With the brains of a former lawyer, the charm of a TV personality, and the ability to make mouth-watering pork belly buns, Eddie Huang defines fobby hotness. The 30-year-old Taiwanese American recently began hosting the show, “Cheap Bites,” on the Cooking Channel, which aired January 1. The show features cheap but high quality dining places around the U.S.
So why the career move from attorney to chef? Huang says he used to get very upset when, as a kid, his classmates criticized his meal box as stinky and filthy. I can totally relate—I was also made fun of in school as a kid when I brought spring rolls and Vietnamese fish sauce to school for lunch (I bet they’d be jealous now!). But to prove this stereotype wrong, Huang decided to move into the restaurant industry and open his own place.
Huang began pursuing his passion for the food business by opening a Taiwanese restaurant called Xiao Ye. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed down, but Huang wasted no time and began his next venture. He opened up Baohaus, a tiny shop in the Lower East Side of NYC famous for its pork-belly buns. I was fortunate to stumble upon Huang’s shop a few years ago when it first opened, and for a guy who has no formal culinary background, Huang’s pork-belly buns left me craving more fatty goodness.
Huang has risen in popularity and was named in Zagat Survey in May 2011 as one of 30 up-and-coming chefs under the age of 30. He stays in touch with his fans by tweeting and keeping a personal blog titled, “Fresh off the Boat.”
Hmm…with my J.D. and similar love for food, I wonder if I can convince him to let me be his co-host for the show?