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Madhur Jaffrey (keynote), regarded by many as the world authority on Indian food, is a best-selling cookbook author, television chef, illustrator, and award-winning actress. Her classic first book, An Invitation to Indian Cooking, was published by Knopf in 1973, and she has been the host of a series, "Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery," for BBC television. Madhur has appeared in more than 20 films, including Merchant Ivory's Heat and Dust, and has written more than 15 books. She won James Beard Awards in 1982, 1994, 2000, 2002, and 2004. In 2006, Climbing the Mango Trees, an enchanting memoir of her childhood in Delhi, was released by Knopf to great acclaim. She lives in New York City.

Martin Yan (special guest), the celebrated host of over 2,500 cooking shows broadcast worldwide, enjoys distinction as a certified Master Chef, a highly respected food consultant, a cooking instructor, and a prolific author. Born in Guangzhou, China, Chef Martin began his illustrious career as an apprentice at a popular Hong Kong restaurant and then went on to study at the Overseas Institute of Cookery in Hong Kong and the University of California/Davis earning an MS Food Science. A valued instructor at top culinary institutions around the world, he founded the Yan Can Cooking School in California in 1985 and in 2007 The Martin Yan Culinary Arts Center for professional chefs in Shenzhen, China. As a restaurateur his Yan Can and SensAsian Restaurants offer inventive pan-Asian menus. Dedicated to dispelling the mysteries of Asian cooking, Chef Martin furthers an understanding of these cuisines and the cultures that created them with spirited lessons, fun, and entertainment.

18 Mighty Mountain Warriors is a sketch comedy group established in 1994 and based in San Francisco and Los Angeles. As artists/activists, the group explores images of the Asian Pacific Islander American community and through comedy seek to break down prevailing stereotypes. They were recently featured in the documentary "Mighty Warriors of Comedy" which received a 2007 Northern California Emmy Award. Winners of the 2006 International Sketch Comedy Championships and voted 2005 Bay Area's Best Comedy Troupe by the San Francisco Bay Guardian, these uncontrollable gourmands are definitely omnivores!
Samantha Chanse is a writer, performer, and community arts worker. A native of New York City who has lived in San Francisco since 2001, her work has been presented and produced by a number of theaters, organizations, and dimly lit bars. Her solo play, Lydia's Funeral Video, was recently presented at the 2008 New York International Fringe Festival, a production of the Present Company. Sam served as the artistic director and is currently on the board of directors of Kearny Street Workshop, a San Francisco-based multidiscplinary arts organization. She was also a co-director of Locus Arts, an API nonprofit arts organization.
Roy Fong is the founder and proprietor of San Francisco’s Imperial Tea Court, the first traditional Chinese teahouse in America. A native of Hong Kong, He was introduced to tea early in life, and has spent many years developing close relations with tea growers and producers in mainland China and Taiwan. In addition, Roy has built close ties with the historic pottery workshops of Yixing in Jiangsu province and imports dozens of exceptional “purple sand” teapots to the United States each year. Presently, he is endeavoring to reestablish the ancient rite of tea dating back to China’s greatest tea master, Lu Yu, who lived during the Tang dynasty. Roy is also writing a comprehensive guide to the teas of China.
Melissa Hung is a writer and journalist. A graduate of Northwestern University's creative writing and journalism programs, she has written for newspapers, magazines and literary journals. Melissa is the founding editor of Hyphen, a national Asian American culture magazine, and a frequent speaker on Asian American media and independent media. She also curates Slant, an annual festival of short films at the Aurora Picture Show in Houston.
Paul Kwan is the co-director, producer and writer of the award winning PBS film, Anatomy of a Springroll, a contemporary exploration of the food cultural traditions of Vietnam based on Kwan’s journey from San Francisco to his homeland, Saigon that he had left 20 years ago. Anatomy of a Springroll combines beautiful imagery of present day Vietnam with puppetry and animation to show that “food is everyone's first language.” It has been shown across the U.S. and in Europe. Currently Paul is working on an Anatomy of a Springroll cookbook.
Harold Lee grew up as many Chinese children did in the United States: working at his parents business, Lee’s Canton Restaurant, in Yuba City. The restaurant has since changed hands, but Harold continued his career in the Asian food industry and for the last 32 years has held numerous positions. Currently he is the National Director of Marketing for Asian Foods at DPI Specialty Foods in Ontario, CA. DPI is a leading supplier of specialty foods across the United States, serving such accounts as Safeway, Kroger, Albertsons, and Whole Foods.
Martin F. Manalansan IV, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He studies gender, sexuality, public health, and food within the frameworks of urban life, globalization, and transnationalism. His courses include “Food, Culture, and Society,” and “Filipino Americans: Beyond Empire and Diaspora.” In 2003 Martin published Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora, and he is currently working on a manuscript examining the politics of the senses in relation to race and Asian American culinary cultures in New York City.
James Oseland is the editor-in-chief of award-winning Saveur magazine. He has written for Vogue, Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Time Out New York and has been an editor at Organic Style, The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, TV Guide, Vibe, Sassy, and American Theatre. He teaches cooking classes at New York's Institute for Culinary Education and the New School. James’s book, Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, (W. W. Norton, 2006) received prestigious awards of excellence in 2007 from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. A California native, he now lives in New York City.
Edwin Soon has picked grapes, worked as a cellar rat and made wine in Australia, the US and in France. An enologist by training, he juggles many hats. He organizes wine competitions and sits on several international wine judging panels. In Asia, he speaks for Vin Italy, the California Wine Institute and SOPEXA. As an author, Ed has several books under his sleeve including Wine with Asian Food: New Frontiers in Taste and The Wines of France. Currently he is working on a book on tea and another on pairing wine with Asian cuisine. Ed is the consulting wine editor of Appetite magazine and wine columnist for Time Out Singapore and The Star Malaysia.
Olivia Wu is currently the executive chef of the Oasis Cafe at Google's Mountain View campus.  Her restaurant at Google features small plants Asian food. Formerly she was a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle Food and Wine sections, has been in food journalism since the late 1980s when she was a food editor, restaurant critic and food and nutrition writer at the Chicago dailies. In 2006, the Chronicle assigned her to Shanghai to cover food and culture in China. She won the Association of Food Journalists awards for feature and column writing in 1991, 1992 and 2002, and has been a James Beard Foundation finalist for similar awards. She the author of The Grand Wok Cookbook and Turning 50: Fifty Personal Celebrations. In addition to her writing, Wu is a private chef and caterer, teaches cooking and yoga.

