Neighborhood Kitchens

Neighborhood Kitchens Visits Myers + Chang and Flour Bakery

By Margarita Martinez

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Margarita with Chef Joanne Chang (Patricia Alvarado Núñez/WGBH)

I'm happy to be back for the start of a new season of Neighborhood Kitchens!

For our season premiere, we visited someone whose name many viewers will likely recognize, and for good reason—Joanne Chang, chef and owner of the four Flour Bakeries across the city and of Myers + Chang restaurant in the South End. We had been to the South End before, on our trips to Orinoco and Teranga, but felt it is never too soon for a return visit when there is so much delicious food and culture to be discovered in the neighborhood.

I first met Chef Chang at Myers + Chang, which she opened with her husband, Christopher Myers, in 2007. The restaurant serves Asian fusion dishes in what the couple describes as "a funky indie diner setting," combining Joanne's culinary expertise with Christopher's knack for hospitality and décor. Joanne told me she finds inspiration in nearby Chinatown, which boasts a collection of flavors and ingredients that are hard to find anywhere else in Boston. She is also inspired by her own past, as many of the dishes she serves are adopted from recipes her family made when she was growing up.

The first two dishes of the day were direct descendants of Chef Chang's childhood meals. Mama Chang's pork dumplings are the perfect appetizer, and are so easy to make. (Although it's much easier to just make a few, rather than the hundreds Joanne would make at a time for her mother!) And scallion pancakes, with their crispy, flaky dough and sweet and spicy soy dipping sauce, are sure to be on the menu for my next dinner gathering.

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Bakers hard at work at Flour Bakery. (Patricia Alvarado Núñez/WGBH)
A day at Myers + Chang, and walking around the South End with Joanne, would have been more than I could have asked for—but we still had to make dessert at her Flour Bakery! Chef Chang wanted to show me how to make a dessert that would nicely complement the Asian dishes from earlier in the day, and decided on a sweet and fluffy lemon and ginger mousse. She also took me on a behind-the-scenes tour of the bakery, revealing everything from her favorite spot in the kitchen to the pastry chefs hard at work on homemade pop-tarts.

After my visit with Joanne Chang, it wasn't hard to see why she is so beloved around Boston. From her cookbook, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery+Café, to her involvement in many local initiatives, Joanne's passion is evident in every aspect of her work, and I couldn't think of a more fun way to kick off our second season. Yum!


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About Neighborhood Kitchens

Building on a 35-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering — Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.

Saturdays at 4pm on WGBH 2
Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44

About the Author
Margarita Martinez Margarita Martinez
Margarita Martinez grew up in the Bronx, NY and Ossining, NY with a Puerto Rican father and a Franco-American mother. She now calls New England home. Margarita has always had an insatiable appetite for travel and food. She made her first empanada as a teenager visiting Argentina, satisfied her sweet tooth with poffertjes and stroopwafels while studying in Holland, engorged herself on Thai street food for a month in Bangkok, and continues to search for authentic international cuisines in the Northeast. Margarita loves to discover new ingredients, flavors, and cooking approaches that she can bring to her own home kitchen.

On the Go

In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods. ¡Hasta pronto!

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Find a Neigbhorhood Kitchen
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Margarita's Neighborhood Visits

»Boston: Bristol Lounge
»Boston's South End: Orinoco, Teranga and Oishii
»Boston's Back Bay: Casa Romero
»Boston's North End: Taranta
»Roxbury: Merengue
»Boston's Beacon Hill: Scampo
»All Around Boston: Mei Mei Street Kitchens
»Cambridge: Muqueca, Oleana, and Sandrine's
Somerville: Dosa Temple
»Lawrence: Cafe Azteca
»Lowell: Simply Khmer

»Fresh from the Fish Market
»Jamaica Plain: Tres Gatos
»Dorchester: Pho Le and Cafe Polonia
»Medford: Bistro 5
»Portland, ME: Emilitsa
»Newport, RI: Tallulah on Thames
»Pawtucket, RI: Rasoi


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