Empire Taste Club -
About Empire Taste Club -
Empire Taste Club is a dining event hosted by Eric Lapkin and Amanda Leung. Please see our website for more info and past events- www.empiretasteclub.com
Empire Taste Club is about celebrating our childhood, life and travel experiences. We want to share with you the same hearty tomato soup made by Eric’s mother when he was a little kid. We want you to taste the same incredible seafood dinner while Amanda sailed in between the islands of Halong Bay, Vietnam. We want you to enjoy a meal inspired by the osechi dinner from Eric’s New Year’s celebration with his Japanese in-laws. We want to recreate the same BBQ lunch that Amanda had on after a strenuous scuba diving afternoon on a caye in Belize.
We genuinely love eating and want to share our favorite foods and culinary memories with all of you. Bring yourself and your best stories, we will provide the good food and great company.
Eric has been cooking delicious food around the world since 1992. In fact, the addictive brunch (specifically the beef chili special with broken egg, scallion, roasted corn, cheddar and sour cream) that he fired up at Jeffery’s Groceries had prompted Amanda to introduce herself. They have become best food companions ever since.
He was born and raised in Northern Westchester, New York. He grew up with a Jewish grandmother and a father who taught him all about lamb shanks, fois gras, pate and oysters. His two half-Japanese daughters are little foodies who continue to serve as his main inspiration.
He had worked as a chef at the famed Lutèce in New York City, Rubicon in San Francisco, Hawaii, Mexico and China. He was named by Condé Nast as one of the top 10 chefs while at Hotel Maroma in Riviera Maya, Mexico, at age of 26. He had previously worked with chefs Andre Saltner, Alain Ducasse, Mario Batali and Todd English, and cooked privately for Carl Ikahn, Ted Sorenson, Chris Blackwell and Stone Gossard.
During China’s Cultural Revolution, the Leung family in Foshan, Guangdong had lost much of its fortune to the communists, but Grandpa always ensured that Amanda’s father and the other 10 siblings to eat well no matter how poor they would become. After her parents fled to Hong Kong in the 1970s, the tradition of eating good food carried on. Family and friend gatherings only involved the most elaborate feasts with the freshest ingredients and finest home cooking while growing up in Hong Kong and the San Francisco Bay Area. Food has always brought us closer.
Amanda currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she spends the majority of her income on eating, drinking and ridiculous rent. After seven years, she is still in love with New York as she continues to discover the best food and surprises in the most hidden and diverse corners of the city.
She also works as an architectural designer, draws illustration and takes pictures. She had traveled extensively to Asia, Central/South America, Europe and a bit of Africa.