Thanks to Western Reserve Academy for these photos from Ian Cheney’s residency as the Knight Fellow in April. Ian visited the campus to show films, give talks, and lead classes related to environmental issues and filmmaking. Thanks to the students, faculty, and staff for this terrific experience!
WD recently wrapped a cross-country filming trip for one of our works-in-progress, The Search for General Tso, exploring the history and character of Chinese food in America. Director Ian and producer Amanda visited and interviewed chefs, restaurateurs, writers, and historians from San Francisco to Missouri… and ate thousands of portions of General Tso’s chicken.
These are just a few of the people we met:
Chef Jesse Koide at Mission Chinese Food in SF (soon to open in NYC!) wields his General Tso’s Veal Rib, one of the restaurant’s innovative dishes. Mission Chinese started as a food truck before setting up in an existing Cantonese restaurant – for a while, the two restaurants operated simultaneously.
Eve and Frank Collins run the Chino Bandido Chinese-Mexican restaurant in Phoenix, AZ, dishing up combos (Frank says there are 90,000 possibilities) like Jade Red Chicken in a cheese quesadilla, with Cuban black beans and pork fried rice on the side. After the shoot, Eve and Frank sent us away with a huge box of grapefruits and oranges from their citrus orchard behind the restaurant.
In Tucumcari, NM, on former Route 66, we met bouyant restaurateur and culinary teacher Tammy Fang at Golden Dragon Chinese. Tammy’s family is the only Chinese family in town.
At Leong’s Asian Diner in Springfield, MO, chef Wing Yee Leong and his brothers carry on the legacy of their father, 91-year-old David Leong, who created a legendary local favorite, Springfield Cashew Chicken: the heartland’s answer to Chinese cuisine.