Chow 13 honorees - a sneak peek
November 3rd, 2011
03:45 PM ET
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We love it when sites we dig do extra-smart stuff, so we were thrilled when our pals at offered us a sneak preview of the 2011 edition of The Chow 13, going live tonight.

Last year, the site honored sumptuously profane Twittervixen Ruth Bourdain, heirloom vegetable evangelist Chef Sean Brock, and bad-ass Brooklyn butcher Tom Mylan.

This year's list will post later today, but we're thrilled to announce that our friend Eddie Huang has made the cut this year. He's co-hosted one of our Secret Suppers and graced the pages of Eatocracy with musings on cultural identity, food writers, late-night meals, Four Loko, Tiger Moms and lessons learned from a zero-star New York Times review.

Here's why Chow digs Eddie Huang as a chef using social media smartly:

Other chefs have a Twitter feed announcing daily specials. Eddie Huang has a blog he wields the way Wu-Tang Clan records an album, firing off in-your-face posts steeped in hip-hop lyricism that hit like an epic-chambered bong rip.

The National Restaurant Association reports that 55 percent of American chefs now use some form of social media. It's safe to say that nobody deploys it like Huang. On his blog, Fresh Off the Boat, the 29-year-old restaurant owner posts raw-edged, expletive-spiked revelations about being Asian in America, with a street-level take on New York's food life. And he's managed to parlay his social media skills into mainstream media opportunities: a memoir in the works for a subsidiary of Random House; a food and travel series for Cooking Channel in development.

Huang started blogging to chronicle the opening of BaoHaus, a basement Taiwanese-steamed-bun joint on the Lower East Side that he opened with his brother Evan in 2009. Soon, Fresh Off the Boat was getting national clicks when Huang started flaming a group of San Francisco restaurant consultants for naming their food truck Chairman Bao. Huang accused them of name-stealing his most popular steamed bun, vowing to sue the living crap out of dress-shirted white guys, whom he portrayed as corporate bloodsuckers. "Really," Huang blogged, "can you just name it Not-So Express Panda or some sh*t?"

The lawsuit went nowhere. Same with Huang's stunt inviting New Yorkers to guzzle banned Four Loko at his restaurant—he retreated after fearing it could lose him his liquor license. And Huang's semiambitious Taiwanese concept restaurant Xiao Ye went down in flames. No matter: Even Huang's f*ck-ups make for blistering blog copy. - John Birdsall

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Filed under: Celebrity Chefs • Eddie Huang • News • Websites

soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jerv

    That photo cracks me up.

    November 4, 2011 at 8:05 am |
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