Friday, June 22, 2007

Damn those unprofessional Chinese immigrants, trying to feed their families at the expense of the reputation of Chinese cuisine!

Re "Eating Beyond Sichuan," by Nina Zagat and Tim Zagat (Op-Ed, June 15):

As a Chinese-American from Taiwan living in New York City for almost 20 years, I have always lamented that there are no authentic Chinese restaurants in most of the areas of the city.

I agree that the food provided in most Chinese restaurants here is weird. They degrade Chinese food and cheapen Chinese food as a category or brand.

The heritage of our cuisine is so rich, elaborate, delicate and diverse. When I was growing up, it usually took my mother all day to prepare the food for a dinner party. We Chinese not only enjoy our food, but also take pride in it as an art form.

I think the reason Chinese food is the way it is in most of America is that most of the Chinese restaurants are not run by real professionals and chefs. They are immigrants who don't speak English and don't have other specialized skills. In order to survive, they open Chinese restaurants.

May Shih
New York, June 16, 2007

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