/ Community

AAPI Heritage Month Zoom: Crossroads between Food, Culture, and Education in the AAPI Community

In order to recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month, a committee of God’s Love staff members organized multiple events around food and culture to celebrate the diversity of voices from the AAPI community. From a zoom that celebrated the immense importance of food culture in AAPI communities and the influence of Asian cuisine on American society, to a Malaysian lunch for staff, to art talks with docents from the Asian American Art museum, the month was filled with cultural pride, learning and joy. Read more about each of our events below.

Staff Panel on Zoom: Crossroads between Food, Culture, and Education in the AAPI Community

Our zoom panel titled Crossroads between Food, Culture, and Education in the AAPI Community touched on themes of family connections, the importance of food as medicine in different cultures, regionalism and colonialism, alongside some great foodie recommendations.

Current God’s Love RDN, Austin Park, former God’s Love RDN Reena Panjwani and current Senior Sous Chef Andre Daquigan shared personal experiences and food memories on a panel led by RDN Mary O’Hara and Special Events Coordinator, Julia Cordry. Each sought to fight the  misconception that is Asia is homogenous. Chef Andre, added that no place is an island. All cuisine is in flux, necessarily going to get influenced by other cultures and places. He also left us with the wonderful line that “culture is edible.”

Here are some fun facts each of our panelists shared

Favorite ingredient:

  • Chef Andre: Fish Sauce
  • Reena: Dried fenugreek leaves and asafetida
  • Austin: Ginseng and fermented foods (with a strong memory of fermented skate)

Go-to dish growing up

  • Reena: Rice and Dahl
  • Austin: Korean BBQ– homemade style with rice, meat and kimchi
  • Andre: A Filipino dish called Adobo – it’s a braise that can be used with chicken or pork. It’s a really garlicy, with vinegar, soy, black pepper, bay leaf.

Favorite restaurant in New York City

  • Austin: Sam Won Gahk– it’s Korean-Chinese fusion, and we order the same thing every time: sweet and sour chicken or pork, black bean noodles, and garlic spicy shrimp
  • Andre: Great New York Noodletown- open all night, a real New York food institution
  • Reena: Indian Accent which I was able to go to before I left New York for high-end Indian food and Mahmoud’s for falafel

At the end of the panel, we took a moment of silence to recognize and remember the victims of violence and discrimination against the AAPI community.

We’re so grateful to our panelists for sharing their stories and knowledge with us. You can watch a recording of the event below!

Art Talks with the Asian Art Museum

Samoya Nicolas, Executive and Project Assistant organized two art talks with docents from the Asian Art Museum. In the first talk, docent Kathleen Meagher took a close look at a rare white jade cup made for a royal Timurid prince illuminates centuries of history. She talked staff members through the cup’s exquisite workmanship and explained how the calligraphic inscriptions reveal traditions from the 15th to the 17th centuries, from Central Asia to India.

In the second talk, docent Yoshi Fukamiya taught viewers about the Buddhist deity Aizen Myoo. Her talk centered around the question: Can earthly needs be a pathway to enlightenment?

Malaysian Lunch for Staff

In mid-May, Charisma Hooda, Research and Evaluation manager organized a staff lunch from Kopitiam. Kopitiam means “coffee shop” in Hokkein and serves Nyonya cuisine, which is a hybrid of Chinese and Malay flavors.

Staff members enjoyed Pandan Chicken and Curry Puffs and Kuih Lapis which is a cinnamon butter cake.

The meal was absolutely delicious and we recommend that anyone in New York check out this Lower East Side gem.

Check out the menu from Kopitiam here.

3.20.24 / Community

Celebrating Women’s History Month 2024

God's Love celebrated Women’s History Month with a panel discussion focused on Women’s Health including maternal health, reproductive health, and health disparities based on race and gender.