By Sophia Hsu / Photos by Cindy Trinh
The “Feast Meets West” podcast host Lynda Liu and photographer Cindy Trinh meet to chat over dinner at Japan Village in Industry City. We had seen each other rather recently at an industry night Lynda organized at Bricolage to give those of us in or related to the food industry an opportunity to mix and mingle outside of the job in a relaxed atmosphere. When we convene, food is the first thing on all of our minds, so we break and go order our dinners before catching up.
After we have all gotten our meals, we eat and chat our way through the interview. Feast Meets West has been in production for a little over three years now. Lynda is about to post the 80th episode wherever you get podcasts. She is the host, writer, producer, marketer, talent coordinator, and event organizer for the podcast among other titles. In 2020, Lynda is organizing a live event for the public, a first for Feast Meets West.
Asian Fusion Magazine (AFM): With all of the voices about food out there, what made you think, “Yeah, my point of view is unique and should be added to the ether.”?
Lynda Liu (LL): In the universe of podcasts, there really wasn’t an Asian or Asian-American voice about Asian foods. I am by no means an expert on all Asian foods, so this was a chance to provide a mic to those innovating in food spaces. I wanted to learn the history behind some of my favorite Asian dishes,ingredients, and restaurants. What I discovered was that the children of immigrants were surfacing fresh, new ideas for the foods that they grew up eating. I wanted to showcase the passion, the blood, sweat, and tears that these small business owners pour into these specialized fields. There is so much density and variety in regional cuisine and ingredients which haven’t been discussed, yet.
AFM: So, how did you come up with the name Feast Meets West for the podcast?
LL: It is 100% a play on the idiom ‘East Meets West’ whenever people refer to East Asian anything like food or culture colliding with Western (American and/or European) sensibilities. Feasts and banquets are ubiquitous in Chinese cultures, and it’s a podcast about Asian foods, so it just made sense.
AFM: You are always the one asking questions on the podcast. Which are your favorite questions to ask your guests?
LL: The questions I ask are looking for answers that I want to discover myself. I ask them from a sincere, agnostic, journalistic perspective. I really enjoy asking the quick fire questions, a segment at the end of my podcast. I like to hear the honest, personal anecdotes from my guests, especially those who changed career paths to join the food industry.
AFM: Who would be a dream guest?
LL: Martin Yan of “Yan Can Cook” because he brought Chinese cooking methods and introduced ingredients to every American home over public broadcast television at a time where it was rare to see a Chinese face hosting a national cooking show. I would also love to have on the podcast Ligaya Mishan, New York Times food columnist for Hungry City who spotlights immigrant foods and is a voice for Asian-Americans.
Find Feast Meets West wherever you listen to your podcasts and follow Feast Meets West on Facebook and Instagram. Also, check out Feast Meets West on YouTube.