Archive for the 'Punk Rock Gourmet' Category

Critical Max and the Radio


May 10th, 2012

ampersThings are reaching a critical mass this week. In fact, it is so damn exciting that I am having a lupus flare-up. Spent most of today asleep. Just taking it all in. This has been the most incredible ride of my life. It’s very up and down right now. The big work/shifts are happening now! I vacillate between being overwhelmed by the impossible and being inspired by the impossible. It feels like I’m pushing a giant boulder up a mountain. But I am continually lifted up by all the beautiful people out there. THANK YOU!! I just got an email from another store. There are some people out there that are trying to help me! It’s crazy. I just keep hearing from stores saying that their customers are demanding my product! I can’t express to you how grateful I am for your help. It really keeps me going. I was so ready to give up today. On a lot of days. But that really keeps me going. Much gratitude!!!  You are making a difference to me.  And I am so thankful.

This picture is from a radio profile they did on me for 10,000 Fresh Voices (a program on KFAI).  Check it out HERE.

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I’m Bad, I’m Nationwide


May 9th, 2012

live live
Woah, Nelly! Things are blowing up these days. And it’s not just me. My boyfriend, Tom, sent me back this picture from LIVE LIVE AND ORGANIC. He was in town twice a couple weeks ago. Once to do sound for TBT at Webster Hall. And once for their surprise appearance on LETTERMAN! They did so awesome! So anyway, Tom checked on my stores while he was there. Things are going really well at Live Live and at One Lucky Duck! Cheeses have been selling so well at the One Lucky Duck Chelsea Market location that they are going to start stocking them at Gramercy Park too! And that’s not all!

rainbow
In my last post, I wrote about MY FIRST ORDER FOR RAINBOW GROCERY in San Francisco. This is a picture that was posted by ECOVEGANGAL (who just unveiled her new, improved site today!). OMG…Did those go over well! They got a nod in the SF WEEKLY and in VEGANSAURUS! Apparently, renowned author and cheese expert (not vegan!), GORDON EDGAR, was singing their praises. And since he’s not exactly vegan, people perked up!

sold out
I mean really perked up! They sold out in a few days. This picture was sent to me by my friend Jonathan. Crazy, right?

waiting
It gets crazier! I sent them another order last week. And apparently, 80% of that order (50% larger than the first order) was pre-sold via a waiting list! And the rest of it sold out in a couple days. So now they’re still on a waiting list! (Thanks to Gordon for snapping this pic for me. He likes to be called Gordon Zola…pretty funny for a cheese guy).

vegan essentials
The same thing has been happening over at VEGAN ESSENTIALS. They can’t keep stuff in stock either. And I’ve been adding new stores! Next order is going out to FOOD FIGHT! in Portland!

Needless to say, things are a little crazy! I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed. And I’m plotting my next moves….

new shop
…which speaking of, did I mention that we got our own shop?!! I just got the keys two days ago. Definitely overwhelmed!! But check out the video I made for PRL TV! It’s a TOUR of our new space! Crazy, huh?

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Akin’s and Chamberlin’s


April 8th, 2012

akin's logo
I am on a roll! It’s so funny. You struggle and struggle for so long. Feeling like nothing is happening. And then one day, there’s a drop that makes the bucket overflow. I don’t feel like things have changed that much. Day to day, it’s the same old slog. But all of a sudden, the impact of everything starts to change. What a beautiful thing!

This week’s new development…I got an email from Akin’s! AKIN’S is a natural food store that I shopped at when I was in Oklahoma. In fact, it’s where I did most of my shopping when I was in CULINARY SCHOOL. I got an email from someone on the new products committee! They want to review my product for consideration!

chamberlin's
This is really exciting! Not only is Akin’s a store that I shop at. It’s a chain of 14 stores. There are 8 stores in Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri, and Kansas. And they have a sister chain, Chamberlin’s, which is located throughout Florida. How cool is that?

store5
Looks like they’ve been around a while too. So this seems like a pretty promising development.

store 6
So…if you shop at any of these stores and are interested in getting your hands on some NUT MILK CHEESES, make a request!

http://blog.punkrawklabs.net/pics/2012/apr/akins/store10.gif
It very likely will have a big impact right about now!

