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About Restaurant Baby

We are the children of immigrant parents, who left Guangdong, China and rebuilt their lives in the Midwestern USA, where they opened up a Chinese take-out joint, and had us: The Restaurant Babies.

“A family-run restaurant is a seven-days-a-week enterprise,” writes Jennifer 8. Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Helping-out, in Chinese restaurant families, simply means being a part of the family.

Growing up, our family’s restaurant had a formidable presence. We saw it as a source of stress and anxiety, and we often feared being recruited into work by our parents. Age, however, have shifted our perspectives, and we are seeing how our family’s restaurant has played a crucial role in shaping our identities and experiences with food.

This blog, Restaurant Baby, is a collaboration between sisters. It reflects our effort to document our family’s traditional recipes, as well as the way we cook and eat today, as we continue to learn and experiment.

Dad at the restaurant

Meet the Restaurant Babies:


Restaurant Baby #2
Location: New York 
As a Midwest transplanted New Yorker living in Astoria, Queens, Madeline has had the good fortune of dining at a variety of fine establishments that New York City has to offer. But her favorite meals are still home-cooked. She is a believer that food consumed should make one feel good, food shared is tastier, and that the kitchen is a resourceful place.
Photo by Wendy Lam of Goofy Image



Restaurant Baby #420141016_114948
Location: Chicago
When I am cooking, you can often hear dramatic sighs and potty words emanating from the kitchen. The kitchen is a place for spills and splatters, cuts and burns, and unpredictable outcomes. Cooking is messy, and though practice does wonders, even the best cooks get burned now and then.

For someone with OCD tendencies, the kitchen is not my sanctuary, and cooking is not my zen. But sometimes, I manage to find the right rhythm, and for all the other times, there’s probably a lesson to be learned. I like cooking because it reminds me that things can get messy, and there’s a lot I cannot control for, but it’s alright. Life is still tasty.