What started in 2005 with a question by Dave Arnold, then a food writer and inventor, would lead to the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever by a museum. Arnold had always wondered why there wasn’t “a Smithsnonian-scale museum of food and drink.” His Kickstarter raised more than $100,000 from 830 backers and the project, drawing interest from some of the most prominent restaurateurs and chefs across New York City.
Wylie Dufresne, a local chef and proponent of the molecular gastronomy movement, Christine Tosi, the owner of Milk Bar, David Chang, restaurateur, TV personality and founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, and many more esteemed members of the New York City restaurant community offered their support. The MOFAD started in 2014 as a mobile museum and has since found a 5,000-square-foot brick-and-mortar home on 62 Bayard Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Known for its creative food-centric exhibitions that connect culture and cuisine, MOFAD delivers an interactive and educational experience “with exhibits you can taste, touch, and smell.” This Friday through Sunday, the curators have chosen Chinese-American culture as its focal point. The exhibit Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant celebrates the rich history of Chinese American restaurants. MOFAD breaks down their tumultuous history and discusses topics like cultural identity, immigration, and the racism and exclusionary laws Chinese Americans faced before creating one of America’s most prized cuisines.
These tastings were created by the country’s most talented chefs specializing in Chinese American cuisine. Past months include tastings like Five Pepper Kung Pao CHicken by Chef Irene Li of Mei Mei Restaurant, Snow Pea Leaves with Shrimp by Chef Tomas Chen of Tuome, and Seared Beef with Oyster Sauce by Chef Paul Donnelly of Chinese Tuxedo.
Attendees can choose general admission ($14 for adults) or special admission ($25) for a dim sum spread at MOFAD’s culinary studio, which includes dessert, the monthly tasting and unlimited fortune cookies. To purchase tickets for this Friday, Saturday or Sunday, visit the MOFAD website here.