How I became “The accidental voice of Chinatown”

Since January 2020, my beloved Chinatown here in New York has been under siege. Due to the ongoing pandemic, a multitude of restaurants and businesses have closed permanently, while others struggle to remain open. Most restaurants that have survived are operating at a mere twenty percent of pre-COVID capacity, and this is not sustainable. Over the past months, as I watched this tragedy unfold, I realized Chinatown (actually Chinatowns everywhere) was in dire need of someone to speak for this treasured ethnic community wavering on the brink of extinction. It needed an advocate, a dedicated voice to rally the press and public to this crisis, and by sheer chance I became that person.

Yes, it seems I’ve become “the accidental voice of Chinatown,” as New York magazine’s Grub Street blog christened me in a recent article. Thankfully, a broad range of national media and food-related organizations (see below) have heard the call to save Chinatown and Chinese mom-and-pop restaurants all across the country: Splendid Table, Thrillist, and Buzzfeed have run interviews and stories as have Food & Wine and Every mention helps because right now the one thing that’s needed is our steady patronage.

I invite you to join me, going forward, in supporting any and all efforts to save Chinatown and Chinese mom and pop businesses across the country. In January, I launched my own Support Chinatown Fund, in partnership with the grass-roots organization Welcome to Chinatown. My aim was to raise $20,000 to provide at least 2,000 nutritious hot meals for low-income, food-insecure, and at-risk senior residents in NYC. We just reached $30,000 which means we can provide 3,000 meals! Let’s keep it going! The meals will be purchased from legacy Chinatown restaurants Hop Kee, Hop Lee, Wo Hop (upstairs and downstairs) and distributed by community partners that serve neighbors in need. Your gift of $10 will help deliver a delicious meal for an in-need resident while providing critical income to struggling Chinatown eateries. I will keep you posted and I ask you just to keep showing up, especially now as they face the challenges of winter weather. Thank you!

Here are some articles in case you want to read more about the work that I’m doing.

Splendid Table



    What's Happening

    • In honor AAPI Heritage Month I was featured on CBS Morning speaking about my love of America’s Chinatowns.

      CBS Mornings


    Cook Books

    Wok Talk


    • “Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge,” is the ultimate guide, whether you’re a beginner or a chef."

      Martha Rose Shulman,

      New York Times

    • "When it comes to stir-frying, I have a guru, the cookbook author Grace Young."

      Martha Rose Shulman,

      New York Times

    • “Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge is the essential cookbook for anyone who wants to stir-fry with confidence, even mastery.”

      Paula Wolfert,
    • "Grace Young has opened my eyes to the splendor of the wok and its place in Chinese culture.”

      Pang-Mei Natasha Chang,
    • "The new cookbook by Grace Young is an extended love poem to the wok.

      The Boston Herald,
    • "Grace Young brings us the entire being of the wok.”

      Lynne Rossetto Kasper,
    • "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, contains everything you'll ever need to know about this healthful and flavorful cooking method.”

      Irene Sax,

      Weight Watchers

    • "Grace Young is one of the very best cookbook authors writing today.”

    • "Grace Young is a Wok Evangelist."

      Christine Gallary,

    • “Grace Young is a cook with a mission: to take stir-frying to the masses.”

      Lee Svitak Dean,

      Star Tribune

    • "With Grace Young as my teacher, I have committed to studying the art of stir-frying”

      Jennifer Bain,

      Toronto Star

    • "If you live to stir-fry, Grace will be your new guru.”

      Lynne Rossetto Kasper,
    • "It’s hard to imagine someone more committed to the ancient art of stir-frying than Grace Young.”

      Sarah Musgrave,

      Montreal Gazette

    • "Grace Young's masterful book gives you all the advice and instruction you need to stir-fry.”

      Bill Daley,

      Chicago Tribune

    • "The Breath of a Wok is a cookbook that sizzles, sings, and ultimately has you sighing with pleasure.”

      Amy Tan,