Ed Schoenfeld, Impresario of Chinese Cuisine, Dies at 72

Mr. Ed Schoenfeld picked up a passion for Chinese food as a young boy.

He recalled to Serious Eats in 2018 that he was approximately 11 or 12 years old when he first went to the Great Shanghai on Broadway and 102nd Street. initial spring roll It’s still fresh in my mind. More delicate and thinner than an egg roll

Ed Schoenfeld, Impresario of Chinese Cuisine, Dies at 72


Ed Schoenfeld, Impresario of Chinese Cuisine, Dies at 72

Ed Schoenfeld started a rigorous self-study programme and ate at Shun Lee Dynasty every week when he was in his teens.

He organised banquets with the top Chinese cooks in New York City while studying under Grace Chu, whose culinary classes and cookbooks introduced generations of New Yorkers to the complexities of Chinese food.

He was fortunate to have Uncle Lou, the chef of Mr. Keh’s Szechuan Taste, one of the first Szechuan eateries in New York, present to help him.

Mr. Ed Schoenfeld As a Sous Chef.

The standards and tastes I encountered gave me an unrivalled education, according to Mr. Ed Schoenfeld, who once held the position of sous chef. “Uncle Lou never gave explicit instructions on how to make a particular meal.

He chose to instead observe from a distance, as if we were both professors and students. I picked up knowledge through watching others at work and then applying what I had learnt.”

He attended New York University for a short time before leaving and taking a job as a cab driver to pay for Chinese banquets. He wrote a side piece for the Brooklyn Heights Press called “Gravy Stains” where he reviewed restaurants and food.

One night, the owner of Szechuan Taste, Mr. Keh, noticed him ordering a bowl of carps head soup. One of the first Hunan restaurants in New York was called Uncle Tai’s, and Mr. Ed Schoenfeld was hired by Mr. Keh as his assistant in 1973.

Last Words

I was a hippie, so he dressed me in the tackiest blue tuxedo, complete with a big frilly top and a bow tie, he claimed.

Before I had ever worked in a restaurant, I found myself at the entrance to what was essentially the most well-known Chinese restaurant in the nation.

Mr. Ed Schoenfeld was slain in a fight between rival factions that broke out in the restaurant’s kitchen after a two-year rollercoaster.