Archive for the ‘Foodie Friday’ Category

Foodie Friday: Joyce Chen

March 29th, 2013

By: Sydnee Winston, Project Coordinator

Egg Rolls, egg drop soup, lo  mein…sometimes your taste  buds get an inescapable  hankering for some of these  classic delicious Chinese  foods— and with the bevy of  Chinese restaurants that are  present in local  communities and nationally  (Panda Express, PF Chang’s, etc.) there are lots of options. But back in 1958, those options were nearly nonexistent. Chinese restaurants may be a common sight across America today, but such eateries were hard to come by 60 years ago.

Enter Joyce Chen.

Joyce, an immigrant who had left Communist China in 1949, opened her very popular restaurant in 1958 near Harvard and MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a tiny takeout dive that was so popular that she ended up opening two other restaurants that were “sit down” style and fancier. Joyce loved to cook and her egg rolls were a hit at school bake sales.  She often taught cooking classes in her home. She was encouraged to start the restaurant by Asian students from Shanghai who were at MIT who were so homesick for the kind of food she prepared that they lent her the start-up money.

In 1968 Joyce starred in her own TV cook show, which aired on PBS, called Joyce Chen Cooks. It was filmed on the same set as Julia Child’s The French Chef (see last week’s Foodie Friday post for more info about Julia Child)!

Joyce is credited for introducing Americans to mandarin style food and is one of many entrepreneurial women featured in our newest exhibit “From Ideas to Independence:  A Century of Entrepreneurial Women.” Click here to learn more:

Don’t forget to stay tuned for next week’s Foodie Friday post.

Tweet #FoodieFriday

Foodie Fridays: Julie Child

March 22nd, 2013

By: Sydnee Winston, Project Coordinator

The social media team at the National Women’s History Museum is always hungry—hungry for new and eye-opening, little-known facts about the women of this country whose ingenuity, resourcefulness and intelligence helped to build our nation.

We’re also hungry for yummy food and can frequently be seen munching on everything from mac n’ cheese to chocolaty brownies! So we came up with the brilliant idea to merge our love of all things women’s history and all things food into “Foodie Fridays”—your weekly serving of all things food history and women’s history. Hop aboard NWHM’s time machine as we uncover everything from strange mid-19th century fad diets to the most famous female chefs of the 20th century.

For our inaugural Foodie Friday post we’ve decided to highlight a classic and beloved American chef: Read the rest of this entry »