With violent hate crimes continuing to target Asian Americans nationwide, Executive Chef Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit, a “contemporary Vietnamese” restaurant in the District Wharf, decided to do something about it.
Many victims are elderly, causing Tien to fear for his own parents and grandparents. Especially during the pandemic, most attacks are fueled by racism, xenophobia and the belief that Asians caused the “Chinese flu.”
Tien—whose parents immigrated from Vietnam—is launching a weekly series of Sunday dinners. He’s working with about 45 fellow chefs including Lisa, Lydia and Peter Chang, who operate several upscale Chinese restaurants, Erik Brunner-Yang (ABC Pony, Maketto, Brothers and Sisters), Jong Sun (Tiger Fork) and others.
Starting April 4 and priced at $150, each takeout repast feeds two. For now, meals can be picked up at Moon Rabbit, located off the lobby of the Intercontinental Hotel (801 Wharf St. SW). Most of the profits will go to Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate (Stop AAPI Hate), an organization which monitors discrimination and hate crimes and supports victims.
Stop AAPI Hate is an initiative formed last March to track and respond to incidents of violence and discrimination against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. Between March 19 and December 31, 2020, the organization received more than 2,800 reports of such cases. (The March 16 slaying of eight people in Atlanta—including six Asian women—brought this ongoing threat into sharp focus. However, the shooter’s motives were unclear.)
“With the rise in violence on the AAPI community during the pandemic, we as chefs are getting together to spread awareness and raise funds for Stop AAPI Hate,” Chef Tien told the Hill Rag. “The lack of coverage is concerning because these are our neighbors, our friends, our family, our community,” he said. “We hope to work within our own community and other cities to speak about the increased violence and hate towards the AAPI community.”
“Through the power of food, we will bring about awareness and change.”