DC-Area Chefs Unite to Fight Racism Against Asian American Community

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Chefs in the D.C. area have united to help stop the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

Kevin Tien of Moon Rabbit, a nationally acclaimed restaurant at the Wharf in Southwest D.C., found himself unable to look away from the rise of hate crimes against Asian Americans, some of them elderly, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The outrage led to an ambitious project: a weekly series of takeout dinners by some of the D.C. area’s top chefs.

Most of the profits will go to a group called Stop Asian American and Pacific Islander Hate, which tracks crimes and supports victims. 

“Bring aid and to let everyone know to not be scared to use your voice; to stand up for your fellow neighbors, your fellow citizens, your fellow humans," Tien said.

The mission found an early ally in Kyley McGeeney, a Silver Spring, Maryland, woman who developed a knack for bringing food trucks and restaurants to her Woodmore neighborhood during the pandemic shutdowns.

She was dismayed by news stories of break-ins and damage to Asian-owned businesses — mostly restaurants — in the D.C. area.

“And what I’m trying to do this season is use the platform for different causes, charitable causes, etc., and I’ve been reading so much about Asian violence and hate toward the [Asian American and Pacific Islander] community and I just realized that’s the cause I want to shed some light on and be able to do some good,” McGeeney said.

So far, 45 D.C.-area chefs have signed on to make special creations for the weekly dinners, which begin March 25.

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