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Asian Culinary Forum reserves the right to substitute speakers and instructors of comparable expertise for individuals listed above and to change the menu as needed.

  1. 8:30    Registration

  2. Breakfast Buffet

  3. Traditional jook rice soup and breakfast dumplings presented by Out the Door and Imperial Tea Court.

  4. 9:30    Welcome

  5. 10:00    Keynote: Madhur Jaffrey on “What Is Asia?”

  6. Noted author Madhur Jaffrey poses questions about the shifting forces of geography, history, culture, and politics throughout the vast region known as Asia.

  7. 10:50    Break: Filipino Merienda

  8. Mid-morning coffee and hot chocolate served with sweet and savory nibbles reveal a delicious blend of Southeast Asian and Spanish influences.

  9. 11:15    Panel Discussion: Experience and Expression in Asian Foodways

  10. Specialty foods marketing expert, Harold Lee; Saveur editor-in-chief, James Oseland; oenologist, Edwin Soon; Google executive chef, Olivia Wu; and moderator Madhur Jaffrey discuss the myriad ways Asian ingredients and meals have been transformed across grocery stores, restaurants, media, and the workplace.

  1. 12:30    Lunch

  2. Choose from a selection of Japanese bento boxes by Delica rf-1 to take away and relish by the waterside.

  3. 1:30    Roundtable: Narratives for the Next Generation

  4. Hyphen founder, Melissa Hung; documentary filmmaker, Paul Kwan; cultural anthropologist, Martin Manalansan, IV, and members of the comedy troupe, 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, exchange insights on Asian food culture in the arts and the challenges of creating more complex, more relevant stories for today’s diverse communities.

  5. 2:45    Presentation: Roy Fong on “The Changing Traditions of Tea”

  6. Founder and proprietor of the Imperial Tea Court, Roy Fong will compare stories from his original, ground-breaking tearoom in Chinatown with the success of his more recent tea salons at the Ferry Building and in Berkeley. Learn how he preserves traditional tea culture in modern times.

  7. 3:45    Break: Afternoon Tea

  8. Enjoy a pick-me-up with teas and sweets from around the world.

  9. 4:15    The Last Bite: Martin Yan on “New Frontiers of Cooking”

  10. Renowned TV host and master chef, Martin Yan, will share why he began teaching professionals about Chinese cuisine at his new school in Shenzhen, China.

  11. 5:00    Close

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Asian Food Beyond Borders Symposium

Sunday, October 12, 2008

San Francisco Ferry Building

San Francisco, CA

The capstone to our
weekend-long celebration, this intimate, full-day symposium brings together notable authors, artists, scholars, and chefs to explore the state of Asian cuisines around the world.

This is your unique chance to hear firsthand from influential individuals. Of course, delectable food and drink will be served thoughout the day to highlight the flavors of Asia past and present.

Plus, your registration for Sunday’s symposium includes an invitation to a special reception on Saturday, October 11, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the Ferry Building’s North Arcade. The menu of delightful Pan-Asian snacks and street foods will certainly fuel the next day’s many conversations.

Registration fee: $185 per person (30% tax-deductible, inclusive of all meals, drinks and the Saturday evening’s reception.

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  1. Afternoon

  1. Morning