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Shopvro Coronavirus: Chinatown Tales [Part 3: Aux Epices]


On March 15, 2020, I interviewed Mei Chau, chef/proprietor of Aux Epices, a Malaysian-French restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Since January, she mentioned, enterprise had considerably declined as information started to unfold of a widening pandemic. Throughout her, eating places have been both closing or slicing again hours, however Mei remained optimistic and deliberate to stay open. Then got here an sudden blow: only a few hours after our interview Mayor deBlasio introduced the shutdown of all New York Metropolis eating places, apart from takeout. Mei had no selection however to shut down. Our interview was now outdated. Every week later videographer Dan Ahn and I returned for a second interview. We discovered her upbeat temper dramatically modified. Sitting within the now empty eating room at Aux Epices, Mei spoke movingly about her tough and saddening determination to shut and her uncertainty, shifting ahead, about the way forward for her enterprise.

Our heartfelt because of Mei Chau, not just for granting us a second interview, however for talking with such honesty and candor at this difficult time.

Deep gratitude to videographer Dan Ahn who has been a rare collaborator. I additionally wish to thank Andrea DiNoto for her invaluable assist.

Mei began a gofundme marketing campaign for her six workers. In case you can, please take into account making a contribution. All proceeds will go to the employees, from servers and cooks to dishwashers, in an effort to assist them by means of these onerous instances. Each little bit helps.

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