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Experience the unbelievable story of Chinese American cuisine at Chow, a new interactive exhibition at the Museum of Food and Drink.
Experience the unbelievable story of Chinese American cuisine at Chow, a new interactive exhibition at the Museum of Food and Drink.
Experience the unbelievable story of Chinese American cuisine at Chow, a new interactive exhibition at the Museum of Food and Drink.
652 backers pledged $90,897 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Chow: The Making of Chinese American Cuisine

$90,897

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A thoughtful, interactive new edible exhibition from the Museum of Food and Drink. Join us as a "Wonton" supporter or higher, and see it on November 4 and 5 – before it opens to the public.

Chow will celebrate the birth and evolution of Chinese American cuisine, tracing its incredible 170-year history and sparking conversation around immigration, cultural identity, and what it means to be American. And, in signature Museum of Food and Drink style, visitors will be able to explore, taste, touch, and smell.

With your help, this will be an exciting, multisensory experience. Here's a sneak peek:

  • Wall of 50,000: A 15-foot wall of suspended Chinese takeout boxes will showcase the cuisine's widespread popularity. Each side of every box represents one of the approximately 50,000 Chinese American restaurants in the US.
  • Menu Time Travel: View hundreds of original menus dating back to the early 1900s. Trace the evolution of the cuisine over time, and view the beautiful, colorful artistry in these elaborate designs.
  • Fortune Cookie Machine: Take in the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked fortune cookies as you watch our mesmerizing Rube Goldberg-like fortune cookie machine in action. Enjoy as many freshly baked cookies as you’d like off the conveyor belt, still warm from the oven!
  • Wok Tastings: Taste for yourself the differences between Chinese American staples of yesteryear, and the present-day versions of those same dishes. You'll experience how the cuisine changed in just a few transporting bites.

We're almost at the finish line to bring this exhibition to life, thanks in large part to our stellar partner, Infiniti. We just need your help funding final production costs. We ask you – kindly, humbly, enthusiastically – to please help us raise $80,000 so we can launch Chow next month at our Brooklyn gallery. By contributing, you'll enable thousands of people, young and old, to learn about this important cultural story.

We'd love to say thanks in our own way, and backer gifts range from a Chow recipe booklet and annual museum membership to pre-opening access and a VIP Exhibition Premiere, depending on your level. At the "Egg Roll" level and up, you can see Chow before anyone else does during a private opening on November 4 and November 5. 

Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter and supporting Chow!

 

 

 Meet some of our incredible staff and advisors:

 

 

Chow Advisory Committee

  • Yong Chen: Professor, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine; author of Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America
  • Andrew Coe: Culinary historian and author of Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States
  • John Eng-Wong: Special Advisor, American Studies, Brown University
  • Madeline Hsu: Professor, Department of History; Core Faculty, Center for Asian American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
  • Heather Lee: Assistant Professor of Global China Studies, NYU Shanghai
  • Mike Lee: Food Futurist, The Future Market; born and raised in Chinese-American restaurants
  • Anne Mendelson: Culinary historian and author of Chow Chop Suey: Food and the Chinese American Journey
  • Robert Sietsema: Senior Critic, Eater.com
  • Emma Teng: T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations, MIT
  • Cedric Yeh: Associate Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of American History

 

 

MOFAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is creating the world's first large-scale museum with exhibits you can eat. Our goal is to advance public understanding of the culture, history, science, production, and commerce of food and drink.

We got our start in 2013 with the mobile exhibition, BOOM! The Puffing Gun and the Rise of Cereal, which featured live demos of a giant 1930s-era cereal puffing gun. Last year, we opened MOFAD Lab, a gallery space in Brooklyn, NY. In this space, we debuted the smell machines and tasting exhibits of Flavor: Making It and Faking It

We are passionate about food education. We've hosted kids' cooking classes, debates on tough issues such as GMOs, school groups, community discussions about food and gentrification, food science workshops, history seminars, and much more. All told, we've reached over 30,000 kids and adults with our programs and exhibits.

By backing this campaign, you help create an important educational resource, and you support MOFAD's continued growth toward opening a full-scale museum.

  

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are a team of educators, designers, builders, scientists, historians, chefs, and scholars united by a passionate belief that food deserves a world-class museum.

Team

  • Emma Boast: Program Director
  • Kate Dobday: Partnerships Manager
  • Ryan Dunn and Wyeth Hansen: Creative Direction and Design
  • Debbie Holloway: Operations Manager
  • Ebony Hurwitz: Events Manager
  • Peter Kim: Executive Director
  • Megan McGowan: Project Manager
  • Catherine Piccoli: Program Manager

Chow Advisory Committee

  • Yong Chen: Professor, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine; author of Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America
  • Andrew Coe: Culinary historian and author of Chop Suey: A Cultural History of Chinese Food in the United States
  • John Eng-Wong: Special Advisor, American Studies, Brown University
  • Madeline Hsu: Associate Professor, Center for Asian American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
  • Heather Lee: Assistant Professor of Global China Studies, NYU Shanghai
  • Anne Mendelson: Culinary historian and author of Chow Chop Suey: Food and the Chinese American Journey
  • Robert Sietsema: Senior Critic, Eater.com
  • Emma Teng: T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations, MIT
  • Cedric Yeh: Associate Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of American History

Board

  • Dave Arnold: Founder and President
  • Jenny Best: Chair, Board Development
  • Vikram Bhaskaran: Trustee
  • Michelle Curb: Chair, Development
  • Glenda Hersh: Trustee
  • Jonathan Hopkins: Trustee
  • Bill Imada: Trustee
  • Ben Leventhal: Chair, Finance
  • Patrick Martins: Trustee

MOFAD would also like to thank all of our extraordinary volunteers for their support, including Jenny Acosta, Mary Casella, Ennis Chung, Alma Igra, Sara Kay, Mookie Kideckel, Paolina Lu, Juliana Malzoni, Jeff McGuigan, Carina Moreno, Janice Moynihan, Priyanka Ramakrishna, Lizzy Saxe, Rich Shih, and Narender Strong, as well as the dozens of volunteer docents who help us run our exhibits and programs.

