Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Read this book

If you like books written by smart people. Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz, of Mission Street, were in Honolulu in September to talk about their book at indie Kaka'ako bookstore R&D. I didn't get to their book talk, but I did borrow the only copy of the book in the public library system.

It's the story of the son of immigrants. His parents wanted more for him than they had, and while he went to college and worked in market research for several years, he wasn't happy. He went on a trip around the world to experience different food and cultures. When he came back to America, he worked as a line cook, but he didn't forget his father gave food to the homeless. They were among the first to popularize food trucks and probably the first to do popups - dinners at established restaurants on their dark nights. And they admit social media was a big part of communicating who they were and are. Recipes? I would make the panna cotta and jicama pickles!

This is the book. This restaurant no longer exists, but they have a mini-empire that includes Mission Street Chinese in both SF and NYC. The NYC outpost, helmed by Danny Bowien, just won an Eater award. Commonwealth and Mission Street Bowling club are also part of the group.

While they were in the 808, Myint collaborated with Prima Kailua and Whole Ox Deli to do two popup dinners. I'll write about this on my other blog, Lives to Eat. Soon, I promise!

When we left that dinner, folks in line for the second seating asked us how it was. "Fabulous!" The best part is that Mission Street donated $10 from each dinner to GreenWheel Food Hub, an initiative to bring SNAP electronic food stamps to farmers' markets. In fact, they have started doing this at the Wahiawa market. So terrific!