‘Family Style’ is the cooking show you need in your life right now
Craving something delicious and different? Then be sure to tune in when Family Style, a foodie-friendly web series featuring Asian cuisine begins season 2 on September 8, 2020. Family Style features celebrities, including actor Daniel Dae Kim and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu, and explores the history and the cultural impact of Asian food, from night markets to how food is shared on social media.
Family Style season 1 premiered May 13, 2020 on the Stage 13 website, YouTube, & Facebook Watch. Each episode centered around a cuisine or type of food, such as noodles or sweets, or the “Foodie Fam” partaking in cooking lessons or games.
Family Style is a twelve-episode unscripted series from production company YOMYOMF, founded by director Justin Lin, and content studio Stage 13. Executive producer Philip W. Chung said viewers connect with the series because its celebrity guests & hosts – the “Foodie Fam,” made up of eight friends, including actors Sujata Day & Anthony Ma – bring diverse perspectives to a traditional food show.
Season 2 stew
Family Style season 2 will feature sit down interviews with celebrity guests such as The Good Doctor star Daniel Dae Kim, Fresh off the Boat actor Hudson Yang, and Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu.
One Family Style interview with Bruce Lee’s daughter, producer Shannon Lee, reveals that her famous father didn’t like to eat spicy food because it made him sweat too much. Director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond) recounts growing up in Southern California working in his parents’ fish & chip shop.
Also, DC Arrowverse heroes Osric Chau (Crisis on Infinite Earths) and Chantal Thuy (Black Lightning) talk about their journeys into vegetarianism & veganism over some drool-worthy meals at vegan Vietnamese restaurant Âu Lạc in Los Angeles.
“I haven’t seen something like this where it feels like you’re hanging out with Asian Americans, & Asians from all different backgrounds and sharing your own knowledge and experience of food together, and that was something we wanted to capture especially with different points of view in the community,” Chung remarked.
Food & family
Day, one of the hosts, said that similar to Chung, she was drawn to Family Style’s premise of bringing together people who shared a common interest. The “Foodie Fam”, she added, felt like a real family, even though she’d only met one of the other hosts, Ma, before.
“None of us are professional cooks in the food industry and we all just love food, and I think that’s a great way for audience members to get into the show and say ‘They’re just like us!’ since we’re all learning together,” Day said about Family Style. “We’re regular people who love food and love spreading that love to one another.”
Ma admitted that one of the highlights of Family Style was sharing the screen with his mother, where the two visit the 626 Night Market in Arcadia, California. “It’s cool to see the passing from one generation and how it affects the next generation and you see that with me and my mom,” he said.
Real Asian fusion
It’s also one of several food-related shows announced recently to be hosted by or featuring Asian and Asian-American chefs & celebrities. Kogi founder Roy Choi’s series Broken Bread is scheduled to premiere this month, and Hulu also announced in May that Chrissy Teigen and Momofuku mogul David Chang will also co-host a food-centric show for their platform.
The uptick in shows like Family Style is a contrast to recent stories about non-Asian chefs trying to redefine Asian cuisine, including Gordon Ramsay’s Lucky Cat restaurant and the New York City-based Lucky Lee’s, which marketed itself as producing “healthified” Chinese-American food.
Chung, the Family Style executive producer, believes the series will not only entertain audiences, but also educate. “For someone like me who is Asian American and who describes myself as somewhat of a foodie, I try to learn as much about food as possible, and it’s amazing how much I learned from this show that I thought I knew and didn’t really,” he said.
“I want people to see how food and eating is what connects families in Asian cultures,” Chung related. “In a lot of cultures, saying, ‘Have you eaten?’ is almost like saying, ‘I love you.’ And so much revolves around family & food, and we wanted to capture the importance of that.”