Detroit chef Jon Kung’s debut cookbook, Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third-Culture Kitchen, contains a very special surprise in the opening acknowledgements: Kung’s marriage proposal to Jonathon Campbell, their partner of nine years.
The line reads, “To Jonathon, would you perhaps consider marrying me?” The moment Campbell first read these words was captured in a TikTok uploaded earlier this week.
“Shut up!” Campbell exclaims in the video, leaping from his seat. “Yes! Are you kidding me? Oh my God!”
Kung presents Campbell with a ring — a white gold and blue diamond eternity band from Los Angeles-based jeweler Kyle Chan Design. In the months leading up to this moment, Kung didn’t have much trouble keeping the proposal a secret, they tell Hour Detroit.
“The people [who] worked on the book didn’t have everyday contact with him,” Kung says. “If anything, I was most worried about some of my neighbors who knew, but they did good keeping quiet.”
@jonkungIt’s my pub day and so to celebrate I thought I’d share with you the most important moment of my life so far that I’ve written into the book. Thank you all for helping make this all possible. I’ll meet some of you while on this tour but my gratitude extends to every one of you. Much love, – jon♬ original sound – Jonathan Kung
Kung had been playing with the idea of proposing by book for nearly two years. They finally pulled the trigger on it in March when the publisher’s deadline to submit acknowledgements came. In the video’s caption, Kung describes the proposal as “the most important moment of my life so far that I’ve written into the book.”
Almost a decade ago, the couple had their first date at Craft Work, a bar and eatery in Detroit’s West Village that has since closed. The couple tentatively plans to get married sometime in 2025.
Kung is currently on tour promoting Kung Food, which debuted Tuesday. They were in the middle of two promotional shoots in New York when Hour Detroit reached them.
“I’m absolutely stunned by the reception and am so excited to meet more people at every event, but man it is a lot,” Kung says. “I don’t think I’ve been this tired after a full day since I worked on a line. Absolutely worth it though.”
The tour includes stops in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago. It also includes four metro Detroit stops:
- Nov. 16 at Ash Bar in Detroit
- Dec. 4 at Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor
- Dec. 5 at Miss Kim in Ann Arbor
- Dec. 6 at Source Booksellers in Detroit
Kung rose to prominence for their cooking videos on TikTok, where they have amassed 1.7 million followers. In Detroit, they used to host pop-ups at their Eastern Market studio and were a cook at restaurants Gold Cash Gold and Standby.