Mei Chau, owner of the Malaysian French restaurant Aux Epices, has sadly announced that she is closing the restaurant permanently. As a farewell gift to the community, Mei is hosting a very special Zoom cooking class, teaching two amazing dishes that were popular at her beloved restaurant. She’ll be joined by “Stir-Fry Guru” Grace Young, author of Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge.
This summer menu will include Malaysian-Style Turmeric Shrimp (or Tofu) and Spicy Cucumber Salad with Preserved Mango. You can serve the meal with either steamed rice or a crusty baguette. The class is free, but any donations will greatly help us support this event and Mei’s participation.
Mei has been kind enough to share her story with us since March as part of Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, a video series by Grace Young and Dan Ahn detailing the harsh realities and uplifting narratives emerging in the Chinese community. We are honored to work with Grace, a partnership that arose out of programmatic collaboration for our current exhibition The Sleeping Giant: Posters & The Chinese Economy.
We invite you to cook along with Mei and Grace in real time. The recipes are listed below, where you’ll also find resources for where to buy more specialized ingredients. Please note that you will need to have your ingredients pre-measured and ready for the session or you can just watch and cook later at your convenience. Mei will show you how to handle dried curry leaves, as well as the easiest way to cut the cucumber and preserved mango. If you’re using fresh green mango, Mei will demonstrate a simple way to cut it. In this session, you’ll also learn tips from Mei and Grace for using a wok and mastering the stir-fry technique. The recipe will also require a 14-inch flat-bottomed carbon-steel wok and a small food processor. If you do not have a wok, a 12-inch stainless-steel skillet will work. While the event is free to everyone, all donations will be used in support of this event.
About Mei Chau
Mei Chau was born into an immigrant Chinese family in Malaysia. As a young girl, she learned to cook from her mother who ran a food stall. Her dream to be an artist led her across the globe, and she ultimately settled in New York, studying at Parsons School of Design. In 1993, she and her husband, Marc Kaczmarek, a photographer, opened Franklin Station Cafe to supplement their income as artists, and it soon became a much-loved neighborhood fixture until its closing in 2008. In 2013, Mei opened Aux Epices (meaning “with spice” in French) on Baxter Street in Chinatown, with an emphasis on Malaysian and French dishes that are flavored with herbs and spices.
About Grace Young
Named the “Poet Laureate of the wok” by the food historian Betty Fussell, Grace Young has devoted her career to preserving the traditions of wok cookery. She is currently working on Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, a video series created with Dan Ahn in collaboration with Poster House. Grace’s accolades include James Beard awards for her video the Wok Therapist and cookbook Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. She is the co-founder of Wok Wednesdays, an online stir-fry group, and has taught over 12,000 students with her popular Blueprint online class The Art of Stir-Frying.
Find full recipe instructions here: