Today’s Solutions: May 22, 2024

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities have experienced a surge in violence and hate crimes committed against them. Social justice organization Stop AAPI Hate reported 3795 incidents of harassment against AAPIs last year alone. Their latest report adds another 503 incidents of hate between January 1st and February 28th of this year.

Understandably, even AAPIs who have lived in the US their whole lives are now uneasy in public. Owner and executive chef of modern French-Vietnamese restaurant Moon Rabbit, Kevin Tien, could not stand by and do nothing while his community suffered.

About a month ago, Tien and other AAPI chefs from the Washington DC area put together a pick-up dinner benefit for Stop AAPI Hate. Feeling motivated by this event, Tien and his fellow chefs decided to extend the program as a weekly event.

The group of chefs, now called Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, officially launched their weekly dinner series on March 25th. Each dinner features five chefs, each contributing one dish to a five-course, take-home meal. Each week the meal is designed for two and costs $150, most of which will be donated. The first meal of the series was completely sold out, so those looking to participate in the next one should check their Tock page and book early.

Chef Tim Ma of Lucky Danger expressed how, even though he wanted to support the cause, he was confused about where to begin to help prevent hate crimes against the AAPI community. Events like this dinner series provide people with a mechanism to raise money for the cause, and a platform to discuss and raise awareness about AAPI hate and how we can prevent it. Plus, contributing to a good cause has never been so tasty!

If you are fortunate enough to reserve a dinner, you can expect a delicious array of food from some of DC’s most esteemed Asian chefs like Seng Luangrath of Thip Khao, Rom Cunanan, and Paolo Dungca of Pogiboy, and Henji Cheung of Queen’s English. Dinners will also feature dishes from non-Asian allies who are revered chefs such as Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Michael Rafidi of Albi.

Tien has plans to expand the dinner series movement to include chefs and local organizations in other cities across the country, from Philadelphia to San Francisco.

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