HomeChinese AmericanExclusive: Chef Patrick Mock chats it up with actor Will Smith
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Exclusive: Chef Patrick Mock chats it up with actor Will Smith

By Lillian Bit & Nancy Hung, AsAmNews Staff Writers

It’s not everyday you see a kind hearted Chinese chef being featured as an everyday hero by a mega superstar like Will Smith, but that’s what happened Monday.

Patrick Mock of 46 Mott Bakery appeared Monday on the Snapchat series called Will From Home, an original series during the Covid era –Will From Home brings hope, joy and good will. 

During the pandemic actors like Smith have had to find creative ways to support their careers. This is one way.

The focus of the series is to highlight uplifting and inspiring stories during the pandemic crisis. These stories stream daily and the program has 35 million subscribers. 

Mock was identified as one of these stories. A Instagram sensation named @newyorknico has 498,000 followers and nominated Mock for the program. Mock is the featured person on the season 2/episode 8 which streamed on Dec 20. 

In this episode of Will From Home, Will Smith exclaims to viewers that “Patrick Mock IS Chinatown”!  

“Chinatown was one of the hardest hit because of the pandemic and xenophobia,” Smith says. “Patrick Mock has been feeding hundreds of senior citizens, the homeless and front line workers daily since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.”

Smith presents Patrick with a $50K grant from Google as well as a one year business consulting from Google to help Patrick with his business. Unable to contain his emotions Patrick tearfully says “it was never about me, but always about bringing my community together.” 

Mock spoke exclusively to AsAmNews about his experience on Will From Home and his plans for the future to help Chinatown and to continue to feed the needy.

“I couldn’t have predicted doing what felt so right in the moment, cooking for others who need warm meals, could have taken me this far.❤️🙏🏼 Thank you so much for your generosity @willsmith, @aliciakeys, @google, @aafenyc, @PhatScoot and the #WillFromHome for this! 🔥You can check out the new episode on Snapchat! Ps: if you don’t know I will let you know that @newyorknico is the 🔌 thank you for nominating me for this 🙏#chinatownstrong #chinatownlit , Patrick wrote on social media.

During the interview, Smith presented Patrick with $10K from the Asian American For Equality organization to fund the purchase of lanterns for The Light Up Chinatown and Lantern project initiative, an idea Patrick thought of himself.

Chinatown will be lit up with lanterns from donations that go to the purchase of your personalized lanterns. These lanterns will beautify Chinatown  and Patrick’s wish is that it will bring in foot traffic and business back to Chinatown. This project was originally scheduled to begin December 21 for the Winter Solstice, but it has now been postponed until Jan 9-10 because of the snowstorm in New York City. 

Smith completed the gift giving with 8 personalized back pack coolers and a motorized scooter named the Pat scooter, Compliments of PHATSCOOT.  The gifts will help Patrick make his deliveries.

Alicia Keys was a surprise guest and sang Silent Night with Patrick thanking him for his generous charitable work.

Patrick shared stories with Asamnews about how he started his charitable project.  “This is my community that I grew up in. I’m an only child and the friends on Chinatown streets and businesses became my extended family,” he told us.

We asked Patrick how Tony the owner of 46 Mott  and his four man staff was able to commit to Patrick’s charitable idea. “Tony and the staff trusted me because we all began at Joy Luck Palace where we worked together for many years before 46 Mott.”

One day Patrick began noticing people would come in daily for Cup-A-Soup. “They asked for a hot water refill so they could use the sodium flavor packages to make more soup. I finally realized that these people were probably homeless and that’s when I decided to start a free meal initiative and the lines of senior citizens and homeless started in front of the 46 Mott growing from 100 to sometimes 600 people for many months.” The lines, as Patrick calls it, went on for many months until he decided to deliver instead so other Chinatown businesses would get a chance to have some business. 

In March a nurse needed to purchase food for nighttime hospital workers, but no businesses were opened after 7. NY Assemblywoman and friend Yu-Line Niou  approached a donor to connect with Patrick. He would end up providing these night time shift front line workers full meals for two straight months until nearby restaurants reopened in their location. 

Patrick is a man of few words but his deeds speak loudly to others who recognize his ability to help and to connect people in the community. 

“In the beginning a steady number of people of a dozen or so committed neighborhood volunteers like Patrick’s friends Grayson Chin and Dallas Short and a few notable political people like NYS Assemblywomen Yuh-Line Niou and NY District Leader Jenny Low helped out. They still  do much to support the  community of Chinatown businesses struggling to stay open with donations of time, money , sweat and effort to make meals and deliver to the needy in the community. “

Patrick envisions newer organizations like Send Chinatown Love, Welcome to Chinatown, Think Chinatown and ReThink Chinatown working together with the older established groups like Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chinatown Planning Council and BID.

Patrick has established relationships with many of these organizations and many have stepped up to the idea that this unifying effort by Patrick makes good sense.

Donations are still desperately needed because the  expenses of keeping businesses afloat re truly immense when there has been so little foot traffic this year.    

Patrick told Asamnews that the $50K grant will be used to pay back rent. 

“If we don’t do this volunteer work, the generations of a Chinatown could one day be lost -leaving  in its place gentrified neighborhoods with no sharing of Asian culture.” Even 46 Mott has an 80 year history and this location has a significant hangout culture where we share stories, meet for major events like the lunar New Year and Lion dances.” 

Please give generously to help Patrick Mock meet his community needs. 

Donations can be sent by mail to

46 Mott Street. Att:  Patrick Mock

Or by Venmo to Mott-46

If you want to donate to the lantern project. Please visit @sendchinatownlove 

AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. Check out our new Instagram account. Go to our Twitter feed and Facebook page for more content. Please consider interning, joining our staff, or making a financial contribution to support us.


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