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In the Kitchen


Instructions June 2006

Cakes on a Plane

Or, how to bake a four-tiered chocolate cake in one small oven, fit it into an overhead bin and then drive it over a mountain range.

Audio January 2002

Bánh Xèo

A crêpe is a crêpe is a crêpe…or is it? Listen to this sound piece and learn just what's in a name.

Video  |  June 2006

Donuts of the World

Fried dough as the universal expression of love.

Guide  |  June 2006


The transformation of fresh Copper River salmon into edible silk.

Commentary  |  May 2007

Indian Mixies

The secret to crushing cinnamon and pulverizing lemongrass.

As heard on KQED May 07

Photos  |  August 2006

Special Truffles

Sunday in the park.

Instructions  |  October 2003

Sugared Flowers

Roses are red, violets are blue,
Blossoms to taste after saying “I do.”

Journal  |  February 2001

Taming the Wild Yeast

The trials and tribulations of trapping Candida milleri.

Special Section  |  January 2008

A World of Tea

A primer on selecting, brewing and serving loose leaf teas.

Also see Nha Magazine, Jun 03

Photo Essay  | February 2001


Photo Essay  |  December 2005

Hong Kong

Photo Essay  |  May 2000


Recipe  |  February 2008

New Year Recipes

Jiao-zi and Jai.

Also see Fine Cooking Feb 09

Travel Journal & Photo Essay  |  May 2001

SE Asia & South Asia

A Harvey A. Bell Grant from the IACP allowed me to travel from Singapore to South India to research the “Tamarind Trail.”

Special Section  |  February 2009

Pickle Power

Instructions January 2004

Cà Phê Sữa Dá

a.k.a. Vietnamese Iced Coffee

Photo Essay  |  November 2007

Sikh Langar

Communal meals in Stockton, CA.

Also see Saveur Nov 07

Travel Journal  |  May 2001


Travel Journal  | May 2001


Travel Journal  |  May 2001


Travel Journal & Photo Essay  |  May 2001


Photo Essay  |  May 2001


Photo Essay  |  December 2005


Photo Essay & Recipe  |  December 2005

Lao Cooking Class

Video  |  January 2009


What’s This?

Can you guess what this handy little gadget helps you do?


On the Road




Photo Essay | May 2001

Hmong New Year Festival

BBQ and pov pob in Fresno.

Photo Essay  November 2007

Sikh Nagar Kirtan

Sharing food as community service in Yuba City.

Science  |  August 2015

Mapping the Food Universe

What is a sandwich?

Story Maps


Story Map  |  May 2015

The California Table: Hangtown Fry

      One of San Francisco's oldest and most iconic dishes is Hangtown Fry. First served at a mining camp in the Sierra Foothills, this luxurious blend of tender eggs and deep-fried oysters tells the story of the city's golden boom times.

During early shortages, as 49ers streamed into San Francisco more quickly than the frontier city could absorb, chicken eggs could sell for 50 cents each (just over $14.00 in 2014).

From the hard work of early entrepreneurs in the egg industry to the gilded tastes of lucky prospectors, read more about Hangtown Fry.

What’s New


Contact me about


Learn more about my skills and experience as a mixed-methods researcher, narrative writer, and strategist working in accessible and sustainable food systems. I’m happy to explore with you the diverse ways I can support your organization’s mission-based goals.


As a member of the artist collective Survival Project, I still have a few copies of Journey. It’s a layered story-map we printed to accompany our multi-sensory installation about life-changing journeys through difficult terrain, a project that extended our exploration of issues in our previous work, Famine.

Food & Micro-Entrepreneurship

Are you looking to launch a small business that melds your culinary passion with community-based values? Are you still procrastinating on calculating your cost of ingredients? Do P&L and Cash Flow statements blur together? Are you looking for someone to help you set deadlines and provide professional accountability? If so, I’m here to help! Please contact me to explore how I can support your dreams of self-employment in the food world.

Email Me


Pun Stuff

Designed by my BFF, Bryan Wu

More Projects

Leah’s Pantry is a wonderful organization that provides nutrition and cooking programs to underserved communities throughout California.

Asian Culinary Forum brings together a diverse community of chefs, farmers, academicians,  artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and home cooks to explore issues connected to Asian food around the world.


Check out two personal mini-projects below. The first traces the geography and history of one of San Francisco’s iconic dishes. The second one follows water in all its forms along its meandering journey to the city.

Happy Harvest Season!

As 2023 unfolds into a new year, I continue working with my nonprofit clients, including one especially close to my heart, SF-based Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center. As an instructor and coach focused at RenCenter (and an alum myself), I guide diverse micro-entrepreneurs toward completing their business plans and launching their dreams.

I also remain dedicated to consulting with organizations working to solve critical issues of food security, especially those working to ensure access to basic resources for healthful cooking and eating. As part of my community-building toolkit, I’ve been expanding my qualitative research skills, which now encompass community-led oral history, inclusive meeting facilitation, and consensus workshopping. 

Please stay in touch. Although I no longer teach cooking classes, do let me know how you’ve been keeping meals spiritually nourishing for those in your circle. Share with me your favorite simple, comforting recipes. And, as always, send any questions you have about healthful food and cooking on a budget...I’m here to help.



Story Map  |  May  2015                                Source: NASA, Earth Observatory

From Sea to Sink: The Journey of Water to SF

The movement of water from vast oceans to the faucets in our kitchens, while directed by the ingenuity of human engineering, still follows the rules of science. This series explores the different forms that H20 takes along that long and complex journey.

With every record-breaking drought, understanding the nature of water is even more critical as we envision a more sustainable future.