Chef Brandon Jew | Antonio Diaz MKs3

The Convergence of Cultures: Shaping Great Cities

How is the cultural identity of a city formed? Rubén Martinez, journalist and writer of the film "When Worlds Collide," explores how the immigrant experience shapes great cities.

As Ruben states "It's productive in terms of the economy and it's also creative because people are trying to do good business. And to do good business... to get customers you have to be creative. And often times, of course, that happens on the level of culture itself. Fusion cuisine is nothing more and nothing less than the story of immigrants bumping into each other on the street in Los Angeles. 

Stuff starts to shift, culturally. In all kinds of different ways. People start learning the language, that starts to shift. It's not just the immigrants that are changed, the immigrants are changing the natives too and you can literally track a people's history and the history of a city through these waves and the culture they are bringing from the old country. And how it's transformed here. And how it transforms the whole. And that is how great cities are made."

Be sure to check out The Migrant Kitchen, KCET's new, original series launching on September 20th in association with Life & Thyme.

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Full Episodes

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Badmaash

Indian food has often been associated with stiff restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets and heavily spiced, cream-based dishes. The Mahendro family (Anu, Pawan, Nakul and Arjun) immigrated to Los Angeles and found that they didn’t recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant Badmaash and to the city of L.A. Featured in the episode: Downtown L.A.’s Badmaash.

  • 2020-10-01T05:00:00-07:00
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Sequoia Sake

Jake Myrick and Noriko Kamei have taken their love for namazake and created Sequoia Sake, a small brewery in the heart of San Francisco. Rooted in the traditions of Japanese sake brewing, they work to resurrect an heirloom rice in California and pioneer the young but growing craft sake movement in the US.

Omotenashi

Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found Los Angeles lacking in these Japanese taverns. Sonoko Sakai is a teacher with a passion for buckwheat and the near-sacred art of soba noodles, and Seiichi Yokota knows how to prepare and preserve fresh fish with a traditional Japanese technique never seen before in Los Angeles. Each aims to introduce Angelenos to the unique spirit of Japanese hospitality and the culture's deep culinary customs.

  • 2020-10-08T05:00:00-07:00
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El Jardín

Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins opens her new restaurant, El Jardín, in San Diego. Inspired by the traditions of generations of Mexican women and combining regional heirloom ingredients from across Mexico, Zepeda-Wilkins takes a huge risk to elevate the cuisine in her hometown.

  • 2020-10-13T23:00:00-07:00
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Beyond Pho

Banh Mi. Spring rolls. Pho. The war and its subsequent refugees. These are things most commonly associated with the Vietnamese culture and its people. But a group of chefs in Los Angeles (including Cassia’s Bryant Ng and Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette) are hoping to demonstrate that there’s so much more than that. Featured in the episode: Cassia in Santa Monica, Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, Red Boat Fish Sauce, and Minh Phan of Porridge & Puffs.

  • 2020-10-15T05:00:00-07:00
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Mister Jiu's Chinatown

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, Brandon Jew walks the line between his Chinese heritage and his American upbringing with his restaurant, Mister Jiu’s. With the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood, the face of the country’s oldest Chinatown is changing while a younger generation holds on to the traditions and flavors of the past.

  • 2020-10-20T23:00:00-07:00
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The Jewish Deli

The Jewish Delis of Los Angeles serve an important role for connecting heritage to food. Factor’s Famous Deli has been a central pillar for the community for 70 years while newcomers like Micah Wexler and Michael Kassar of Wexler’s Deli bring a fresh take to classic deli food traditions.

  • 2020-10-22T05:00:00-07:00
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Man'oushe

Two extraordinary women of Palestinian descent, Reem Assil and Lamees Dahbour, use food to bring their misunderstood homeland closer to Western tolerance and acceptance.

  • 2020-10-27T23:00:00-07:00
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