20 Questions With Jackrabbit Filly’s Corrie and Shuai Wang
In the Resy Questionnaire, we play a game of 20 questions with the industry folks behind some of our favorite restaurants. What’s your most memorable restaurant experience? Your favorite food movie? What restaurant would you want to time-travel for?
In this edition, we spoke to Corrie and Shuai Wang, the owners and executive chef of Jackrabbit Filly, a Park Circle gem that presents the couple’s very playful and extremely flavorful vision of Chinese American food.
The Resy Questionnaire
1. Favorite thing you’ve ever cooked?
Shuai: A cumin lamb calzone for a pop-up we did with the La Morra Pizzeria kids when they still lived in Charleston. It was a perfect dish of braised cumin lamb and fresh ricotta, stuffed in a calzone with a spicy, fresh, lemon-y herb salad on top.
2. Kitchen tool or equipment you couldn’t live without?
Shuai: My mini offset spatula.
3. What pantry items would you bring on a desert island?
Shuai: Duke’s mayo, furikake, Lao Gan Ma chili crisp, and Spice Lab taco seasoning.
Corrie: I’d add to the basket my Bragg liquid aminos.
4. What’s your favorite place to get fried seafood in Charleston?
Both: We love Bowens Island. Everything is always so fresh and you literally cannot beat that view. It’s the best place to spend sunset in Charleston.
5. Favorite cookbook?
Shuai: That’s a really hard question. How about top three? State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook by Stuart Brioza, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South by Vivian Howard, and An Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking by Chang and Kutscher.
6. Your drink of choice?
Corrie: I’ll take a good Americano any day — the espresso or alcoholic kind.
Shuai: The vanilla matcha latte from Lodi Coffee in Charleston.
7. Favorite food movie?
Corrie: It’s not a movie, but we’ve been obsessed with the Food Wars! anime. It’s about a brilliant young chef who goes to a school for brilliant young chefs, and when anyone cooks something delicious, the taster’s clothes fly off. The consideration and research the writers do for what the kids make is incredible.
Shuai: And the over the top food orgasms are hilarious.
8. Your ideal dinner party guest, dead or alive?
Shuai: Anthony Bourdain, honestly. He has so many good stories and life experiences.
Corrie: It could be fun to throw Julia Child into that mix. That would be a crazy party.
9. What restaurant industry person do you admire the most and why?
Corrie: Meherwan Irani up in Asheville and Atlanta. He’s built an empire out of taking care of his people and giving them opportunities to grow, all while staying down to earth and real. Plus everything he cooks is delicious.
Shuai: He’s also paving the way for a new South.
10. The greatest restaurant experience of your life so far?
Corrie: For our one year of dating anniversary, back when we lived in New York, Shuai took me to the Nomad Hotel. He knew the somm. They sent us a seafood tower along with wine, beer, and alcohol pairings with every course. The seafood tower was one of the most incredible things I’ve eaten — still in this life — along with the deconstructed roast chicken. I hadn’t eaten anything all day, saving room in anticipation, and it was so much alcohol that I threw up most of what we ate on the cab ride home. The chicken was just as delicious the second time around. I’m not sure Shuai has the same answer for this one.
Shuai: Ew. I’d probably pick the meal we ate on the street in Hong Kong. We turned down this little alley and there was a restaurant set up along the curb. We ate on tiny stools at pop up tables in the middle of the street. It just goes to show you that when food is that good, it doesn’t matter how you cook it or where you serve it.
11. Your greatest professional achievement?
Shuai: Opening Jackrabbit Filly and employing all the people that we do is a career dream for me. I’m also still amazed that people come back to us again and again to eat our food.
Corrie: I’m too much of a perfectionist, and maybe pessimist, to think I’ve done anything yet. But I did publish two novels while we were running a food truck. I’m still not sure how I did that.
12. What single dish best describes your personality?
Corrie: Pass. This one’s too hard.
Shuai: I’m telling you: Blooming Onion. Lots of layers and everyone likes them.
Corrie: And when you get me raw, I make people cry.
Shuai: For me, it’s the Dungeness crab fried rice from Lake Pavilion in Queens. It’s comforting and takes a lot of work to really appreciate it.
13. If you could go back in time, which restaurant would you dine at?
Shuai: 1898, The Paris Ritz. It’s where Escoffier first invented the French line.
Corrie: I’d eat a meal on the Titanic. The first cruise ship! The captain’s dinner must have been so awesome.
14. Your favorite meal from childhood?
Corrie: It’s my mom’s meatloaf with mashed potatoes.
Shuai: My mom’s curried beef and peas with freshly made roti. She also made this braised beef with potato and carrots. It wasn’t quite beef stew, it was sweeter and different, and I’ve never had it anywhere else.
Corrie: Did I mention my mom also made a mean hot dog casserole?
15. Your wish for the restaurant industry?
Shuai: That people take care of themselves better. At the end of the day, it’s just food.
Corrie: That people stop looking at it as an “in between profession” you do while you figure out what else you’d like to do with your life. Also, that we could find a way to financially and physically make that possible for both the employee and employer. We’re working on it.
16. What do you wish you did better? What do you do well?
Corrie: I wish I managed stress and anxiety levels better. I’m great at awkward small talk and I also don’t give up easily.
Shuai: I’m working on trying not to control everything. Not everything will always be exactly how I want it, but that’s okay. I think I’m pretty creative.
17. If you could eat through a city for a day, where would you go?
Corrie: Portland, Oregon or anywhere in Italy. We’ve never been and I love fresh pasta.
Shuai: Somewhere in Mexico. I love tacos.
18. The one thing you can’t resist splurging on when you go out?
Both: We cook at home a lot and eat lots of restaurant leftovers (gotta save money to build restaurant no. 2), so anytime we dine out feels like a splurge. But when we do, we splurge on quantity and usually order enough food for a family of four.
19. What do you value most in restaurants?