 

The New York Times: Museum of Food and Drink Takes a Look at Flavor

The Atlantic, Citylab: Museum of Food and Drink combines geeky food-science info with lofty social justice goals

The New Yorker: Puffed: The Magic of Cereal

The Wall Street Journal: Have Puffer Gun, Will Travel

Mashable: Inside NYC's first museum dedicated to food

Risks and challenges

We take our mission and our work very seriously. However, as with any complex project, we may hit unforeseen obstacles.

Having run one successful Kickstarter campaign already, we have our contingency plans in place. We have identified all of our vendors and will be ready to place orders once the campaign reaches its goal. However, there may be delays in fulfillment if we do not receive items on time.

While there are some things outside of our control, we will keep all of our backers updated on the project status. Thank you again for your support.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Fortune Cookie

    Receive backer updates and a digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes, curated by MOFAD.

    This gift is fully tax deductible.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
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    Estimated delivery
    109 backers
    $
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  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Wonton

    See Chow before it opens to the public in November, and join us for the exhibition's Private Opening. Your tickets can also be used for admission anytime. We'll also recognize you on the Chow donor wall.

    This gift is fully tax deductible.

    Includes:
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • Recognition on the Chow Donor Wall
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 175 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $62 or more About $62

    Egg Roll

    (We opened our first gallery space at 62 Bayard Street in Brooklyn, so this is our lucky number.)

    Become a Seed Member and receive one ticket to the Chow Private Opening, where you can see the exhibition before it opens to the public. As a member, enjoy free admission to the museum, and member access to ongoing educational programming. We'll also send you a "Food is Culture" magnet.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    This gift is fully tax deductible.

    Includes:
    • Seed Membership for one year
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • Recognition on the Chow Donor Wall
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 94 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Lo Mein

    Become a Sprout member and receive two tickets to the Chow Private Opening. Sprout members receive free admission to the museum for two people.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    This gift is fully tax deductible.

    Includes:
    • Sprout Membership for one year
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • Recognition on the Chow Donor Wall
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 146 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Moo Shu

    Become a Root Member and receive two special Chow-themed dish towels. You'll also receive four tickets to the Chow Private Opening.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $20.

    Includes:
    • Root Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • Recognition on the Chow Donor Wall
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 43 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Pupu Platter

    Become a Harvest Member and receive four special Chow-themed dish towels. You'll also receive four tickets to the Chow Private Opening. Harvest Members receive free admission to the museum for four people.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $40.

    Includes:
    • Harvest Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • Recognition on the Chow Donor Wall
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 11 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Chop Suey

    Become a Kitsune Society Member and receive special benefits, including an invitation to an annual end-of-year party.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $66.

    Includes:
    • Kitsune Society Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • Recognition on the Chow Donor Wall
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 13 backers
    $
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Four Seasons

    As a major supporter, you'll receive two tickets to the VIP Chow Exhibition Premiere. We'll also recognize you as a Bronze Patron on the Chow Donor Wall.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $166.

    Includes:
    • Bronze Patron Recognition on Chow Donor Wall
    • Ticket to VIP Chow Exhibition Premiere
    • Kitsune Society Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    $
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Happy Family

    We'll work with you to create 100 personalized fortune cookies on the Chow fortune cookie machine. In addition, we'll recognize you as a Silver Patron on the Chow Donor Wall.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $186.

    Includes:
    • Silver Patron Recognition on Chow Donor Wall
    • Custom fortune cookies made by the Chow fortune cookie machine
    • Ticket to VIP Chow Exhibition Premiere
    • Kitsune Patron Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Dragon and Phoenix

    We'll etch your name on a beautiful glass disc at the entrance to the museum, to be on display for the duration of MOFAD Lab's existence. You'll also receive Gold Patron recognition on the Chow Donor Wall.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $186.

    Includes:
    • Glass Visionaries Circle Disc at MOFAD Lab
    • Gold Patron Recognition on Chow Donor Wall
    • Custom fortune cookies made by the Chow fortune cookie machine
    • Ticket to VIP Chow Exhibition Premiere
    • Kitsune Patron Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    General Tso

    Enjoy the museum at your leisure with two hours of private access to the gallery. We'll etch your name on a beautiful ceramic disc at the entrance to the museum, to be on display for the duration of MOFAD Lab's existence. You'll also receive Platinum Patron recognition on the Chow Donor Wall.

    See a complete list of your rewards below. There is a guide to rewards and member benefits in the project description.

    The non-deductible portion of this gift is $186.

    Includes:
    • Two-hour private access to MOFAD Lab exhibition gallery
    • Ceramic Visionaries Circle Disc at MOFAD Lab
    • Platinum Patron recognition on Chow Donor Wall
    • Custom fortune cookies made by the Chow fortune cookie machine
    • Ticket to VIP Chow Exhibition Premiere
    • Kitsune Patron Membership for one year
    • Chow-themed dish towel
    • Ticket to Chow Private Opening
    • "Food is Culture" magnet
    • Exclusive backer updates
    • Digital booklet of historical Chinese American recipes
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (21 days)