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Asian Flavors Documentary

A co-production by the Minnesota Historical Society Press and Twin Cities Public Television’s Minnesota Productions & Partnerships (tpt MN). Winner of the 2013 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award in the Cultural Documentary category!


Inspired by the book Asian Flavors: Changing the Tastes of Minnesota since 1875 by Phyllis Louise Harris with Raghavan Iyer, this thirty minute documentary celebrates Asian immigrants who have left an indelible and flavorful mark on Minnesota's culinary, cultural, and economic history.


Culinary educator, chef, author, consultant and co-founder with Phyllis Louise Harris of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd, Raghavan Iyer narrates this documentary highlighting the exciting history and array of Asian food in Minnesota.


Profiles and interviews with chefs, restaurant owners, business owners and culinary professionals include Supenn Harrison, founder of Sawatdee; Reiko Weston of Fuji Ya; Mhonpaj Lee and her mother May Yia Lee, operators of Mhonpaj’s Garden; Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola; Thom Pham; and Harry Singh.


Food connects homes left behind with where we live today. Asian Flavors is the story of adventurous people who made the arduous journey halfway around the world to live in Minnesota, fleeing oppression and persecution or in search of jobs and education, and created new homes through food. Many cooks sought not only to make a living but also to preserve the memory of their homeland through the dishes set before family and patrons alike, to the great benefit of diners in the Twin Cities metro area.


Special thanks to:
Leeann Chin, Inc.

United Noodles


Chinese Heritage Foundation


Dennis Christian, Theo A. Park, and Sherri Gebert Fuller In Memory of Lucia Jane Wilson

David Fong’s Restaurant

Asian Foods


David and Evelyn Lee

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