Joanne Chang’s Baking Demonstration of Gougere


As a foodie, I was excited to meet Joanne Chang today at TAGS Kitchen Hardware store. She is the chef and owner of my favorite bakery/café, Flour and a co-owner/chef of Myers and Chang Restaurant with her husband, Christopher Myers.  She just came out with a new cookbook, Flour Two, a sequel to her first book, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Café.  Unlike the first book, Flour Two focuses more on savory dishes and less on desserts. During the event at TAGS, Joanne said she decided to write this book because of two reasons. One, she originally wanted to have a savory foods chapter in the first Flour book but the publisher said she did not have enough room. Two, a lot of people have been emailing her requesting that she comes out with Flour book including savory recipes.


At TAGS Kitchen Hardware store, she did a cooking demonstration of baking Gougeres based on the French pastry pate a choux.  The recipe consists of eggs, flour, water, salt, sugar and the main ingredient, gruyere cheese.  You first mix the flour, water, salt and sugar up in a low heat pan before putting it in a mixer with the eggs. Once the ingredients are well-mixed, you transfer the ingredients to a piping bag and pipe them into a baking sheet. If you don’t have a piping bag, Joanne suggests using an ice-cream scooper.


During the demonstration, Joanne gave some helpful cooking tips such as measuring all needed ingredients for a recipe and storing them in Tupperware so you would have them ready beforehand when you start cooking/baking. She also suggests when baking the gougeres, to bake them ahead of time and freeze them and warm them up in the oven before the party. Furthermore, Joanne announced that she is writing a third cookbook focusing on low-sugar desserts!



After the demonstration, me and the other spectators got to taste the gougeres (they were delicious and I ate three!). She also signed her new cookbooks and took some pictures. I ecstatically told Joanne how I love Flour Bakery, her sticky buns, her appearance on Food Network, and how she cleverly uses her math degree to create a math equation for the right stickyness for a sticky bun!


Kristen Kish wins Top Chef!

I’m so happy that Kristen won Top Chef Season 10: Seattle. I was rooting for her throughout the whole season. Like many others, I was totally devastated when she was eliminated during Restaurant Wars (granted she did claim the failure was her responsibility). But I was psyched to see her totally dominate the competition on Last Chance Kitchen and gaining redemption and eventually making it to the finale of Top Chef. (Did we mention she won?!)

Also her performance both inside and outside the kitchen was noticeably commendable. In the past, what I have observed of Asian American women (the rare presence of) in Reality TV competitions is of two extremes. One extreme is they are weak and submissive to their competition and fall victim to bullying by fellow competitors and becoming defenseless or relying on others to stand up for them. (Example: Beth from last season’s Top Chef Texas and Gina Choe on America’s Next Top Model Cycle 6), emphasizing a stereotype that Asian American women are quiet and shy and do not speak out. The next extreme is they are tough loud rude mouths (Example: This season’s Josie and America’s Next Top Model’s Sheena Sakai from Cycle 11). Or they are more in the background where their accomplishments are not recognized and they work within the mastermind plan but people still wonder why they are still in the competition (Example Becky from Survivor…the season where they made a social experiment of dividing the tribes by race) .

In contrast, Kristen breaks all those stereotypical barriers with her Top Chef win. On Top Chef, Kristen clearly did not show herself to be the loud dramatic one. She came to Top Chef to win it all and focus on her food and cooking and not cause any tension. However, she does appear as likeable and friendly among competitors (Stefan constantly calls her his wifey). At the same time, Kristen clearly does not come across as a quiet weakling. Throughout the season, Kristin has cooked many delicious dishes that won her quickfire and elimination challenges. She appears determined and confident that she should and will win. However, Kristen remains humbled by her wins (I love the parts when Padma announces her name in winning the best dish and Kristin says “Are you kidding me?!) She definitely is not someone who gives up after being thrown down. She gets back up and gets stronger as shown during last chance kitchen challenges. Kristin definitely learns from her mistakes and acknowledges her strengths as seen in the finale, giving her the win.  Moreover, the judges and her competitors and the Top Chef fans respect and admire her as an accomplished chef who will go so far and has a wonderful future ahead of her.

PS. I love the fact that Top Chef did a little bio of her in the finale where Kristen explains how she was adopted when she was a baby from Korea and how her family supports her career choice to become a chef and her goal of going to Korea to get to understand her cultural heritage!

PSS. Sheldon wins Top Chef Fan Favorite!

What’s Going On?

On Top Chef, the hometown Filipino food triumphed over the modern twist of French cuisine in Restaurant wars!

But Kristen managed to gain her redemption at Last Chance Kitchen…so she will be back!


NY rep Grace Meng joins the Gun Control Task Force 

Judge Carla Wong McMillian became the first Asian American to serve on the Georgia appellate court 

Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, is interviewed by 

What’s Going On?

