Better Meets Leaner

Ty Ahmad-Taylor invited me to present Better Chinese Food in the context of the lean startup movement at his latest conference on digital product development. My talk, “Optimizing for Better Chinese Food in Prospect Heights Using Lean Techniques,” was in Ignite format: 20 slides that advance automatically after 15 seconds, for a total of five minutes.

The slides have no bullet points, so they may be hard to decipher without a soundtrack; I will post the video when it becomes available. For now, know that the fellow in the center of slide 16 is Jonathan Wu, a Per Se veteran whose better Chinese food draws on his own family’s cooking. Not long after I posted the petition, Wayne Surber of Lonestar Taco introduced me to Jonathan, who invited me over for a tasting. The first course was a savory île flottante with leaves from a toon tree that his grandmother planted in Yonkers. We ate the toon cloud with a sparkling rosé, a heavenly start to a transcendent meal.

On his way to opening a restaurant, Jonathan has held pop-up meals in Fort Greene and Williamsburg. Perhaps one day he will bring his fava tofu (slide 17) to Prospect Heights.


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