1 we have followed our growth in the green world and are so thrilled with all of you have accompished. we can not wait to hear of your next steps. we are completely inspired by using your voice to bring awareness to the huge threat of plastics to our oceans. can you tell us about that?
the award-winning documentary “a plastic ocean” really opened up my eyes to the threat that plastic is having on our planet. it takes 450 years for plastic to break down, and even then it never goes away, but miscroplastics end up being ingested by animals and going back into our own food chain. our obsession with “convenience” is negatively affecting over 700 species. it breaks my heart when news of whales/cows/birds dying because they’ve swallowed plastic. each year, 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans, 80% of this waste originating from land.
2 your food thoughts and photographs are the stuff that dreams are made of. did you study photography? what lead you down this beautifully inspiring path?
i did take one or two photography classes in high school, but my food photography improved merely by posting on instagram every day for the past few years. while my designer’s eye helps with color and composition, i am usually so inspired by the natural beauty of fresh produce that it’s easy to capture and share this inspiration.
3 your ratatouille is legend. how many times have you made this dish??
every summer i make this dish a few times with all the sun-ripened summer bounty. it’s also the perfect dish to cook for dinner parties. i love this method of preparing vegetables as an impressive main course, and have also made variations with both an indian and a thai curry sauce base.
4 what accounts inspire you on IG?
i am constantly inspired by everyone on instagram. it’s amazing to get to know like-minded people, and to see everyone’s journey unfold via this platform. i’ve seen people sharing what they love, and they’re now writing cookbooks, traveling the world teaching workshops, launching businesses, or just being awesome in their own way. an account that particularly inspires me is a grass-roots organization @rooftop_republic who bring urban farming to hong kong’s rooftops. @wickedhealthy is an account that makes veganism sexy and drool-worthy…find one of their mushroom posts, and you’ll see what i mean. it’s really amazing to be a part of this virtual; community, and to meet and be inspired by these friends each day.
5 where do you see yourself in three years?
to be honest, i’m not great at planning or seeing into the future. i am a do-er and get tasks at hand done. there’s no time like the present, and i’m able to accomplish a lot each day, and moving forward with each task that’s checked off my list.
6 i know your heart is in both nyc and hong kong…name 3 beautiful aspects of each.
new york is amazing to have access to a plethora of beautiful farm-fresh local produce all year round. i love being able to walk around everywhere to discover neighborhood gems. and i appreciate all the outwardly eccentric characters who make the city awesome.
7 first concert? where?
wham! or was it rick springfield? in hong kong back in the 80’s.
8 you seem to have accomplished and inspired so many on IG, what are you most proud of as far as your social media efforts?
i am so grateful for my audience, and i love the feedback i get from people i meet. people who tell me they make my ratatouille’s ratatouille all the time…i’ve even been told that their mom makes it all the time! last summer, i was honored to have the opportunity to speak to a sold out social media workshop in hong kong to food industry professionals, but most of all, it is beyond gratifying to have the influence and feedback when people share how they have changed their habits to avoid single-use plastic packaging because of my posts.
9 we often see you at union square market…do you shop it every week?
i try to go once a week. there is always a great energy at the market and there’s always new produce to be found, particularly with the change of seasons.
10 you always seem to be smiling and calm. how you manage this?
this wasn’t always the case, and i have lots of grey hair to prove it - ha, ha. i know that it’s easier to stay calm to work through things. there is always a remnant of light, even in the dark. this makes all the difference and keeps me positive.
11 you volunteer at the fourth street food co-op. can you tell us a little about this nyc/east village program? can anyone join?
the 4th street co-op is a member-run shop that is open to the public. this neighborhood gem is a great place for organic produce, and to buy bulk, meaning filling up your own containers to shop for dry goods, and other staples like olive oil, syrup, tamari, spices, and even dish soap. anyone can join as a member to receive a discount on your entire purchase. non-working members receive an 8% discount while working members (work 2.5 hours a week) receive 20% off. you get to meet a lot eclectic new yorkers when working there.
12 dare we ask? do you have a favorite veggie?
oh! that is a tough one! i guess i would have to say kale, because is is the one veggie i do eat every day, whether it’s in a smoothie, a salad, or a stir-fry…or, when i have the time, as chips!
13 what is our least favorite veggie and why?
i have a love/hate with onions which i have always loved to eat onion soup, onion rings, onion tart, scallion pancakes, you name it! but my body doesn’t care for these alliums and i tend to blow up like a balloon afterwards. food tastes so much better with onions, and sometimes just has to be enjoyed to the fullest!