Alum honors Bourdain, donates to suicide prevention

  • June 14, 2018
  • By WashU Olin Business School
  • 2 minute read

Jason Wang, BSBA ’09, recalls the day at Washington University when his father texted him a photo of “a tall, old white dude” dining at the family’s New York City restaurant.

It was the day Anthony Bourdain, with film crew in tow, really put Xi’an Famous Foods on the map. That was in 2008. A decade later, Wang paid tribute to the chef and television host, on the day of Bourdain’s suicide.

On Friday, Wang, CEO of his family’s growing food empire, committed 100 percent of the day’s net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, raising $73,509.76.

On Monday, he thanked patrons and restaurant staffers in an Instagram post for their heartfelt support: “We were able to serve almost double the amount of dishes as usual during dinner on Friday 6/8/18, with some stores selling out of items towards the end of the night,” wrote the 2016 recipient of the Olin Emerging Leader award. “Thank you for helping us with this tribute to our friend.”

The Huffington Post has the full story here. You can find The Wall Street Journal feature about Bourdain and Xi’an Famous Foods here. At the time of the WSJ feature, Wang had just opened the chain’s 10th store. It’s since expanded to include nine active stores in Manhattan, two in Queens, and one in Brooklyn. Wang is regularly involved in Olin’s New York alumni network, participates in the NY Trek with students, and is part of the WashU Asian Alumni Network.

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