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Taste Makers: Chinese Restaurants and the Asian American Identity

Event Date:

November 26, 2018 | 5:30 PM EST


City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
40 W. North Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Everyday Noodle. Image by Melissa McCart. Pennsylvania, 2018.

How one Taiwanese restaurant in Pittsburgh feeds the local community.

Everyday Noodle. Image by Melissa McCart. Pennsylvania, 2018.
Everyday Noodles. Image by Melissa McCart. Pennsylvania, 2018.

On Monday, November 26, 2018, join Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Melissa McCart at City of Asylum @ Alphabet City for an evening focused on Asian American identity and an exploration of how those originally from Taiwan and China are contributing to the changing dynamic of Pittsburgh.

McCart's Pulitzer Center-supported project, Everyday Noodles and Pittsburgh's Growing Chinese Community also considers how Trump's new immigration policies have been impacting the Pittsburgh Asian American Community. Her reporting focuses on Mike Chen, who was a Taiwanese immigrant who opened Everyday Noodles in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill five years ago. It was the only restaurant in which diners could order hand-pulled noodles and soup dumplings.

The restaurant was built on Chen's work with the Taiwanese government to hire kitchen staff through H1-B work visas. But with Trump's new immigration policies, Chen has been having to navigate obstacles that have been hurting his restaurant, like a cutback in visa allotments from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; a 20 percent cost increase and slower visa processing.

Following up on her Pulitzer Center reporting project for the evening at City of Asylum, McCart joins restaurateur Chen along with community crusader Marian Lien, executive director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition and commissioner on the Governor's Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs in Pennsylvania; and Chris Briem, a University of Pittsburgh regional economist and analyst of population trends for a discussion. Jon Sawyer, Pulitzer Center executive director, also participates in the evening event.

The event is co-sponsored by City of Asylum, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pulitzer Center. Space is limited—reserve your seat today!