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Great Partnerships: MNHS and tpt!

Posted byAlison Aten on 15 Nov 2013 | Tagged as: Asian American, Civil War, History, Immigration, Videos

Starting at 7 pm this Sunday,  November 19th on tpt’s Minnesota Channel,
a night of great programming featuring MNHS co-productions with tpt!

tpt logo MNHS

7:00 pm Broadcast premiere of Minnesota in the ’70s

7:30 pm Special rebroadcast of Emmy-winning film, Asian Flavors

8:00 pm Broadcast premier of Minnesota & the Civil War Showcase

Where to Watch tpt MN:
Over the Air-Channel 2-2
Comcast-Channel 202 (Mpls)/Channel 243 (St. Paul)
Mediacom- Channel 102
Midcontinent Comm- Channel 15
DirectTV-Channel 17-2

“Asian Flavors” wins Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award

Posted byAlison Aten on 01 Oct 2013 | Tagged as: Arts, Asian American, Awards, Cooking, Food, History, Immigration, MHS press

Regional Emmy® Award Courtesy of Twin Cities Public Television Raghavan Iyer with Regional Emmy® Award Asian Flavors documentary team

Our Asian Flavors documentary, co-produced with tptMN, won the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award from the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) in the Cultural Documentary category.

Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, this thirty-minute documentary celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.

Congratulations to a winning team!

The Asian Flavors team:

Daniel Pierce Bergin, Producer/Director
Angela Barrett, Production Assistant
Fanique Weeks-Kelley, Production Manager
Jim Kron, Director of Photography
Jerry Lakso, Online Editor
Bob Tracy, Executive in Charge
Pamela McClanahan, Project Consultant
Phyllis Louise Harris, Co-writer/Project Consultant
Raghavan Iyer, Presenter
Shari Lamke, Senior Director-Supervising Producer
Lucy Swift, Vice President, MN Productions & Partnerships
Terry O’Reilly, Chief Content Officer

Asian Flavors Documentary

Posted byAlison Aten on 13 May 2013 | Tagged as: Asian American, Cooking, History, Immigration, Videos

Asian Flavors Asian Flavors

Food, tradition, and culture make a home. Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, a new thirty minute documentary co-produced by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota’s culinary, cultural, and economic history.

It’s hard to believe there was a time when you couldn’t go out for Chinese food in Minnesota, but there was—until brothers and entrepreneurs Woo Yee Sing and Woo Du Sing opened their Canton restaurant (later called “John’s Place”) in Minneapolis in 1883.

Culinary educator, chef, author, consultant and co-founder with Phyllis Louise Harris of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd., Raghavan Iyer narrates this documentary highlighting the exciting history and array of Asian food in Minnesota.

Profiles and interviews with chefs, restaurant owners, business owners, and culinary professionals include Supenn Harrison, founder of Sawatdee; Reiko Weston of Fuji Ya; Mhonpaj Lee and her mother May Yia Lee, operators of Mhonpaj’s Garden; Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola; Thom Pham; and Harry Singh.

Food connects homes left behind with where we live today. Asian Flavors is the story of adventurous people who made the arduous journey halfway around the world to live in Minnesota, fleeing oppression and persecution or in search of jobs and education, and who created new homes through food. Many cooks sought not only to make a living but also to preserve the memory of their homeland through the dishes set before family and patrons alike, to the great benefit of diners in the Twin Cities metro area.

Asian flavors have changed Minnesota’s tastes, just as the many, wide-ranging Asian cultural groups have reshaped the state’s history, culture, and communities.

The tpt broadcast schedule is as follows:

Premiere: Sunday May 26, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. on tpt’s Minnesota Channel (tpt MN)

Encore Broadcasts: Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM, 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM on tpt MN

About tpt’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships

TPT’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN) is the local production division of Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), the PBS affiliate for Minneapolis/St. Paul.  TPT MN partners with local non-profit, educational, governmental, and public service organizations to reach broader audiences throughout Minnesota. These partnership programs educate and inspire Minnesotans on important issues using tpt’s distinctive storytelling skills, television and multimedia resources.  Since its inception in 2003, tpt MN has created nearly 700 television programs and over 200 multimedia projects in partnership with over 235 non-profit and public service organizations. To view past tpt productions, visit www.mnvideovault.org.

