DC chefs’ takeout series to benefit reporting center for hate crimes against Asian Americans

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WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Stop AAPI Hate was created in response to the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. On Tuesday, it revealed that between March 19, 2020 and February 28, 2021, the reporting center received 3,795 incidents.

Most of the respondents were verbally harassed at a business or on a public street and over 42% were Chinese. Head Chef at Moon Rabbit Kevin Tien realizes this is only a fraction of what Asian Americans are facing every day in the U.S.

“The Asian community is one that doesn’t speak up too often, but as a person of the younger generation and seeing these violent attacks happen to our elders — even to young kids and babies — it’s completely unacceptable,” he said. “Everyone has a voice, and they need to use it to speak up. And as chefs, and as a collective of chefs here in D.C., we’re doing what we do best and it’s cook.”

Starting this April, Tien and over 40 other chefs in the D.C. area will cook up Sunday meals for takeout from Moon Rabbit. Each Sunday, five chefs will each donate a meal for the orders and almost all of the proceeds from the $150 tab will be donated to Stop AAPI Hate.

“Everybody’s introduction into somebody’s else’s culture is mostly through food and so if that is the way that we can effect change and bring awareness… that was an easy decision to make,” said Tim Ma, chef and co-founder of Lucky Danger in D.C.

Ma says the rise in crimes hit close to home because “that blurry video” could’ve included his mom, dad, uncle, or aunt. “My restaurant’s maybe five blocks from the Capitol so the insurrection day… there was a lot of chaos in D.C.,” he said. “So I was getting texts from my mom, like, ‘Shut everything down get out of the city,’ and, ‘If you run into somebody don’t fight. Run.'”

Tien is hoping to expand into other cities outside of D.C.

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