-depth Chinese dumpling-making class at the Institute of Culinary Education.
  • Andrew Coe, 51, author of “Chop Suey,” a scholarly book that traces the history of America’s love affair with Chinese food, which began in 1784.
  • Brooklyn-born chef Chris Cheung, 40, China 1 executive chef who is about to open a new midtown spot called Walle. Check out all his YouTube videos. The crowd really dug his heavy, Bensonhurst accent.
  • Chef Eddie Huang, 28, bad boy from Baohaus who specializes in Taiwanese street food with a young American twist. Xiao Ye is his new eatery. Check out the blog post that proved his NYC foodie street cred.

Briefly, our key talking points

  • The Chinese have been eating and making dumplings for at least 2,000 years.
  • Northern China’s hearty, thick-skinned, meat-filled dumplings (eg, pot stickers) are traditionally viewed as peasant food.
  • The rich folks in Southern China specialize in delicate, thin-skinned dumplings with fancy fillings (eg, dim sum, soup dumplings).
  • The American palate for these bite-sized bits of hand-made love is evolving. New creations are popping up all the time.

We dined on delights from restaurants in Manhattan (China 1Red EggShanghai Cafe, Xiao Ye); Brooklyn (East Harbor Seafood Palace) and Queens (Szechuan Gourmet).

During the panel’s Q&A with the audience, someone asked Eddie where he goes when he needs a fix. His answer: Nan Xiang Dumpling House in Flushing. Rachel said that it’s named for a town on the outskirts of Shanghai where the soup dumpling was invented. She and her husband tried the place on their way home — and loved it.

Susan Glauberman LaRosa and Paul LaRosa

Really happy to share the night with my personal friends who included: Arthur Schwartz (foodmaven.com), Max Gross (New York Post), David Leung (Sing Tao Daily), married bloggers Susan Glauberman LaRosa (aCakeBakesinBrooklyn.com) and Paul LaRosa (PaulLaRosa.com), and Madeline Muldoon (AlwaysHungryNY.com).

We also received a nice write-up on DNAinfo.com. Being back at MoCA to moderate also gave me a chance to catch up with new museum director Alice Mong and programs chief Beatrice Chen. It’s been a while!

Special thanks to two very special people

Wendy specializes in fine, beaded jewelry

Doesn’t her jewelry look great on me?

Jewelry designer Wendy Lin provided gorgeous earrings and bracelets for my daughter and I to wear. Wendy shows her work at top craft fairs throughout the Northeast. There’s also beautiful stuff featured on her website.

Before becoming an artist, my dear friend Wendy was a Newsday reporter. She is inspiring proof that if you keep following your dreams, there is life after journalism.

And hey — my talented daughter took the pictures you’re viewing! A special thanks to my Gabi.  xo



MoCA has posted a video with highlights from the event. Click HERE for my follow-up about that.

Comments 17

  1. Post

    aaaugh! at last, i’ve finished this post. it took me all day to figure out how to use the slide show set-up. it’s my new toy. what’s it look like on your computer? did it take forever for this post to load — or was everything okay?

  2. The web site loaded without bugs for me. The slideshow works fine too, however since I have ITunes running I’m not sure if there was sound attached to it. Good work by your daughter.

  3. Post

    thanks, ivan! i’ve been checking with other friends and everything seems to be okay. i guess it’s just me….takes me forever to learn how to do something new. but i think after this, i’ll be fooling around with posting more photos in (hopefully) interesting ways. :-)

  4. Lookin hot, lookin hot! You and the dumplings! Love that dress! Definitely look younger than your age, you could say you are 39! Post those pics in the red dress and you’ll get lots of reponses!

  5. Post

    haha — thanks, jade. btw, two more things to add…

    rachel says everyone’s asking her where she got her gorgeous chinese dress. it’s from blanc de chine, a luxe hong kong-based retailer specializing in chinese-inspired attire. the business counts movie star jackie chan among its investors. there’s a bdc store in manhattan at 675 5th ave. near w. 53rd.

    and a little more acknowledgement for wendy lin, who has always been very supportive of moca…when i was a moca trustee, she introduced me to her neighbor, rachel. that’s how moca and rachel hooked up. it’s fun to connect the dots. :-)

  6. Post

    thanks — it’s an old dress. got it probably a decade ago from saks. one of my favorites. in fact, if you ever look at old moca event photos, you’ll probably see me in it!

  7. It’s beautiful. I recently bought a David Meister jersey v-necked wrap dress in red leopard print from the Saks sale. Can’t wait to wear in when the weather gets cooler since it’s three quarter sleeves.

  8. Hey Betty: Sounds like a scrumtious night! You look happy! I’ll have to check out the Flushing restaurant, since I live in Queens. I LOVE duplings. So far my favorites are the mixed platter @ Ollies in Manhattan. Great pix by your daughter!

  9. P.S. Writing stuff on my Blackberry still leads to tons of typos, ugh! I do love dumplings. Your dauter’s photos made my mouth water.

  10. Pingback: Guest Post: Betty Ming Liu Dishes on Dumplings « The Blog of The Museum of Chinese in America

  11. Post

    haha, leslie — yeah, typing on the bb is hard for me too. definitely try out the two queens restaurants mentioned in this post. afterwards, see what you think. you might discover that ollie’s dumplings is like going for a burger at mcdonald’s — it can hit the spot when you’re in a certain mood, but it’s not the real thing!

  12. Post
  13. Pingback: Video from MoCA’s Dumpling Night

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