Ways We Work

Finding balance in the culinary industry with Jannell Lo, private catering chef and food blogger

June 19, 2019 Season 1 Episode 6
Ways We Work
Finding balance in the culinary industry with Jannell Lo, private catering chef and food blogger
Chapters
Ways We Work
Finding balance in the culinary industry with Jannell Lo, private catering chef and food blogger
Jun 19, 2019 Season 1 Episode 6
Amandah Wood
This week my guest is Jannell Lo, she’s a chef at J&P Grocery in Kitchener, Ontario, a private catering chef on the side and runs the food blog MyBFisGF.com. We talk about how she balances serving food she knows will sell with bringing her own creations and new flavours to the community. She shares her own experience working in the intensity of the food industry, dealing with extreme stress and eventually discovering how to bring balance to her work.
Show Notes Transcript

This week my guest is Jannell Lo, she’s a chef at J&P Grocery in Kitchener, Ontario, a private catering chef on the side and runs the food blog MyBFisGF.com - which she describes as gluten free cooking inspired by asian classics and Canadan comfort food. She’s lived and worked in many places around the world and shares how her eight years in the culinary industry helped her discover the parts of working in food she was most passionate about and led her to where she is now. We talk about how she balances serving food she knows will sell with bringing her own creations and new flavours to the community. She shares her own experience working in the intensity of the food industry, dealing with extreme stress and eventually discovering how to bring balance to her work. It was fun to have the opportunity to do an interview in person and get to know someone in my community better. And with that, we’ll get into it.




Speaker 1:
0:00
So I am recording now. Okay. Awesome. Well, welcome to the podcast. Yeah,
Speaker 2:
0:09
you thanks for finding me and reaching out. Um, I'm really excited to be here. Thanks.
Speaker 1:
0:15
I'm, I'm, I'm really looking forward to this for a few reasons. One, um, this is the first interview I've done in person, so that's exciting. Um, and then the other reason is that you're, I think the first person I'm talking to you who doesn't work in the tech industry
Speaker 3:
0:31
totally. Um,
Speaker 1:
0:33
because I really want the, this podcast to like cover a diverse range of industries and I think the tech industry is an amazing, but there's a lot else out there that we probably don't hear as much about, so I'm excited about that. Cool. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
0:48
Well I'll give you as much insight as I can.
Speaker 3:
0:51
Yeah,
Speaker 1:
0:52
for sure. Um, so I mean, I'll start with the question I always start with, which is like, what are you putting work into at the moment?
Speaker 2:
1:00
So currently I am a chef at j and p grocery in downtown Kitchener four days a week. I have started the hotlines program there where I've been given the opportunity to basically cook whatever my heart desires, which has been amazing and incredible experience sense. I feel like my career has sort of been late leading up to this point. I moved here from Toronto just in October with my husband who, um, basically decided to work with the family business. So with my type of work, I feel like I was able to sort of pick up and go anywhere. Uh, and I've had eight years of experience in the industry now. So at this point in time it was just, it was time to basically gas.
Speaker 3:
2:03
Sorry, I'm gonna have to cut this. [inaudible] no worries. Um, it was just time
Speaker 2:
2:10
for me to not work for like kind of insane. Barth is who would not really listen and just expect what they set out to do. Um, but yeah, I just have been very grateful for this opportunity since they basically gave me free rein and I have been able to create and serve the food that I want to serve and be a part of the growing food scene here in kw. Yeah. Kind of like,
Speaker 1:
2:49
um, create like your own dream of like what you envisioned. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
2:53
Yeah. Someone else's, it's been an amazing place to sort of test the market and see what people, like, what people are willing to pay for it. And um, eventually I definitely want to open my own cafe Brunch, lunch spot. Uh, so learning here and having this as another stepping stone has been awesome. Yeah. Uh, other things that I've been focusing on, uh, where I, now that it's spring, we're very excited that we can now plant herbs and veggies than our garden and just put some more time into being outside and just enjoying the weather. And they are, life is revolved around food and we love cooking, so that's the majority of it. Yeah. That's awesome. Did you have any, um, like fears or concerns coming into like a smaller city like Kitchener, Waterloo in terms of like being able to work in food and like do your own thing?
Speaker 2:
4:01
I did, um, to be completely honest, I have always lived in cities my whole life. I grew up in Toronto, I went to culinary school and my trail, I did some restaurant work in Hong Kong and did some traveling abroad. But coming to a smaller town I had, I didn't know what to expect really. Um, I didn't know how small it was. I didn't know what people's tastes were and that was just something I had to learn in the early stages of being here, which from my experience now I have found an amazing community of people. Uh, yeah, just through the store at JMP and meeting people, people like you. I have been able to make friends and have a support system that I didn't think I would have so quickly and so immediately the pressure. Has it been going with the lunches at Jmp so far?
