Like all good millennials, Eddie Huang is a slashie with a lot of strings to his bow. Unlike all good millennials, he was born in 1982. Since then, he has had plenty of different identities as his official VICELAND bio suggests: “Eddie Huang went to law school, got hired, got fired, told jokes, sold weed, did molly, opened a restaurant, wrote a New York Times bestseller, and now he’s here.” If you’re exhausted just reading that, rest your weary eyes on these highlights (and then catch Huang's World from March 26 on SBS Viceland.)
Before he went to law school...
Eddie was born to Taiwanese immigrants who moved to Orlando, Florida where they ran steakhouse and seafood restaurants. Meanwhile, Eddie grew up loving hip-hop, getting into fights and being arrested a couple of times. NBD.
After he went to law school...
Having decided to operate on the other side of the law, Eddie worked as a corporate lawyer for a company in New York until he was given the sack during the GFC in 2008. After assessing his options, he decided there was more opportunity in the exciting worlds of stand-up comedy and marijuana dealing.
Designing clothes and opening restaurants
While he was working as a lawyer and/or dealer, Eddie was also running a streetwear company called Hoodman Clothing alongside Taiwanese graphic designer Ning Juang. But then, having grown up watching his mum cook and his dad run eateries, he decided to follow suit. BaoHaus opened its Manhattan doors in 2009, and is still going strong. Xiao Ye was less successful, getting slammed in the press.
Casually writing a New York Times bestseller
One of those press slams basically said Eddie should put as much attention into his food as he did his social media presence. In response, he turned a series of blog posts about growing up as the child of immigrants into Fresh off the Boat: A Memoir which, as the crosshead there suggests, did quite well.
Casually turning that New York Times bestseller into a TV show (then quitting)
US channel ABC optioned the book and turned it into a sitcom of the same name. Eddie was originally heavily involved, but snapped at some point when he felt like the production team were whitewashing his story and straying from what made it important and interesting. You’ll note, by now, that Eddie isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Conquering the world and naming it after himself
Finally, Eddie has landed at VICELAND, where he makes Huang’s World, a globetrotting series about forming authentic connections and exploring cultural issues through dining. “Food is the vehicle,” he says, and when Eddie’s at the wheel it’s a stretch hummer with bulletproof glass and Four Loko on tap.