What Makes Take Out With Lisa Ling So Unique

If you think you're tasting authentic Chinese food by ordering General Tsou's Chicken, think again. Or just ask Lisa Ling. Indeed, Ling has been setting stories straight ever since her early days at Channel One News (which she joined at age 18). Throughout her career, Ling has continued to search for and uncover the truth. She's worked as a wartime correspondent for CNN and led discussions as a co-host of "The View" (per Britannica). Now Ling is ready to share even more stories as the presenter of the docuseries "Take Out with Lisa Ling," where the journalist explores Asian American history and culture by way of food.

According to CNN, Ling grew up around food in her grandparents' Chinese restaurant in Sacramento, California. Although her grandparents were well-educated and overqualified, going into the food service industry was their only option at that time in the U.S. In a recent appearance on "The View," Ling said she was embarrassed by the Asian cuisine that her family prepared and had never eaten classic Asian American dishes like egg foo young and chop suey until she started filming "Take Out."

In her new show, Ling attempts to rectify the lacking knowledge about not only Asian food but also the history and contributions that Asian immigrants and their descendants have made to American communities across the nation (via People). It is a show that uses cuisine as a bridge that connects and educates viewers on the greater challenges faced by the Asian community historically and up to the present day.

What sets Take Out apart from other food shows

"Take Out with Lisa Ling" isn't just another food show. It's a six-episode docuseries highlighting Asian culture and heritage through food (per Bon App├ętit). Ling focuses on Asian cuisine across America while tying in a much-needed lesson on the history and culture of a beloved but overlooked community. The food looks decadent, but the history is so much richer.

Ling explores the culinary contributions of Asian communities in California, Louisiana, Virginia, and New York. She explains how these communities have used their cuisine to integrate into American culture while at the same time, making their own distinct mark. For example, while enjoying a seafood boil with Filipino Americans, Ling also educates her viewers on the crucial role Asian immigrants played in developing the shrimping industry in Louisiana.

As presenter, Ling is learning along with her viewers. In one episode, she visits a restaurant in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, a community created after the release of Japanese Americans from prison camps, that today serves Asian food as unique as the community's little-known history (per The Rafu Shimpo). "There is no better way to get to know and appreciate a culture than through food, so I hope you'll find our show to be as fun, illuminating, and delicious as we do," said Ling.

"Take Out with Lisa Ling" can be viewed on HBO Max starting January 27, 2022.