Back to All Events

Chinatown: A Legacy of Culinary Diversity

  • New York Public Library - Chatham Square Branch 33 East Broadway New York, NY, 10002 United States (map)

Although outsiders often see Chinatown as unchanging, it is a diverse and dynamic community. Manhattan’s Chinatown emerged in the early 1870s, when Chinese merchants established themselves at the eastern edge of the Five Points area. A varied restaurant culture quickly emerged: some Chinese-owned restaurants in Chinatown served Western food, while others offered the cuisine of Guangdong (Canton), the home province of the vast majority of Chinese immigrants.

Beginning in the 1960s, shifting immigration laws transformed the neighborhood and its food. New arrivals from Hong Kong and Guangdong now mixed with ethnic Chinese from Southeast Asia, and, beginning in the 1980s, Fujian province and other parts of mainland China. All of these newcomers have further diversified the food culture of New York’s oldest Chinese American neighborhood.

Join us at the Chatham Square branch of the New York Public Library for a panel discussion on Chinatown's dynamic culinary past and continuing evolution with food writer Francis Lam, James Beard Award-nominated cookbook author Kian Lam Kho, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Wellington Z. Chen, restaurateur Wilson Tang, and owner of Po Wing Hong Food Market Sophia Ng Tsao.

Admission is free but RSVP is required! Doors open at 6:30 pm, event begins at 7:00 pm.


This program is part of the Museum of Food and Drink’s MOFAD City series and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.