Chef, author, and TV personality Eddie Huang has closed his NYC restaurant Baohaus, the establishment that launched his career as a chef and established him as an influential media personality amplifying Asian-American representation.
Huang made the announcement on his Instagram account writing that he tried to keep the restaurant, located at 238 East 14th Street, between Third and Second Avenues, open as long he could. “I opened this restaurant to tell my family’s story through food at a time when no one was giving Asian-Americans a chance in tv, film, books, or media generally,” Huang writes on Instagram. “I told people not to call me a chef because I knew this was just the jump-off and it doesn’t stop with its closing.”
Baohaus originally opened on the Lower East Side in 2009 serving its signature pillowy baos with pork belly and fried chicken, along with other Taiwanese fare like lu rou fan. Huang closed that location two years later, shortly after debuting the larger East Village establishment that closed this week. He subsequently opened a Los Angeles outpost, which has since closed, as well.
Huang’s small restaurant helped lay the cultural and culinary groundwork for an ambitious class of modern Taiwanese spots in New York, a group of popular venues that would include 886, Win Son, Ho Foods, and others. While those venues went on to eclipse Baohaus in their influence and recognition, Huang’s initial success propelled him to host shows on the Cooking Channel and Vice, which in turn led to the publication of his memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, chronicling his life as an attorney, and his subsequent rise to culinary stardom.
The memoir spawned a successful TV show by the same name on ABC — the first season of which Huang narrated — starring Randall Park and Constance Wu, which concluded after six seasons earlier this year.
Huang is currently at work directing the movie Boogie, which he also wrote, about a young New York City-based Chinese-American basketball player’s rise to prominence.