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Good News…I’m FIRED!


March 27th, 2012

cheeses
More exciting developments! The other day I was doing an interview with a local radio station (coming very soon!!), and the question arose. What would you call yourself? Chef/Owner/Cheesemaker?

donaldI don’t remember exactly what I said. Something like Chef/Cheesemaker/Record Flipper/Former Shipping Specialist. I used to be a shipping specialist, but I fired myself. She thought that was so funny!  I guess it was kind of funny.  But I wasn’t kidding!  I really did fire myself.  Long story short…I ran a limited offer of my cheeses on my website.  And things quickly got out of control!  There were so many orders!  And shipping refrigerated items is well, kinda complicated.  I decided that I am ultimately better at making cheese than I am at shipping cheese.  So I got the axe.

vegan essentials
The good news is that VEGAN ESSENTIALS PICKED THEM UP! What’s more? They are great at shipping! So if you were mad at me for firing myself, mosey on over and say hello! I’m sure they’ll be glad to see you. :)

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New Punk Rawkers


March 9th, 2012

cheeses
Well, things have been blowing up out here in the northland. I have been completely overwhelmed with cheese orders. It’s kind of mind blowing, really. Orders from all over the country. Alaska even. It is way more than I ever could have dreamed. So I’ve been scrambling to figure out how to best accomodate. The winter offering of CHEESES ON MY WEBSITE has ended. Last year, this ended without much fanfare. Not this year! We’ve definitely exceeded our capacity for handling of orders.

vegan essentials
The good news is that VEGAN ESSENTIALS is going to start carrying them on their site soon! You should see them there in the next couple weeks.

julie
We have some new cheesemakers too! This is Julie. She helped me way back when I had to teach INTRO TO RAW FOOD on crutches. Julie also works in the bulk section at our local coop. So she’s pretty acclimated to our local food scene. Plus, she used to own HYMIE’S RECORD STORE. How much more qualified could she be?

dan
Our other new cheesemaker is Dan. Dan was part of the team that opened ECOPOLITAN (Minneapolis’ only raw food restaurant). He’s worked at most of the veg friendly restaurants around here. And I had been unwittingly following his food around town. Now he is putting some of that love into our cheese. Yay!

More updates soon…Lots of developments on the way!

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VegNews VegPicks


February 14th, 2012

cover
More good news! This week, I’ve gotten an insane influx of orders. At first, I thought it was just because of my KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN. But then someone mentioned to me in an email that she had heard about me from an article in VEG NEWS. So it looks like this little snowball is gaining some momentum…(page 79!)

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FUNDING SUCCESSFUL! A Xanadu Moment


February 12th, 2012

From my KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN blog:

Hello out there!

Well, if you haven’t gotten the memo yet, our fundraising campaign was successful thanks to all of you! This has been a truly INCREDIBLE EXPERIENCE. There are no words to express how grateful I am for this chance.

yoga
I am getting a fresh start for my 40th year with my hand and my heart on the horizon.

Just wanted to recognize a few folks before I leave you with the first of your thank you gifts. Thank you, RUSSELL JAMES! For those who don’t know, Russell has been hailed as the UK’s leading raw food chef by THE TIMES. He was also one of my instructors in culinary school. Russell is an amazing talent and someone who I’ve looked up to for a long time. So as you might imagine, it’s been a great honor to be the recipient of a couple of his ‘sonic booms’ during this campaign.

I would also like to thank Zachary Vex (maker of of the world’s most amazing guitar pedals, Z VEX PEDALS). Z Vex is one of Minneapolis’ most esteemed entrepreneurs. He turned a creative idea into a wildly successful business venture while maintaining the highest standards of quality. I hope to learn from his example.

