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December, 2011

  1. Ready Set Go with Rice Paper Scissors

    December 27, 2011 by The E.A.T. Team

    Last week I had the honor of photographing (and eating with!) San Francisco’s first Vietnamese Pop-Up Cafe, Rice Paper Scissors.  Vietnam is one of The E.A.T. Team’s first stops next year, so chowing down with these lovely ladies really got me excited for what my mouth is going to experience in just a few short months.  Seeing this team in action really filled my heart (and belly) with awesome sauce for a bunch of reasons.  Some of them being:

    • Pursuit of passion.  Cofounders Valerie Luu & Katie Kwan just love Vietnamese street food and wanted to share it with the world.  They blasted through the fear of “will this work?” when thinking about starting their food biz and set out to make it happen.  In addition to “popping-up” in various locations throughout San Francisco for public feasts such as these, the girls have a weekly gig at Mojo Bicycle Cafe.
    • Ridiculous tasty.  It’s handmade, fresh, and prepared right before your very eyes.  I got to sample the Rice Porridge (see photo) with juicy chicken and ginger and vegan “duck” Bahn Mi, a popular sandwich on a crusty french baguette with Pate, vegetables like carrots & daikon.
    • Down to earth.  Literally.  One of the defining aspects of Rice Paper Scissors is their small tables and even smaller “little red stools”.  It’s about being close to your food and to the friends you share it with.  It was hosted in the front yard of a beautiful old house right on Valencia Street in a popular district of San Francisco, so passersby couldn’t help but notice the scent and the sight.
    • Down to earth, figuratively.  I loved to see people walking by stop after smelling the eggs frying and the people chowing down, asking “Do you do this every week?!”  It was a flurry of friends, strangers, old, young, new, repeat, and everything in between laughing and eating and drinking.  Simple, unadulterated goodness.
    Stay tuned for The E.A.T. Team’s upcoming interview with Rice Paper Scissors about food, life, and following your dreams (via your stomach).  They’ll be one of the first contributors to the recipe section of the book as well.
    See all the photos and find out how to dine with Rice Paper Scissors here.

  2. Better Late Than Never

    December 14, 2011 by The E.A.T. Team

    Eat Me!Every time I tell someone about The EAT Team project, their face lights up.  They get all excited, and that gets me excited: it fuels my fire.  Although I’d do the project without any external validation, it gives me a big boost to know that other people think its as awesome as Hannah and I think it is.  And I’m elated that other people are happy and eager to share with me what they know about the places we’ll go, offering recommendations of people to visit, places to explore, and good things to eat.One of my favorite such experiences so far occurred just less than a month ago, on the plane as I flew home to Los Angeles after a year living in Germany.  During the 12 hour flight, I sat next to  Lawrence Tolmie: the hippest, most internet-savvy 64-year-old man I’d ever met.Lawrence told me all about his life: about growing up in New Zealand, moving to Los Angeles with his wife in their twenties, his first successful business as a handcarved wooden sign-maker, raising his children, and how he could work from anywhere in his current job as the Site Manager for a large publishing house.  As an entrepreneur myself, I loved hearing about how he does business, and discovering that he could live the nomadic four-hour-workweek if he wanted, but loved what he did and was happy with how he had streamlined his current life.

    I told him about this project, and his eyes grew big when I told him I’d be visiting his hometown.  He told me how, as a child in New Zealand in the fifties, British influence was still very strong so  he grew up eating lots of fish n’ chips and meat pies and mom’s cookin’, and there wasn’t much else.  He also gave me a great list of things to eat while we’re there: Paua (a type of shellfish), Kumara (NZ sweet potatoes), Fijoa (a unique fruit), passion fruit, and fritters.  I have no idea  what any of that is, but I think I’m excited.

    However, the most memorable bit of our conversation was when he told me about the first time he and his wife came to Los Angeles forty years ago, when they were both just 24.  Their LA friends had taken them on a little tour, and as lunchtime rolled around, the Americans asked Lawrence and his wife if they wanted to grab a pizza.

    “What’s a pizza?” Laurence asked.

    “WHAT’S A PIZZA???” The Americans tried to explain to Laurence what’s a pizza.  “Well, it’s a round, doughy food with sauce and cheese..”

    Laurence was confused, but he was always open to trying new things, so they headed down to pizza hut.

    It was love at first bite.

    Moral of the story?  Having your first pizza at age 24 is better late than never.  And don’t ever take your pizza for granted ;)