May is Asian American Pacific Islander month, or AAPI for short, a time to celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States and their contributions to the history of this country. By recognizing the culture, history, and achievements of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, we can broaden the understanding of their countries and cultures, as well as enhance the appreciation for all that they have given to make this country great.
As is the case with many commemorative months, AAPI originated with Congress. In 1978, Congress passed, and President Jimmy Carter signed into law, a joint resolution declaring a week in May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” This was later expanded to a month, and in 1992, May was designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.
At The Madison Senior Living Kansas City, MO, we will be celebrating by honoring the territories of Guam and Easter Island and the countries of Japan and India.
The dishes I am making are: Chamorro ribs from Guam; sushi, pineapple napa slaw with rice vinaigrette, wasabi paste and soy from Japan; green curry chicken wings, yellow curry fish cakes and meatballs with a curried coconut sauce from India; and tuna empanadas, creamy avocado sauce, and carrot rice from Easter Island.
The choice for Guam was a decision based on a place I would like to visit. It is isolated, yet dependent on the resources of the island with limited import. I chose Japan because of its culture, familiarity of cuisine, and the use of fresh, local, and sustainable food sources. India is full of culture, complicated, yet allowing me to use the flavor profiles at different levels. The use of different curries and spices is exciting. Easter Island has caught my attention for a bucket list. The access to fresh seafood and local markets makes it a chef's wish list.
As a culinary director, I feel we should celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. I believe that the AAPI is a source of freshness and a resource of fresh ideas. It is rich in culture, yet not overstated nor over utilized in the Midwest. There is a great opportunity to introduce this style of fresh, home-felt food. The culture of each area is different; however, the foods are true, fresh, and have a rich tradition.
We are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate these countries, their contributions, and their foods this month! And we would be even more honored if you would join us. Give us a call to learn more about how you can get a seat at the table this month!