Speaker 2:
5:10
It's been interesting. Um, I'm still trying to figure it out. The numbers and how many people come in per day basically because we have, like we started in January, so the weather has been a big impact and definitely the theme of the day. Like I do Mondays, Mondays and Wednesdays are balls. Tuesdays are like handheld. Their sandwiches and Fridays are Taco then normally off on Thursdays, but I'm just trying to figure out the crowd and what people come in for, which I'm still trying to figure out because now the weather is getting better and more people come that sometimes unexpectedly I have a slow day. Yeah. Um, but just through j and p and being able to serve people in the community, I've met so, so many people already. So yeah. That's been awesome. That's really awesome.
Speaker 1:
6:22
Did you, like when did you discover that working with food was a passion for you? Did you always know or did you stumble into it?
Speaker 2:
6:29
Um, I sort of grew up with that with my grandfather and my sister. My Mom and my dad didn't really love cooking. Also much go with more of a way to feed the kids and that survival thing. But because of that mice, like I found interest whenever I with a book to create with my hand and create with my sister and my grandfather. Yeah. Yeah. So they really inspired me and I don't know, food has always been a big part of us gathering, so I really enjoy that aspect of it where my husband and I always host people in our home and we just love doing that. Yeah, no, that's awesome. I really want to, I keep like saying that I want to do dinner parties. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
7:24
No, for whatever reason I don't make the excuse. I'm like our place is too small or like I just don't know what to cut. Okay, lovely. Thank you. Growing up every party, I'm also like, I'm a huge fan of food but um, I'm kind of like lazy when it comes to actually cooking. My boyfriend, he actually loves to cook and I'm very happy as like a Sou chef. Um, I just, I like the part of actually like preparing and organizing, but I don't like having to figure out like what to cook or come up with the ideas. So jai imagine is like probably a part that you love. Yeah, I love creating menus.
Speaker 2:
8:02
We kind of just look through a cookbook then that sometimes and like menu plan
Speaker 1:
8:07
for whatever reason, even if we don't have something coming up. Yeah, yeah. No, that's amazing. So do you, will you find you like cook at home still even though it's like what you're doing all day?
Speaker 2:
8:17
Yeah, it's bizarre. But I definitely do. I know a lot of chefs who have grinding hours and I'm lucky that I work from eight to two, but part of the reason I really feel aligned with what I'm doing now with that I'm able to make my own hours. I have balance in my life and it's not so crazy. But yeah, I know, I know a lot of chefs who work all day and then go home and eat like Kraft singles
Speaker 1:
8:47
and like I actually saw this on my feed the other day, someone melted like Kraft singles, cheese Nachos
Speaker 2:
8:56
and like that was their dinner and I was like, oh, that's so sad, but
Speaker 1:
9:02
I get it. You're so tired. Yeah. But yeah, I actually find energy in cooking. So that's sort of the time that I do have with my husband. When both of us are at work all day and then we get home, we actually get to make something together. Yeah. So he likes to cook also. He loves it. Yeah. That's great. That's really nice. Um, did you always have like a vision of going out on your own or was this something that just like the stars kind of aligned and what do you mean make going out? Yeah, like doing, I'm so doing in Jmp, you're not like in a restaurant or working for another chef anymore. You're kind of doing your own things.
Speaker 2:
9:46
Um, it took some time to get to that point where I realized that I want to be my own boss and basically not be on someone else's schedule or vision and actually be able to create. So where I found it troubling in my past jobs was whenever I reached a plateau and I was not learning anymore. Um, I knew that in order to keep me going and keep me motivated, I needed to just create on my own. And I am very lucky that I can do that now. Yeah. That's really cool. Um,
Speaker 1:
10:31
actually I, I guess you just mentioned earlier like trying to figure out what do people like, um, what brings people in to like j and p for the hot lunches. But then I imagine to you like you're wanting to experiment a little bit and try different things. Like how do you balance that with like providing things that, you know, people are,
Speaker 2:
10:51
so I kind of balance it out. So let's say that right now I am definitely serving four days a week. I'll try and make two of those dishes, something that people can really can basically relate to and um, that they know and they're familiar with. And then the other two dishes I'll throw in some like new ingredients that they don't know or cook definitely more from the heart and like be able to express myself more. Or the chef, I cook a lot more Southeast Asian food and other types of Asian cuisines. And I'm really trying to bring that to Kitchener Waterloo right now.