Eric Shinseki will remain as Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs for President Obama’s second term

On Top Chef’s restaurant wars, it’s going to be Kristen’s formal french Atelier Kinan vs Sheldon’s homey Filipino food

Big Bang Theory wins People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy!

And this happened on the Food Network!

Chef Viet Pham beats Bobby Flay in the secret ingredient, ground meat…reason Viet Pham went  the extra mile in making ground beef ice cream that tasted good…and all Bobby Flay made was burgers and meatballs.

And Hines Ward is competing on Rachael vs. Guy on the Rachael Ray Team!

Top 10 Moments of 2012

For this blog’s 100th post, I will be counting down the top 10 moments of 2012 for Asian Americans

10. US Olympic Swimmer Nathan Adrian wins Gold for his 100 m swim at London 2012 which he also won the Golden Goggles

 9. Paul Qui becomes the second Asian American to win Top Chef and wins the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest

8. Susan Choi is given the James Beard Journalism Profile Award for her article “The Spice Wizardry of Lior Lev Sercarz” published in Food and Wine Magazine 

7. Kyla Ross along with her fellow US gymnasts of the Fierce Five wins gold medal in Team Performance

6. The Mindy Project makes its debut!

5. President Obama nominates first Asian American Lesbian Federal Judge

Senate panel advances  first lesbian Asian American judge

4.  Kal Penn, co-chair of President Obama’s re-election campaign,  delivered a fired up speech at the 2012 Democratic National Convention

3. November 2012 election reigns in historic majority house representations of women and minorities for the Democratic party including 7 Asian Americans


2. Also, the 2012 election mobilized a higher voter turnout of Asian Americans than in 2008 with 73 percent of their votes to re-elect President Obama, the highest percentage ever of Asian American vote for any single candidate 

1. Hawaii elects the first Asian American woman, Mazie Hirono to the U.S Senate

two of my favorite chefs!

Great review on former Top Chef contestant, Dale Talde’s restaurant in NY, Talde

We went to Talde after spending an awesome afternoon at Buzz-A-Rama, a slot-car race track that’s been around since 1965.   The two are located about 10 minutes away from each other on the F train.

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I don’t really know the answer why. But I hope the Food Network employs more Asian Americans like Aarti and Morimoto to have a diverse representation of home cooks and chefs

The Plaid Bag Connection

A counterpart question to “Why are there so many Asian food bloggers” and “Why are so many among them women” is “why are there so many prominent Asian chefs”? Celebrity chefs like USA’s Ming Tsai and Australia’s Luke Nguyen are introducing new foods to viewers on television. In Los Angeles, innovative foodies, many of them Asian, are driving the food truck boom and the expansion of non-traditional restaurants in “the 626.”

I don’t have an answer to this question, so I’m putting it out there for you all. Why do you think there so many prominent Asian people in the culinary professions? 

This morning’s blog post on Colorlines about Asian American chefs has some ideas to get us started:

As a new generation of Asian American chefs emerge, we see the how the second generation is developing a new, personal style of Asian American food that…

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Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery – Delicious Lunches + Tasty Desserts

On Friday, I ate delicious lunch with my friend, Lesley at our favorite lunch spot, Flour Bakery and Café on Washington Street in the South End of Boston. She ordered the apple-wood smoked bacon sandwich with a freshly squeezed orange juice. I ate the breakfast egg and cheese sandwich with guacamole and no meat with a raspberry seltzer drink (It was amazing!). We both bought rice-krispy treats to go ( Flour has a way of luring you in displaying their beautiful baked goods right in front of you on the counter).

Flour bakery and café is founded by Joanne Chang. She owns two other bakeries in addition to the one on Washington street. Joanne also owns Myers-Chang Asian fusion restaurant with her husband, Chris. I came to learn of Joanne when she appeared on the Food Network (of course!) on Throwndown with Bobby Flay. She and Bobby competed on who can create the best sticky bun (Joanne totally out-witted Bobby).


Joanne is a Harvard graduate with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics. After spending years in management consulting, she decided to utilize her degree in a unique way and enter the food world and eventually open her own bakeshop and fulfill her love of baking pastries and cooking.  Joanne developed a mathematical equation to calculate the right amount of stickiness in a sticky bun. As a result, it has certainly paid off! (her sticky buns are scrumptious!). Every time I go to Flour, I try to order a sticky bun and get ecstatic when I get one (they’re always sold out by the afternoon). They are just so delightful!  If you are ever in Boston, I totally recommend going to Flour Bakery and taste Joanne’s incredible desserts. Aside from the sticky buns, I also love the apple snacking cake, the lemon ginger scones and banana bread pudding are fabulous!