Born In: Washington, D.C., United States
Eddie Huang is an American chef, restaurateur, culinary TV show host, and author. He was born to Chinese–Taiwanese immigrant parents in Washington, D.C. Though he started his career as an attorney at a law firm and also worked as a designer for a while, he later decided to follow in his father’s footsteps to start a restaurant. Eddie’s first eatery was a bun shop, BaoHaus, in Manhattan. Another restaurant he owned, Xiao Ye, was later closed down due to a controversy. His first autobiography, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, was turned into a popular TV series named Fresh Off the Boat by ABC. Eddie has hosted various culinary and lifestyle shows, such as Cheap Bites, Unique Eats, Huang's World, and Snack Off. He is all set to release the movie Boogie, which has been written and directed by him.
Also Known As: Edwyn Charles Huang
father: Louis Huang
mother: Jessica Huang
siblings: Emery Huang, Evan Huang
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Chinese Australian
Notable Alumni: University Of Pittsburgh Rollins College, Yeshiva University
education: Yeshiva University, University Of Pittsburgh Rollins College
Eddie Huang was born Edwyn Charles Huang, on March 1, 1982, in Washington, D.C., United States of America, to Louis and Jessica Huang. Eddie’s Chinese name is “Chungi Yi Ming Huang.”
Eddie was the eldest of the three children of his parents. He grew up with his younger brothers, Emery and Evan Huang.
Eddie’s parents were “waishengren” (Chinese immigrants) in Taiwan and later moved to the U.S. His father was originally from Hunan, and his mother belonged to Shandong, Mainland China.
Eddie grew up mostly in Washington, DC; northern Virginia; and Silver Spring, Maryland. The family eventually moved to Orlando, Florida, where Eddie’s father launched a number of steak and seafood restaurants.
The family’s restaurants included the Cattleman's Ranch Steakhouse and the Atlantic Bay Seafood and Grill.
Eddie developed an interest in hip-hop music at an early age. He was also arrested twice on charges of assault.
He attended the Orlando-based Dr. Phillips High School. Following this, he joined the University of Pittsburgh and then Rollins College in 2001. In 2004, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English and film from Rollins College.
He earned the Zora Neale Hurston Award and the Barbara Lawrence Alfond English Award in school. He also served as the “Sports and Humor” editor for the school paper, titled The Sandspur.
In 2005, he joined the Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law. He obtained a J.D. degree from the college in 2008. At Cardozo, he was associated with the Innocence Project. He also worked as the president of the Minority Law Students Association and as the vice-president of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.
In 2006, Eddie earned a New York City Bar Association Minority Fellowship.
Eddie Huang began his career as an attorney, working at the New York-based law firm Chadbourne & Parke. He was initially a summer associate (in 2006 and 2007) and then joined the corporate law division of the firm as an associate in 2008.
However, owing to the financial crisis of 2007–2008, he was laid off. Following this, he worked as a marijuana dealer and a stand-up comic for a few days.
In 2006, Eddie launched a streetwear brand called Hoodman Clothing (initially named Bergdorf Hoodman). He ran the company till 2009. While working there, he co-designed clothes with art director and graphic designer Ning Juang, whom he had met in Taiwan.
Eddie had developed an interest cooking in his early years, while watching cooks prepare various dishes in his father's restaurants. He had also learned how to be an efficient expeditor and restaurant manager.
He thus launched a Taiwanese “Gua-Bao” (bun) eatery named BaoHaus in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in December 2009.
In July 2011, he relocated to East Village and modified his menu, adding a lot of new items. The same year, Chow.com placed him on the “Chow 13,” an annual list of significant people in the food industry.
He had another restaurant, named Xiao Ye, which was closed down after it received negative reviews and stirred up controversy for selling Four Loko. A New York Times reviewer named Sam Sifton gave the restaurant zero stars out of four.
Eddie Huang is also known for his blog, Fresh Off the Boat. In 2013, his autobiography, Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir, was published and became a bestseller. In 2016, he released his second memoir, Double Cup Love: On the Trail of Family, Food, and Broken Hearts in China.
In 2011, Eddie appeared as a host on the Cooking Channel show Cheap Bites. He was also seen in a few episodes of Unique Eats before he quit the Cooking Channel for Viceland.
With Viceland, he initially appeared as a host on a recurring segment, titled Fresh Off the Boat. It was later made into a one-hour travel show named Huang's World. Eddie was also seen in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's show The Layover.
In 2014, Eddie began hosting the MTV show Snack Off. He was seen mentoring contestants who participated in cooking challenges on the show.
The same year, ABC launched a series named Fresh Off the Boat, based on Eddie’s bestselling memoir. It featured Hudson Yang (as Eddie), Randall Park, Constance Wu. Two preview episodes of the show premiered on February 4, 2015. On February 10, 2015, the show debuted on the prime-time slot.
However, Eddie Huang believes the show had deviated a lot from his memoir and once claimed he did not watch the show. The show was canceled after its sixth season. However, it gained fame for being the first show in over 2 decades to have a full Asian–American cast.
In August 2019, tabloids reported that Eddie would write and direct a movie named Boogie. It would narrate the tale of a budding Chinese–American basketball player in New York City. The film, starring Taylor Takahashi, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., and Pamelyn Chee, among others, has already been shot but is still in its post-production stage.
Eddie Huang initially dated an American woman named Dena. He wished to propose to Dena while on a trip to China to explore fusion food. However, when Eddie called up Dena’s father to seek his approval for the proposal. Dena’s father apparently made some racially insensitive remarks. Though Eddie proposed to Dena later, their relationship ended within 18 months.
In 2017, Eddie revealed that he had been sexually assaulted by a chaperone while on a church ski tour at the age of 14. Eddie had told a few close friends about this incident many years later. However, he mustered up the courage to go public only after 2 decades, following Harvey Weinstein’s case.
Eddie also faced domestic violence as a child. He once revealed that his brother and parents were almost taken away because of this issue.
He is a huge fan of hip-hop and basketball.
In 2012, Eddie Huang was made a 2013 TED Fellow. However, his TED fellowship was later revoked, as he had not attended all the TED events.
In May 2015, he made some controversial comments on Real Time with Bill Maher. He apparently said that Asian men were “emasculated” in America and were “treated like Black women." He also had a bitter exchange of words with @BlackGirlDanger on Twitter.
Eddie once reportedly planned to arrange an “all you can drink” Four Loko event at his restaurant Xiao Ye. Four Loko is a strong malt beverage that is banned in the U.S. for its high caffeine content. Apparently, several people have died in the past after consuming the drink.
Following a huge uproar against the event, Eddie was forced to cancel it. The Liquor Authority raided the restaurant four times, eventually disposing of all the Four Loko stocks. His restaurant was also fined. Eventually, Eddie and his partner closed the restaurant amidst fears that they would their liquor license.
In 2016, while in to Italy to film Huang's World, Eddie got involved in an argument with members of a racist right-wing group, Forza Nuova. Apparently, the group became angry after Eddie shared some Sicilian recipes with North African ingredients. After a fight, Eddie and his crew were sent to jail. The U.S. Embassy later stepped in to release them.
In 2012, the late Anthony Bourdain praised Eddie Huang and his food blog.
Eddie once joined hands with MSG-manufacturing company Ajinomoto to dispel rumors about the ingredient being harmful. He also posted two Instagram videos, addressing the misconceptions surrounding MSG.