I'm happy to be back for the start of a new season of Neighborhood Kitchens!
For our season premiere, we visited someone whose name many viewers will likely recognize, and for good reason—Joanne Chang, chef and owner of the four Flour Bakeries across the city and of Myers + Chang restaurant in the South End. We had been to the South End before, on our trips to Orinoco and Teranga, but felt it is never too soon for a return visit when there is so much delicious food and culture to be discovered in the neighborhood.
I first met Chef Chang at Myers + Chang, which she opened with her husband, Christopher Myers, in 2007. The restaurant serves Asian fusion dishes in what the couple describes as "a funky indie diner setting," combining Joanne's culinary expertise with Christopher's knack for hospitality and décor. Joanne told me she finds inspiration in nearby Chinatown, which boasts a collection of flavors and ingredients that are hard to find anywhere else in Boston. She is also inspired by her own past, as many of the dishes she serves are adopted from recipes her family made when she was growing up.
The first two dishes of the day were direct descendants of Chef Chang's childhood meals. Mama Chang's pork dumplings are the perfect appetizer, and are so easy to make. (Although it's much easier to just make a few, rather than the hundreds Joanne would make at a time for her mother!) And scallion pancakes, with their crispy, flaky dough and sweet and spicy soy dipping sauce, are sure to be on the menu for my next dinner gathering.
After my visit with Joanne Chang, it wasn't hard to see why she is so beloved around Boston. From her cookbook, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery+Café, to her involvement in many local initiatives, Joanne's passion is evident in every aspect of her work, and I couldn't think of a more fun way to kick off our second season. Yum!
VISIT NEIGHBORHOOD KITCHENS