Asian in America

Asian in America is an award-nominated symbolic exhibition and dining experience that explores the complex narrative of the Asian American identity through food & drink, virtual reality, spoken word and poetry. Over the span of 2.5 hours, guests are taken on a multi-sensory journey of the Asian American identity, exploring topics from cultural hierarchies in the food system, the lack of the individualism granted to minorities, the Model Minority myth and the internalization of the “white savior” complex.


Asian in America originally began as a 3-course "meal" of short personal essays published in Goldthread and quickly developed into a 6-course & 3-cocktail dining experience with alternating presentations of poetry and virtual reality. Each course's interplay of carefully chosen ingredients, plating and visual/written art serve as prompts for guests to discuss and connect via themes relating to home, belonging and identity. The VR component of immersive graphics and spoken word adds another dimension to the storytelling of each topic, while also providing the important service of leveling extrovert and introvert energies in the room so every guest can interact with the art as both a solo observer (in-headset) and a group participant (in conversation).

The experience officially debuted in August 2018 and has been traveling across the United States, taking on different forms from museum exhibitions and public cultural programming to private dinners.


1. Substitutions

2. "You Make Asian Food, Right?"

3. Stereotypes

4. Model Minority

5. Saviors

6. Fancy Because It's French

Bonus: Dog Food Is A Necessity?


1. Eggs & Bananas

2. Skewer

3. Revisionist History


 Asian in America

Asian in America officially debuted in August 2018 at the Museum of Food & Drink (NYC) and has since been touring across the U.S. as a dining experience and a pop-up museum exhibition

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In lieu of in-person events, our new digital program Cook the Menu: Asian in America is a virtual cook-along and discussion series we've launched as part of our 2020 crowdfunding campaign. This series kicks off December 12, 2020 and will conclude on February 14, 2021 just after Lunar New Year!


This digital series consists of 8 sessions where guests recreate all 6 food courses & 3 cocktails from Asian in America at home, while learning about the symbolism & thought process behind each dish & cocktail. There will also be a lively discussion about the main topic per course, from the model minority myth to the white male savior complex. All guests will receive digital poetry placards for the courses, and can opt into renting a VR headset for the full visual experience. Sign up below!


Upcoming Dates for In-Person Events

Our in-person events are on hold due to public safety measures around COVID-19. Join us digitally for Cook the Menu: Asian in America by signing up for one of the above events!

Past Dates


1/23: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)

3/11: Culinary Institute of America (Napa Valley, CA)


2/23: Museum of Chinese in America (NYC, NY)

4/6: St. Francis Women's Film Festival (NYC, NY)

4/19 & 20: Museum of Chinese in America (NYC, NY)

5/3 & 4: LA Asian Pacific Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA)

6/29: James Beard House (NYC, NY) featuring special floral series "Our Roots" from Carmen & Co.

8/7 - 8/11: USC Pacific Asia Museum (Los Angeles, CA) featuring Asian in America as an all-day museum exhibition

11/14: Hawai'i International Film Festival (Honolulu, HI)


8/15: Museum of Food & Drink (NYC, NY)

9/12: Photoville, United Photo Industries (NYC, NY)

9/14: Yellow Summit (Minneapolis, MN)

10/3 & 4: Future of Storytelling Summit (NYC, NY)

11/8: Culinary Institute of America Copia (Napa Valley, CA)

12/7: Museum of Chinese in America (NYC, NY)


Asian in America

We're always looking for more support to bring Asian in America's cultural programming to as many cities as possible, especially in areas without a significant Asian American population. We believe the best road to understanding begins with empathy and mutual shared experiences, and Asian in America aims to forge genuine connection over curated food & drink alongside a meaningful interactive art experience that offers both time for quiet introspection and group discussion.

If you're interested in sponsoring Asian in America via a monetary, in-kind or venue donation, please get in touch with by clicking below or emailing us at - we would love to tell you more about what we have planned.

Select Press

"This is a tasting menu as intellectual exercise."

"...challenge[s] diners to either reflect on their own experiences or empathize with others’."

"It was refreshing to see that Asian in America didn’t use technology frivolously"

Forbes logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page

"...the kind of modern fine dining meal that immerses you in itself..."

2019 Featured Participant James Beard House logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page
2019 Hawaii International Film Festival Official Selection logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page
LA Weekly logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page

"Asian in America dinner experience is poetry in motion"

2018 Finalist

Bridging the Divide Award

Edible Brooklyn logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page

 "...obliterates the notion of polite dinner chatter."

"...each course served with a meaningful story or title"

2019 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Official Selection logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page
2019 St. Francis College Women’s Film Festival Official Selection logo for Studio ATAO Asian in America press page

Interested in writing about us? Please contact us at to set up a time for an interview. 

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Site Credits

Photography: Stacey Salter Moore, Briana Balducci, Joseph Magnelli, David Chow, BK Narayanan, David Nguyen

Videography: Federica Nanfeng, Sarah M. Park

© 2020 by Studio ATAO, Inc. A 501(c)3 nonprofit.