NEW YORK (AP) – Wilson Tang was getting ready to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his restaurant, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, last winter and launch his first-ever cookbook. Then COVID-19 arrived, and Chinatown’s lively restaurant scene shut down, along with bars and eateries across New York City.
Suddenly, Tang was scrambling to make sure his staff was safe, source his ingredients, and figure out a new retail landscape of frozen foods, meal kits and online classes.
Instead of being devastated, he found the experience strangely invigorating, reminiscent of earlier days in Chinatown when scrappy Chinese immigrants like his parents struggled to survive.
“I feel like for my generation, maybe life was too easy. Sometimes I’d catch myself thinking, wow, things are going pretty smooth. But I don’t come from that. I come from a head-down-and-work-hard mentality,” the 41-year-old Tang said in an interview shortly before the book’s recent virtual launch.
Tang’s pride in his community is reflected in the