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Launching a Platform to Support the AAPI Community

Photo credit: Vina Sananikone


When chefs Kevin Tien and Tim Ma decided to launch Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, establishing an online presence was integral to bringing the idea to life. Creating what has grown into a network of more than 40 chefs in cities across the US, Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate offers weekly dinners in which chefs come together to create unique flat-priced, five-course takeaway meals. The ticket price of every meal supports their larger mission — since launch, they’ve donated funds from their sales to local and national organizations that are directly addressing recent and historic violence against the AAPI community.

Tien talked with Squarespace about how Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate came to life — and how it continues to grow, providing critical support and visibility to the AAPI community.

Squarespace: You launched Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate in response to recent events. What factors enabled you to make your idea a reality with such speed?

KT: As chefs, we reached out to our chef community here in DC and other cities. We all have such a close knit group that all we needed was a verbal commitment from everyone to help the cause. Cooking is the easy part for all of us, and we went with a to-go format because it is what we are all used to due to the pandemic, and we found this to be an easier option for everyone.  There was not any time to waste as the increase in violence was increasing weekly and we wanted to do what we could, as quickly as we could.  

SQSP: What were some of the challenges you faced in getting your idea off the ground, and how did you problem-solve?

KT: Our biggest challenge was expanding and just having enough hands. But once we created a website and added a contact page for volunteers, so many people reached out to us to help in any way possible. It is because of the volunteers that this has been as successful as it is.

SQSP: You’ve built a network of more than 40 chefs to support your mission. How are you assessing your impact?

KT: At the moment, the biggest impact we can make is the constant awareness and conversation about what is happening to the AAPI community. It is about educating and coming together to have the intent to create an impact. We are donating the proceeds to national and local organizations who can make the direct impact and we are here to support in the best way we can, and that is through food.

SQSP: What role is your website playing in your work?

KT: Our website is a central source of information, from chef partners, to links that lead out to order in each city, along with a page with resources and links to other organizations that help the AAPI community.

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SQSP: What advice do you have for other organizers who are moving quickly to launch their ideas online?

KT: The only advice I have is to just act on your idea. Action needs to happen now, and to think about the intention and impact.  

SQSP: How do you see your platform and goals evolving over time?

KT: As our platform grows nationally, we want to build a community of connected chefs and partner with organizations that are on the education and advocacy end. We have a team of amazing leaders in different industries who are all a part of contributing to how we can grow as an organization and set our goals to make long lasting permanent change. 


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