Cultural Stories

Introducing The Shared Plate Series: inKind's Celebration of AAPI Heritage Month

By Joann Jen
At inKind, sharing a meal is a core part of our values. We believe the table is a gathering place for food, yes, but more importantly for feeding the human spirit with family, friends (and new friends), and co-workers.

The Shared Plate Series reinforces this edict and will include programming, both, in person through roundtable discussions and forums, and online via Instagram Lives with celebrated AAPI chefs. We also invite you to share many plates at your local inKind AAPI restaurants.
As a Taiwanese American, when I think of sharing a meal I am immediately transported to Sundays at the packed, noisy Crown Palace restaurant in Marlboro, NJ. There would be three generations of family members gathered at a large round table, chopsticks in the ready position, in eager anticipation of waiters pushing carts filled with delicious Hong Kong-style dim sum. As a kid, I was thrilled by the excitement of what was coming next—chicken feet braised in a traditional sauce (not the most appealing in my youthful days) or siu mai, dumplings filled with pork or shrimp (yum). And thanks goes to the ubiquitous Lazy Susan so I didn't have to worry about stretching across a cramped table for that last pork bun. There was a sense of harmony and equality for all.

These rich dining memories are shared by so many in Asian communities—communities whose livelihoods are being threatened by anti-Asian hate and violence everyday as they recover from the toll of the pandemic. As recently as March 23, eight Oakland Chinatown businesses were targeted and burglarized—one restaurant losing roughly $36,000.

For many businesses in our nation's Chinatowns, there is a sense of trauma that has led businesses to either shut down completely or reduce their hours. By way of an example, in New York City, most Chinatown businesses are seeing fewer customers compared to 2019 with visitation to Chinatown down by 50 percent in late 2021. Additionally, there was a 21 percent vacancy rate in Chinatown storefronts in mid-2022. This must change.

inKind is committed to the change needed by supporting AAPI owned and operated restaurants now and always. Join us to elevate these voices and preserve the rich experiences of gathering around the round table, Lazy Susan and all, to share a meal and feed the human spirit.

inKind's The Shared Plates Series 2023 programming includes:
Lunch at the First White House Forum on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders on May 3

Have lunch on inKind in DC! inKind partner restaurants Maketto, Cambodian and Taiwanese cuisine, and Jinya Ramen Bar, contemporary Japanese food are prepared to welcome you during the historic forum on AA and NHPI communities in the heart of our nation's capital.
Instagram Live with Sam Fore in May 9

Sam Fore is a first generation Sri Lankan-American chef, based out of Lexington, KY. At her pop-up, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, she serves a mix of new takes on her mother's classic recipes and her own reimagined versions of Southern staples. Hear from Sam about how she's trying to make sambol as popular as salsa.
Instagram Live with Grace Young on May 16

Grace Young is a passionate and accomplished chef whose mission is to preserve the rich culture of Chinese cuisine. In her book, Saving Chinatowns: A Journey into the Heart of American Cuisine, she brings readers on an exploration of Chinese-American stories in which food plays a major role in history, identity and community. Through conversations with chefs, restaurateurs, food writers and other passionate individuals she uncovers the unique flavors that make up Chinese-American cuisine. Learn more about her mission to Save America's Chinatowns.
Roundtable AAPI x inKind at Pagu on May 18 (Boston)

An elite force of chefs will converge to discuss their unapologetic Asian experience from nostalgia to their hopes for the future, and all of the model minority tropes in between. Around the table will be the food of award-winning chefs:

● Tracy Chang (PAGU, Cambridge, MA, @gopagu)
● Jason Doo (Wusong Road, Cambridge, MA, @wusongroad)
● Laurence Louie (Rubato, Quincy, MA, @rubatofood)
● Alex Nystedt (Hot Chix, Cambridge, MA, @hotchixboston)
● Ted Woo (Mimi's Chuka Diner, Cambridge, MA, @mimischukadiner)
● KT Cheung (formerly of Cloud & Spirits, Cambridge, MA)

The dinner will support Project Restore Us.
The Shared Plate Silent Auction starts on May 24 (nationwide)

The Shared Plate Silent Auction will benefit charitable organizations that protect Chinatowns and other targets of AAPI hate in America. 100% of proceeds will be distributed across five charities across the country.
Chef Collaboration x inKind x Hexclad at Kinn on May 30 (Los Angeles)

Discover bold flavors of the Asian diaspora with a Chef Collaboration dinner hosted by Kinn and Journalist Andy Wang. Around the table will be:

● Ki Kim (Kinn, Los Angeles,
Deau Arpapornopparat & Joy Yuon (Holy Basil, Los Angeles, @holybasil_la)
Mark Okuda (The Brothers Sushi, Los Angeles, @thebrotherssushila)
● Rhea Patel Michel (Saucy Chick Rotisserie, Los Angeles, @saucychickrotisserie)
Leo Lee (Ricebox, Los Angeles, @riceboxla)

Welcome drink sponsored by Big Noise. Money from ticket sales supports Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
And if you can't get to any of our The Shared Plate Series events, go spend some (or all) of your inKind credit at our featured AAPI owned and operated restaurants.