Speaker 1:
11:43
[inaudible] yeah, that's good. That's a good like balance. Um, and then you also do things outside of j and P. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
11:52
So I am a catering chef. I basically, hi. Hope.
Speaker 3:
11:59
Basically don't eat [inaudible]. I'll make you sound great. [inaudible]
Speaker 2:
12:08
uh Huh.
Speaker 3:
12:10
Sorry. Yeah, I just want you do outside of, Oh yeah.
Speaker 2:
12:15
So I private chef on the side and I'm able to basic Cleve create, right
Speaker 3:
12:22
is [inaudible] I private chef on the side and can
Speaker 2:
12:29
I get to create menus for people who Rico and what to have a private dinner in their home or um, maybe they are catering something and they want orders. And I've actually done a couple events with maker's collective where they have panel talks and maybe 60 to 75 people come and I do all the small aids for that. Uh, so on my days off I focus on organizing those and a lot of my time is spent just menu planning, shopping, communicating with the people involved. Uh, I also have my own website and that is something that's been ongoing and growing for a couple of years now. I really want to try to make it a little bit bigger and more profitable because I just, it would be really nice to be able to do what I'm doing and also put out my recipes to the world and have people appreciate that.
Speaker 2:
13:40
Yeah. So that's called [inaudible]. IBF Is Jeff Knight. Best friend is gluten free and that's where I share a lot of Asian classics and Canadian Comfort Food. And so I did tell him more about myself and my story and how I came about as a chef and my journey throughout that. Yeah. What made you decide to start blogging? That's a good question. Um, I guess I more so wanted a platform for myself to post recipes more than ever. Now whenever I cook something familiar, I just look it up on my own blog. And that's been a really good, I guess like Encyclopedia of, Yeah. Really awesome. Um, so it's ongoing and growing all the time. I just eventually want to have like a big database of all the things I've ever cooked, so, yeah. Yeah. Oh, that's really cool. Um, oh, what did I want to, let's keep that. Yeah, maybe it's a good time for it. The water break. Yeah. I want to know like more about the, I guess like the blog. Um,
Speaker 1:
15:09
yeah, that's like what made you start it, but,
Speaker 2:
15:11
um, was there anything else in terms of um, like the inspiration for it or, um, a big inspiration was my husband is celiac and can I eat gluten? So what I find online these days is that it's pretty hard to find Asian gluten free recipes and I want to be a part of that movement and I want to share food that people with allergies or restrictions or any sort of preference that they, I want them to be able to cook Southeast Asian flavors but not be afraid that they can't eat it or not feel isolated because they know that when they go up to like a Thai or Chinese restaurant that certain recipes they've always kind of cut out are now available.
Speaker 1:
16:12
Hmm. Yeah, that's really awesome. I, uh, I like recently had to go dairy free. Yeah. And I already was really bad at like preparing food at home. So now I'm like, how do I, like, what does that look like? And even like eating out, it's really hard to know like what can I actually share it have. So yeah,
Speaker 2:
16:32
it's cool being with read my husband and going out to a restaurant with him, I've definitely learned that it can be a bit isolating when a huge menu is suddenly cut down to like three options. So I want to make people feel like they're included. I want to have that in my own cafe one day and I just want to share that. That doesn't really this yet. So yeah. Yeah, I guess that's the driving force behind it is just being able to cook Yummy, yummy food for people who normally can't eat it.
Speaker 1:
17:18
Yeah, no, I'm really excited to em. I keep meaning to like make a couple of recipes on your blog because I love the combination of, I think you said it on the other podcast, um, Canadian comfort food and Asian food and like those are two of my favorite types of things that need to just try you. We took at home the fusion of us. Yeah. So you're eating mostly gluten free? I am.
Speaker 2:
17:43
And I feel like I have sort of become gluten free myself from it because I've got, so I've heard of it out of my life, uh, which is not necessarily bad. It just, I am now very knowledgeable in the ingredients that I need to use and Kenton educate people at the store and eventually my own place. Yeah. Yeah. What are some of the ingredients that you have to use or that you use as like alternatives and some of the food? So soy sauce is the big one hit in weight in that and they're just another form of it. Um, called Tamari. Okay. Or some soy sauces just are labeled Clinton free, but a lot of Asian pace have hidden. Um, we are some form of gluten in it, so you really have to track down certain brands. And I actually did this recently, but I kind of archive all my pantry.
