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Eat and Drink

'Mission Chinese Food Cookbook': A hipster culinary who's who

You knew Mission Chinese Food was cool, and the new cookbook by Danny Bowien and Chris Ying proves it.

Danny Bowien

The chef and co-founder of Mission Chinese, Danny
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brian Ach

The chef and co-founder of Mission Chinese, Danny Bowien is a James Beard winner and a cool restaurateur.

In addition to being a boundary-pushing chef, Bowien is also among a group of foodies who are expanding the definition of food and food culture

He is the author of the "Mission Chinese Food Cookbook" with Chris Ying.

Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain, the original hipster foodie, published the
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Lawrie

Anthony Bourdain, the original hipster foodie, published the "Mission Chinese Food Cookbook" on his Ecco imprint and penned one of the forwards in the book.

The "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown" provocateur writes:

". . . Mission Chinese has taught us that we are, in fact, capable of experiencing much more pain while eating than we might previously have thought possible."

Because pain is cool, or at least, being able to withstand it and, at best, enjoy it!

David Chang

Of course David Chang, founder and head of
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard

Of course David Chang, founder and head of the Momofuku empire, plays a prominent role in the "Mission Chinese Food Cookbook." The chef and mogul in many ways paved the way for Bowien and team by introducing New Yorkers and later the world to upscale and adventurous Asian cuisine. Chang penned the second foreword. He writes:

"I had tried his food in San Francisco before he came out to New York. And, to be honest, I remember being upset that this motherf---er was doing something I've wanted to do forever. Chinese food is far and away the number one thing I eat in my life, and I love the idea of updating it. If I weren't doing Momofuku, this is what I'd be doing, I thought."

WOW if that's not an endorsement, what is?

Rene Redzepi

Chef Rene Redzepi figures prominently in the cookbook.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Coppola

Chef Rene Redzepi figures prominently in the cookbook. The chef and co-owner of Noma in Copenhagen, arguably the best and certainly the coolest restaurant in the world, pops up a couple of times. He is mentioned in the intro to the recipe for Smashed Cucumbers with Sesame Paste and Salted Chili Condiment and in an excerpt of a conversation Bowien had with Redzepi at the MAD Symposium, an annual gathering of chefs, foodies and like-minded individuals in a circus tent in Copenhagen. Redzepi is the founder.

Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo

Collectively known as The Franks, Frank Falcinelli and
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Michael Loccisano

Collectively known as The Franks, Frank Falcinelli and Frank Castronovo are the owners of Frankies Spuntino and arguably the duo that turned Brooklyn into the culinary destination is it today. When Mission Chinese Food's first NYC location was closed by the city health department, the Franks offered up their event space located behind Frankies in Carroll Gardens to Bowien and team for a pop-up. Mission Chinese Brooklyn was where Bowien's executive chef Angela Dimayuga made a chicken rice that Bowien says was the only one he's ever been proud to serve.

Angela Dimayuga

The executive chef at Mission Chinese Food NY,
Photo Credit: amNY / Georgia Kral

The executive chef at Mission Chinese Food NY, Dimayuga is becoming a culinary icon in her own right. She has created some of the most important menu items at MCF, including the Beggar's Duck, cooked in clay and cracked tableside and the matcha noodles, a collaboration with Bowien. Both recipes can be found in the "Mission Chinese Food Cookbook."

Wiley Dufresne

Dufresne, the heralded wd-50 and Alder chef, figures
Photo Credit: Flickr / Kent Wang

Dufresne, the heralded wd-50 and Alder chef, figures prominently in a two-page photo spread in the book. His arms around Bowien, both are laughing in the midst of a party surrounded by people laughing and eating pizza. That's pretty cool.

Paul Liebrandt

The Michelin-starred chef, formerly of Corton and The
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Brian Ach

The Michelin-starred chef, formerly of Corton and The Elm in NYC, is one of Bowien's chef idols. Author Bowien says Liebrandt is one of the first recipients of the "crab boil treatment at Mission Chinese Food." What's that? It's when Bowien and team create a communal seafood feast -- with Old Bay Seasoning, of course.

Wish we were in the hipster culinary inner circle so we could benefit from this, too!

Andy Ricker

The Pok Pok chef and owner dines with
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Neilson Barnard

The Pok Pok chef and owner dines with author Danny Bowien at one of the Momofuku restaurants in the "Mission Chinese Food Cookbook." They are surprised with more food than they could ever order or eat! So cool to be cool!

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