To learn more about tpt MN, connect with them on Twitter and Facebook, or visit their website at www.tptMN.org.

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Ka Vang’s “The Good Hmong Girl Eats Raw Laab”

Posted byAlison Aten on 28 Feb 2013 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, Immigration, Literary, Videos

Ka Vang The Good Hmong Girl Eats Raw Laab Ka Vang is a poet, spoken word artist, playwright, and community activist. We are pleased to release her provocative essay The Good Hmong Girl Eats Raw Laab, available as an e-book short for just 99 cents. The e-short is one of our new MHS Express titles.

The piece examines the social and cultural implications of “a good Hmong girl” by addressing these issues: “What does it mean to be a good Hmong girl? Who defines the good Hmong girl? Who practices it and enforces the rules? What are the rewards and consequences for the Hmong girl and her family if she is not a good Hmong girl? Would Hmong culture be diminished if there were no more good Hmong girls left?”

Ka has been busy! She was recently featured on MNOriginal, Twin Cities Public Television’s award-winning weekly arts series celebrating Minnesota’s creative community, and her new book, Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon, produced with the Minnesota Humanities Council and the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, is now available.

Asian Food in Minnesota Quiz

Posted byAlison Aten on 14 Dec 2012 | Tagged as: Asian American

AsianFlavors-FPO-BookCover2b-PTHThe flavors of China, the Philippine Islands, Japan, the Hmong community, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Himalayan Mountains are all represented in Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota Since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer.

Meet the authors tomorrow, Saturday, December 15, here at the Minnesota History Center when they sign copies of their book in Cafe Minnesota from 11 am to 1 pm. The lavishly illustrated book makes a great gift!

Test your knowledge of Asian restaurants in Minnesota and take Laura Yuen’s quiz based on the book over on MPR’s The Cities blog.

Asian Flavors Profile: Scratch Food Truck

Posted byAlison Aten on 08 Nov 2012 | Tagged as: Asian American, Food, Immigration

Chicken Adobo from Asian Flavors Scratch Food Truck

Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota Since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer is a culinary tour of the cuisines of Asia as they have appeared on Minnesota tables over the decades, the distinctive flavors of faraway homes with a midwestern twist.

The book includes interviews with chefs, farmers, and food business owners, and of course treasured recipes. Here’s an excerpt from the book and a recipe from Geoff King of Scratch Food Truck.  King was a sous chef at the short-lived Filipino restaurant Subo, in Minneapolis.

“The sous chef at Subo also had a Filipino background and did not want his favorite food to die with the restaurant. So in August 2011, Geoff King opened Scratch, one of the growing number of food trucks in the Twin Cities offering a variety of street food. Trained in classic cooking at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, Geoff wanted to find a way to offer Minnesotans some of the wonderful food he grew up with—his mom’s home cooking. He and wife Aimee developed a small menu of lunch items drawing on Filipino classics and incorporating some of the ingredients from the islands. Pork egg rolls, tofu lettuce wraps, coconut braised chicken, pork and shrimp sandwiches, and sesame beef sandwiches fill the short menu with foods that celebrate the islands and offer just a taste of Geoff’s favorite cooking. The tofu lettuce wraps won Geoff an award for best Food Truck Food in 2011, even though his was the newest food truck in the competition.”

Chicken Adobo/Adobong Manok

Geoff King

Serves 4–6

Marinade:

1 1/2 cups sugar cane vinegar

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup soy sauce

10 cloves garlic, peeled

3 bay leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons peppercorns or coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 whole star anise

*****

1 (3 1/2-pound) whole chicken, quartered and cut into pieces

cooked rice

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken pieces, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight.

2. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the chicken and marinade over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer on low until the chicken is tender and sauce is reduced by about half, 40 to 45 minutes.

3. Remove the bay leaves and star anise, and serve hot with rice.

Fireside Reading Series at Hamline Midway Library

Posted byAlison Aten on 10 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: Asian American, Event, Fiction, Literary, MHS press, Native American, Scandinavian Studies

Fireside Reading SeriesTomorrow night begins the eighteenth annual Fireside Reading Series hosted by the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library at the Hamline Midway Library. The series features six weeks of readings by acclaimed Minnesota authors.

