Children’s picture books often contain stories that grown ups can benefit from too. That’s certainly true of Andrea Wang’s new picture book, Watercress, an autobiographical tale of a child of immigrants discovering and connecting with her heritage. With illustrations by Jason Chin, Watercress takes taste memories to new highs and lows as Andrea recalls a moment in her childhood when her family foraged for the perennial plant on the roadsides of her rural Ohio home.

Andrea and Jason join Louisiana Eats for a conversation about the heart-rending book before we speak with New Orleanian Christina Quackenbush of the Filipino food pop up Milkfish. Christina was born in the Philippines and raised in Indiana farm country before finding a career in food. She tells us about her contribution to The New Filipino Kitchen, a collection of 30 recipes and stories from chefs and home cooks of the Filipino diaspora.

Next, we speak with cooking teacher and author, Hsiao-Ching Chou. Her book, Chinese Soul Food, offers recipes for beloved Chinese restaurant dishes – like pork spare ribs and chili wontons – which she demystifies using ingredients you’re likely to already have in your pantry.

Finally, we join Chef Michael Gulotta in the kitchen of his New Orleans Market District restaurant Maypop. Michael explains how he’s bending the rules and blurring the lines on where Southeast Asia ends and South Louisiana begins.

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