Speaker 2:
18:49
I then and put the picture and a description in the brand on my website so that people who have celiac or who are gluten free can kind of have that as the reference and see what they should be buying. Yeah, that's awesome. So sorry I saw us. And then pace. Is there anything like I guess like noodles, noodles, so egg noodles or am I have co we um, I use a lot of rice noodles or today I served sweet potato noodle that the store what? And they said it was a thing. Yeah. Um, they're actually very affordable. Like one 50 for a pack. That's like half the side of the pillow.
Speaker 3:
19:34
[inaudible] I was like
Speaker 2:
19:40
making hand signal than I was like, yeah,
Speaker 3:
19:42
keep looking at say [inaudible] that's
Speaker 2:
19:46
awesome. Yeah, those are so I'd definitely need to go find those. Yeah. So if you need help finding ingredients, email me or check my blog. Um, so like what do you, I guess like what are some things that you know now, like you mentioned you've been in the industry for eight years. Like what are some of the things you know now that you wish you'd known when you started? Um, I guess in any industry it's sort of the same where I just wish I knew how much time, energy, patient experience it takes to get to where you want to go. I know that my younger self was very impatient to find her place. Um, but I feel like with dedication and, um, allowing yourself to say no to things that don't align with yourself, that really helped. And I wish I knew that it's okay to say no to certain things. Yeah. Yeah. But at the same time clear where path that I didn't expect that I would take. And even though it wasn't right or at the time it didn't seem right, there's always a lesson to be learned no matter where you are. So yeah, just time. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
21:18
Some, like is there an example or like a story of a path that you took that like didn't feel right at first but ended up going somewhere?
Speaker 2:
21:26
Hmm. Um, I guess all my restaurant catering jobs, I knew that I loved cooking so much, but it's just the balance was unhealthy and the hours were long and my body just at one point I definitely broke out into stress hives because it was just not in a good place. Yeah. Um, so
Speaker 2:
22:01
figuring out that my passion was stilling cooking, but separating that from what it had to be in my mind, which was in restaurants or in catering companies, I was able to divert myself into other avenues and test out what it was like to be a catering manager, like on the other side where I wasn't in the kitchen or I was at a smoothie startup company for a little while. So it was just experimenting and finding what fit in certain roles and then eventually melding all the things I appreciated and loved and gave me energy and being like staying true to that. And, um, just making sure that I was taken care of while still being able to pursue my passion.
Speaker 1:
23:03
Yeah. I think that's actually really an important lesson because it could have been really easy for you when you were like breaking out from stress high as to be like, I just don't think that cooking or this industry is for me at all. Yeah. And I think that would have been a totally fair reaction to have and I'm sure other people have had, um, you know, similar experiences in different industries, but being able to realize that like you can still be successful in what you love, it's, there's like multiple ways to do something.
Speaker 2:
23:32
Yeah. Yeah. So I learned a lot in all of the different roles that I've had in the past, but just staying true to yourself and making sure that you're healthy and happy is like so important before anything else. Yeah, for sure. Um,
Speaker 1:
23:54
oh yeah. So I would love to know, like, what do you feel like as involved in the work that you do that maybe like isn't obvious to people from outside?
Speaker 2:
24:06
Um, I think that sometimes people forget how much time and the energy it takes to put work into your plate plate of food. So sometimes I get people complaining about like a $12 a meal that they're paying and it's because I've used quality ingredients. I've spent time thinking about how to make it creative and how to make it different from other things you've had. Um, and just the, the like prep that goes into it. So just whenever people sort of question how much things costs foodwise I think it's a good, it's good for them to know that like a lot when it quit, even though that's kind of self explanatory, but you can go to any fast food place or any chain restaurant and they have the volume, they have the suppliers who send them mass produced products that are not organic or are not sustainable. And Yeah, just, there's a lot more love that go then the food that I make and I just want people to know that
Speaker 1:
25:28
yeah, you're not just getting like, that's kind of the point right? Is they're coming to get something that's like healthier. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
25:36
Everything made from scratch. It's all homemade. So
Speaker 1:
25:40
yeah, I'm sure this kind of like a business element to what you do as well in terms of like trying to figure out what people are interested in, how many people are coming in. Yeah,
Speaker 2:
25:51
definitely. Uh, yeah, like I've said before, it's, it's been interesting figuring out what people are willing to pay for and balancing that with, find the right ingredients and making sure that the margins are okay on our side. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, okay. Yeah, I'm still playing with like the flow of the questions sometimes.
Speaker 4:
26:33
So
Speaker 1:
26:35
I mean you mentioned like you're really doing like work that you love right now. Like being able to a menu plan and like do your own thing every and then doing like private catering on the side. Um,
Speaker 2:
26:48
oh, why is my question, I'm going to have to cut myself though. Um,
Speaker 1:
26:54
but you still, like, you still have aspirations of like owning your own place one day and like working towards that. So how do you, how do you, I guess, hold a balance between like taking care of yourself? Um, you know, but still like pushing yourself to grow beyond like where you are right now and also focus on like everything that you're doing right now.
