SPOTLIGHT: EDDIE HUANG
This week we'd like to show some love for a man whose been making waves in all areas of the culture for the last 10 years. To put it simply, Eddie Huang is a figure that we truly respect here at Strictly Collective due to his passion and foresight for change in the world . This proud son of two Taiwanese immigrants is a highly accomplished chef, restaurateur, author, food personality, TV Host and attorney. Having so many strings to his bow makes him an asset to our world and a potential voice that our generation should be recognising. Huang's experience across so many avenues in life make him a well rounded individual who can speak from learnt knowledge and experience. Eddie has worked corners pushing 'backyard boogie' while in same week worked suits in an office setting to hit deadlines and KPI's. His ideas, thoughts and commentary on culture are relevant and clear as he attempts to open those closed minds of the thousands of people that continue to amount in this ever growing mind controlled world.
Eddie's early days were spent working in the Law. A job that he himself hated, but one that built a platform for his future career. His experiences as a immigrant growing up in America pushed him towards working for the wrongly accused criminals at a Small Legal Aid clinic. His passion for protecting minorities was a product of the treatment he had received over the many years of growing up in the cultural melting pot that is, America. Throughout his book of memoirs, 'Fresh Off the Boat', he documents endless stories of racism and discrimination that shaped his upbringing. First and foremost, Eddie was was bought up to be tough and proud of his culture by his truly charismatic father , Louis Huang. These experiences shaped who he became- a proud and honest individual with love for all people but particularly his own. His views on race and culture are thoughtful, poignant and incredibly relevant as we try to navigate through this political climate and Trump era.
Born in 82', Eddie is a direct product of Hip-Hop Culture and probably one of the truest fans there is. It still amazes me the amount of knowledge this man has about everything rap orientated. He talks endlessly, throughout his memoirs, about the impact of rap music on his life and describes it as the 'voice of young minorities' in America. The likes of PAC, Mobb Deep, Dre, BIG and Snoop all feature prominently in his stories and the way he examines the world. These voices were his mechanism to understanding what was going on around him has a young Taiwanese youth in Orlando. Eddie looked to these figures as people who were experiencing similar forms of treatment and drew his inner spirit from them. Later on down the track it would be Killla Cam and the Dipset movement that would well and truly take control of him and influence his next avenue in life. Between 2006 and 2009, Eddie decided to pursue a life long dream and build his own clothing label.
Hoodman, although never breaking through into mainstream fashion, was an iconic label. Their niche runs of tees were 'must-haves' for streetwear hype collectors as they rebranded and reinterpreted the ideas from different walks of culture. They famously designed the 'Chicago- Barrack Obama Tee' in 2008 that sold endlessly throughout the states with the rise of political change. The tee was purchased by thousands of highly influential black artists who saw the importance of what Barrack would eventually bring. Eddie being the brains of this still today deserves more credit for again having the foresight and presence of mind to take his creative avenue and use it for positive change. Hoodman was never about the money for Eddie and eventually dissolved years later as demands of independently running a business became too much. His complete and utter hatred for streetwear hype beast and hipsters also had a lot to do with this.
It was this move away from Streetwear which shaped the rest of his life. In 2009, Eddie opened his now famous Lower East Side restaurant, BaoHaus, with nothing but a dollar and a dream. Huang, went against his whole families judgement opening his Traditional Taiwanese Bun Shop with his brother. Sales were slow to begin, but eventually things took off as his food was the medicine that New Yorkers needed. His cooking style and food were all thanks to his Mother and Father who'd paved the way for Eddie as a youth. Their intricate knowledge of texture and balance in food influenced Eddie and gave him the understanding of how to create a perfect Taiwanese dish. The infamous Bao was Eddies mash up of a traditional Taiwanese staple and the American styled 'burger-fast foot' concept. The rest was history..
His understanding of Food and the chemistry behind cooking is on another level. This inevitably lead him down the path towards VICE who gave him his own show on their newly formed channel VICELAND. 'Huang's World' is an explorational show that examines the ways that food and its traditions shape culture and history. The show is gripping viewing as Eddie unpacks the countries and locations he visits through the meals and personalities that he meets. Eddie approaches each episode open minded and honestly attempts to understand what it is that makes people in different parts of the world act and function so differently.
Eddie speaks from the heart intelligently but is still able to channel it through to 90's kids who were raised on Gritty Shaolin break beats and Keith Murray sermons. He's inspirational in the way that he engages with people and never falters in what he believes in. He stands firm and represents his beliefs, which is something I truly admire. Huge shouts to the Gawd, Number ☝🏼 Aka: Human Panda. IBS gang Represent!