Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo

Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo

by (Author)

Well guys, here it is—my story. A funny, sad, at times pathetic but also kick-ass tale of how a half-Filipino, half-white kid whose mom thought (and still thinks) his career goal was to become a clown became a success. Not an overnight success, because that would have made for a really short read, but an All-American success who could give my immigrant mom the kind of life she hoped for when she came to this country, and my son the kind of life I wished I’d had as a kid. With all the details of what it felt like to get the doors closed in my face, to grind it out on the road with my arsenal of dick jokes, and how my career finally took off once I embraced the craziness of my family, which I always thought was uniquely Filipino but turns out is as universal as it gets.

In this book, I’ll take you behind the mic, behind the curtain—OK, way behind it. From growing up with a mom who made me dance like Michael Jackson at the Knights of Columbus, to some real dark stuff, the stuff we don’t talk about often enough as immigrants. Mental health, poverty, drinking. And show you the path to my American Dream. Which was paved with a lot of failure, department store raffle tickets to win free color televisions, bad jokes, old VHS tapes, a motorcycle my mom probably still hates, the only college final I aced (wasn’t math), and getting my first laugh on stage. There’s photo evidence of it all here, too.

In this book, I get serious about my funny. And I want to make you laugh a little while I do it. I’m like Hawaii’s favorite lunch—the mixed plate. Little bit of this, a little bit of that. My book Mixed Plate is too. 

Mixed Plate illuminates the burning drive and unique humor that make Jo Koy one of today’s most successful comedians. 

Illustrated with 25-35 personal photos.

Mixed Plate: Chronicles of an All-American Combo is a poignant and hilarious memoir by renowned chef Grace Young, exploring her unique heritage and the challenges of growing up as a Chinese American in the 1960s and 1970s. With vivid storytelling and heartwarming anecdotes, Young takes readers on a culinary and cultural journey, weaving together the flavors of her childhood with the threads of her family's history and the complexities of her bicultural upbringing.

As a child of Chinese immigrants in 1960s San Francisco, Young navigated two distinct worlds – the traditional Chinese culture at home and the bustling American life outside. She recounts her experiences with humor and candor, from her struggles with learning English to her adventures in the kitchen, where she discovered her passion for cooking and the power of food to bridge cultural divides.

Young vividly portrays the challenges her family faced as they strove to maintain their cultural identity while assimilating into American society. She explores the generational conflicts, the clash between tradition and modernity, and the search for belonging in a world where they often felt like outsiders.

Through her culinary adventures, Young also delves into the rich history of Chinese American cuisine, showcasing the unique blend of flavors and techniques that have shaped the American culinary landscape. From her grandmother's traditional Chinese dishes to her own innovative creations, she celebrates the diversity and resilience of her heritage.

Mixed Plate is more than just a memoir; it is an ode to the immigrant experience, a celebration of cultural diversity, and a testament to the power of food to connect people across boundaries. With grace, humor, and a deep appreciation for her roots, Grace Young invites readers to savor the flavors of her childhood and reflect on the complexities of identity, family, and the enduring legacy of cultural heritage.


320 pages
March 23, 2021