“In an episode of the new season of “Huang’s World,” the culinary travel series from Vice, the chef and author Eddie Huang returns to his home town of Orlando, Florida, to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family. For lunch one day, Huang and his father, Louis, eat at a Hooters situated at the site of Louis’s former steakhouse, Cattleman’s Ranch—one of a number of successful restaurants the elder Huang started after immigrating to the United States from Taiwan, in the late nineteen-seventies.
Father and son order a spread that says just as much about the influence of immigrants in the United States as their conversation eventually does: buffalo shrimp, the requisite chicken wings, and a General Tso-flavored basket of chicken strips served with a side of blue-cheese dressing.
They chat about assimilation and the differences between their generations. Where Louis Huang found success by catering to the tastes of white tourists in Orlando, Eddie is a hip-hop-obsessed sneakerhead who quit being an attorney in order to open a Taiwanese gua-bao restaurant and who, lately, has fashioned himself into an ambassador for Asian-American culture at large.
“I envy you,” Louis says. “Your courage — you’re attached to your roots. I really respect that.” He points out that Eddie, having been born in the United States, feels entitled to a version of freedom that he, as an immigrant, may not have sensed he deserved…”