The events kick off with historian Larry Millet and the latest in his renowned mystery series, The Magic Bullet: A Locked Room Mystery Featuring Shadwell Rafferty and Sherlock Holmes, and conclude on February 18 with Diane Wilson, author of Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life.

Minnesota’s Chinese American Community

Posted bypennefesm on 17 May 2011 | Tagged as: Asian American, Event

Bessie Moy, Judith Moy, and Mrs. Hum Gin, 1920s (MHS collections)Guest post by Sherri Gebert-Fuller, author of Chinese in Minnesota

One of the greatest rewards of working on the MHS Press book Chinese in Minnesota was meeting so many wonderful people in the Chinese American community.  But that reward also posed a challenge: how does one write about the history of a community and share the accomplishments of a multitude of individuals in an eighty-page book?  The answer?  It’s impossible.

That is why I was pleased to learn about a new project being funded in part by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund called “100 Years of Chinese American History in Minnesota from 1911 to 2011: A Story from Within.” This effort is being led by the Minnesota Chinese Cultural Services Center and several other Chinese organizations in the Twin Cities.

The project’s inspiration?  A 2010 Mother’s Day dinner.  Attendees honoring their mothers realized that their parents and members of the Chinese community had some pretty amazing stories that needed to be documented and shared.  It was time to, as project curator Ange Hwang describes it, “pick up the torch.”

Once the idea for the project was planted, Ms. Hwang set out to determine what kind of documentation about Minnesota’s Chinese community already existed. She conducted research at the Minnesota Historical Society and became familiar with the work of Professor Erika Lee, University of Minnesota, and Weiming Lu, a distinguished urban planner and longtime Twin Cities leader.  Ms. Hwang concluded that the project should focus on capturing stories and photos featuring Chinese American history from 1970 to 2010 while emphasizing how events in China, such as the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre, affected the Chinese community in Minnesota.

Fifteen leaders in the Chinese American community have been interviewed for the project. Individuals represented have advanced the study of science and technology at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic, established Chinese language programs throughout the state, and contributed to Minnesota’s rich arts scene.  The “100 Years of Chinese American History” project also includes a photo and audio/video exhibition as well as an educational package for schools and organizations. The exhibit is on display, first, at the St. Paul Landmark Center through June 11 and, second, at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, June 16 through July 16.

Several events are planned around the project.  To learn more, read this Asian American Press article, visit the Republic of China Centennial Celebration Commission of Minnesota website, or call 651-733-9827.

A Refugee’s Powerful Story

Posted byregana on 03 Mar 2011 | Tagged as: Asian American, History, Immigration

Born into WarThe current issue of Asian American Press features an article about a fine and important Minnesota book: Born into War: One Man’s Journey from War-Torn Vietnam to Make a Home in Minnesota, by Connie Fortin as told by Trong Nguyen.

Several years ago in a Hamel, Minnesota, restaurant, Nguyen asked a customer whom he barely knew to take on the task of turning his memories into a book—and Connie Fortin agreed, much to her own surprise. The resulting story features drama, pain, suspense, hard work, luck, love, and success, all told in Trong’s voice and illustrated with family photos from Vietnam and America. It also offers readers a chance to share the experiences of a refugee, to marvel at his accomplishments, and to follow his return to Vietnam to seek out the remains of his father, who was killed by the Viet Cong in a jungle camp.

The book, published by North Star Press of St. Cloud, is available online and at the Minnesota History Center Museum Store.

Hmongtown Marketplace

Posted byAlison Aten on 13 Sep 2010 | Tagged as: Asian American, Authors, History, Immigration, MHS Author in the News, MHS press

Peoples History of the HmongA piece by Jim Ragsdale published in last week’s Pioneer Press titled “The Hmong in St. Paul” profiles Paul Hillmer, author of A People’s History of the Hmong. Ragsdale writes, “the Hmong story is the American immigrant story on fast-forward, happening in our backyard, and likely to happen again.”

While Hillmer’s book is a look at the political and cultural history of the Hmong, for a literal taste of Hmong culture, head on over to Hmongtown in St. Paul. Located at Como Avenue and Marion Street, the indoor-outdoor venue features a farmers market, “food court,” Hmong arts and crafts, videos, health and beauty items, jewelry, clothing, and over two hundred vendors.

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