Thank you to my dear friend from childhood and beyond Jue (Jooyee) Chung. So happy the internet can now connect people who are on opposite sides of the globe!

And thank you to Logan Erickson, a connoisseur of music and technology, AND the guy who took this campaign over the goal! Thanks, Logan!

Thank you to my friends at Too Hot Too Stop. These ladies are an amazing bunch and I learn from them every day. ESPECIALLY during this campaign! Thank you TINA PRUITT (the Healthy LIfestylist), Lorri Kovitz, GRACE QUANTOCK, and Michalene Casey, DEBBIE YOUNG, Elle Blythe and everyone there). These ladies are all true survivors with their own amazing stories!

Thank you to my amazing family for seeing me through this ordeal! And thank you to my boyfriend, Tom! Thank you for supporting me when I needed a little extra help. And thank you for being a genius who inspires me every day.

out westOK. Now for a thank you gift. Starting with some music! This is a digital download of a not yet released track. It’s a cover of a Tom Waits song, GOIN’ OUT WEST. This was recorded right around the time that I started to lose my eighteen month mono infection. I had tried everything I could think of to shake it. And it became clear that I needed to make a big change. So I went out west to stay with some friends for a month or so. And I think it was the time off that finally allowed me to get ahead of it. So I was feeling pretty liberated at the time. (The picture was taken in my friend Erin’s basement which seemed significant as he was officially the final supporter of this campaign…getting in seconds before the end!)

Tomorrow, I will start sending out surveys regarding the individual packages for donors and when to expect them. Be on the lookout. :)

THANKS AGAIN TO EVERYONE! This campaign has done so much for me. Before this happened, I had taken some hard knocks from some people with bad intentions. Not only has this provided me a chance to rise above that. It has also shown me the best side of human nature and restored my faith in humanity. A priceless asset! Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!

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Pumped Up Kicks


February 2nd, 2012

mpls tvHey, look at that! MPLS TV just wrote us up in the first installment of their new series, PUMPED UP KICKS! I love this piece. :) I was wondering how they would have heard of me. Just because I didn’t think I was really on their radar. But then, I noticed this picture on their site….
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Fighting The Good Fight


January 25th, 2012

fight
Well, I’ve reached a critical part of my journey. I’m about to break through into the land of the living. To functional from dysfunctional. And I’ve been working long and hard at it. This last part is one of the toughest. Lots of baggage to let go of…physical and otherwise. I am fighting the good fight! There are starting to be some glimmers of hope. Miraculous ones.

My cheeses are now being offered in the juice bar at PURE FOOD AND WINE. It’s amazing! Who would have ever thought it would happen? The OTHER STORE in NYC that is carrying my cheese called me to tell me that customers were complaining that they were out of stock. Word is getting out! I am struggling to keep up with demand. Things are starting to shift. Big time. It’s exciting. And nerve wracking. It seems the only thing holding me back at this moment is the money issue. This has always been the hardest piece for me to let go of. Being Asian.

The universe wouldn’t lead me all this way just to fail at the end. I need to keep the faith! Keep pushing ahead. And trust. I can do this!

kickstart campaign
Two weeks left on my KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN. I can definitely use some help getting the word out! Thanks!

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I Heart Yoko


January 14th, 2012

wayne megaphone
Happy New Year! This post is a little delayed. Forgive me. For I have been BUSY. But I had to take a moment to absorb this because it was so inspiring to me on so many levels. How did I ring in 2012? I spent it watching THE PLASTIC ONO BAND and the FLAMING LIPS in Oklahoma City. (Thus, the visit to my ALMA MATER).

yoko ono band
The show did not disappoint. It was so thrilling. I really struggled to be there (due to my MYSTERIOUS LUPUS-LIKE AILMENT). But I fought for it and one (this was a typo which I decided to leave as is). They really went all out. The lights and the balloons were incredible. No expense was spared. It was absolutely breathtaking. Yoko is an artist of the highest caliber. She is amazing. I can’t say enough nice things about her. She is such a rare gem. Intelligent, fierce, intuitive, compassionate, and actualized. Most people go through life living from the outside in. Only very rarely do you encounter a person who is truly actualized. From the inside out. Like Yoko. She is a woman who was so far ahead of her time that a lot of people still don’t get it.

ballons
The show opened with Yoko singing, ‘It happened at a time in our life when I least expected…’ followed by the most gut-wrenching, raw, painful wail you have ever heard. It was abrasive. And it came out of nowhere. And just blew you away. So much pain. Transformed into art. Truly incredible.

yoko sean nels
The band was super tight. But also loose. In the best possible way. One of my favorite moments was watching Nels and Yoko going off on each other. Nels also plays in the band, Wilco. But he’s really versatile. My boyfriend has toured with him a couple times. So I’ve heard a lot of his more experimental stuff. And I’ve seen him play quite a few times. He can be pretty out there. The first time I saw him play, I was bowled over by this bizarre sound. I couldn’t figure out what it was. It was out of this world. So I started looking closer at what was going on. And I noticed that Nels was literally playing his guitar with a springed coil. Instead of a pic. The guy can get wacky! But Nels with Yoko is a very interesting combination. Yoko introduced this crazy noise jam by saying, ‘This is a song that I first played with John. And then Sean. And now Nels…It’s about my childhood or something.’ (Who knew that Yoko has such a dry sense of humor. I am particularly fascinated by this because my mother is Japanese. About the same age as Yoko. And I had always assumed it was because of the language barrier that she didn’t have a sense of humor. It’s not that she doesn’t have one exactly. But something like this would definitely fly under her radar. That is making a connection to another culture that is very unusual for a foreigner). She then proceeded to rock this jam with Nels.




She almost sounds like a guitar. She’s just fully out there. No holds barred. And Nels gets in there and juices it up. It’s unbelievable. She just has no fear. She’s just out there. No safety net. No predictable structure. She’s so fearless that it’s beautifully poetic. Not in a contrived way. But just real. And raw. And present. And truly her own. I feel like this was the reason I needed to be there. I needed to see this. And I needed to draw inspiration from it. This is supposed to be my mantra for 2012. ‘No fear’. It’s like when a person gets sick, they inevitably encounter all kinds of overwhelming situations where they don’t measure up. And I think that in response, a person naturally develops a sense of fear. Of being in situations where they will be overwhelmed. And this is protective and helpful to a point. But in order to rejoin the world of the living, you reach a point where you have to release that fear. I am at that point now. And I think this is why I needed to see Yoko. And why she resonated with me so much.

glasses
The show was hard for me. Mostly the crowd. It was a very packed room. And I often felt overwhelmed. Like the air was too thin. And I might pass out. And I kept going to the back of the venue. To get more air. But I wasn’t leaving. No matter what.

The Lips set was also amazing. Wayne came out in his bubble again. My boyfriend shot this FOOTAGE OF HIM (For some reason, this drat computer won’t let me embed this video. So you have to click to it. Definitely worth it). Truly surreal. The amazing light show and the bubble plus the lips. It was like being in an alternate universe. It was so great that we went two nights in a row. I paid for it though. I spent the entire next day with my head in a garbage bag. But hey! That’s the price you pay sometimes.

moi
This is 2012. No more living in the protective bubble of being sick. It’s time to pop the bubble and get out there and rock. Just like Wayne. And Yoko. I am going to live my life on my terms. And that’s all there is to it. If I allow myself to live in fear of my illness, I will be defined by it. I don’t want that. I am the definer here! And guess what? No illness is going to hold this girl back. Watch out world. Because HERE I COME! Thanks for the inspiration Yoko!

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