Speaker 2:
27:16
Um, the cafe is always on my mind. I sweated, just jot down ideas and whatever comes to mind, but I know that at this point in time, if not the right time yet. Yeah. Uh, I've only been at Jane P for not even five months now and I feel like there's a lot of opportunity to grow more as long as I continue to push myself within the framework there. Um, so up and coming things that are happening, we're going to get a barbecue for Goudis lane and we'll have like outdoor, um, one week like cook out. Then that's fun. Get more people into the store, but also hanging out outside and being together. Uh, I'm thinking about doing a brunch at Jane P so I have the right resources right now to kind of explore different things and see what works for me. Um, but in terms of balancing that and planning for the future, that's a hard question. [inaudible] yeah. I, I do my best to stay present, you know, whatever is in the future, I know we'll come when the time is right. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
28:59
That's a really great way of looking at it. I ask almost from like a personal point of view, I'm getting better at this, but I feel like I'm always putting pressure on myself and thinking about like, what am I not doing yet? Yeah. Like what could I be doing to like totally set myself up for a year from now?
Speaker 2:
29:17
Yeah. It's hard not to definitely that way too. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so yeah.
Speaker 1:
29:24
Like how do you, I guess, what are some of the practices that you have that like keep you feeling like present and,
Speaker 2:
29:33
and healthy? Um, I'm trying to meditate every day. Right now. I've kind of been dropping ball on that fifth month, but it really allowed me to take a step back from what I'm doing routinely and just breathe, like literally, um, just breathe and kind of see new perspectives in all aspects of my life. But also I've been going to this one yoga class at Hawthorne flow with Alison Janell, who is my favorite instructor ever. And that really been keeping me grounded. Like I can't thank her enough and stretch that enough that it's helped me a lot. Yeah. Especially like the first couple months that I got here, I was going all the time. Um, but now I made sure that it's once a week on my day off and then at least like that makes me feel a little more balance. Uh, health wise I try to cut down my meat consumption. I don't know that I can ever go vegetarian or Vegan as much as I really, really want to, especially being a cook, but that's not an excuse either. It's just I want to cut down my impact as much as I can and kind of lead my life and to more sustainable practices. Yeah. Yeah. What did you like, how did yoga, um,
Speaker 1:
31:16
I guess like how did you notice it having an impact on you? I started doing it myself probably more seriously like a year ago and I've let it fall off as well. I had, I had a back injury last month and then that just totally like took me right off and I'm like, I need to get back into it. Um, but I'm curious for you like what I brought for you and yeah.
Speaker 2:
31:36
Like what the benefit was. I really love that she bring the new intention into every class. So last week it was like, find your inner goddess and like put that into every movement that you do today. And just like feeling good and have no shame and like, like just move, like nobody's watching. Yeah. Or maybe that maybe like everyone's watching and you feel amazing. Yeah. Um, but yeah, she just empowering and I like that it gets me thinking about things kind of bigger than what I see day to day just really connects me to like the world again, even though that sounds a little woo woo. But [inaudible] I started doing, um, like yoga with Adrian, which is, she's a youtube.
Speaker 1:
32:40
Okay instructor. Cool. She has a really big following. So she would actually say at the beginning of every video, like imagine all of the people practicing yoga at the exact same time right now, or like watching this video right now. Um, which again is like that connection to the world. But then I also found like the physical aspect of it, I almost, I mean I always feel good, I always feel better after, but I actually notice when I don't do it, the like adverse side effects, which is like spaciness or just feeling blah. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
33:14
Well I feel like like stretching helps just to get everything flowing. My thoughts. Um, yeah, I wasn't really on the train for a long time and I never really found the right instructor, but now that I have, I'm really sticking to it because it like I'm excited to go. I don't dread going. No. That's awesome. Um, what's, hmm?
Speaker 1:
33:52
Well, yeah. So what are some like areas I guess either of your work or your life that you feel like you're stretching into at the moment or still feel like a bit of a challenge that you're working towards?
Speaker 2:
34:06
Um, when I was thinking about that question when you add, when you send it to me, actually I was finally like, wow, I feel like I'm not stretching into anyone else's idea of what I should be doing anymore. And that was really liberating to find out. Yeah. It was just like, I am just doing me right now and that's amazing and a really good feeling that I'm just putting my energy and work into what I really want to be doing. So yeah, that's, I don't feel like I'm stretching out, but in terms of things I do want to fix right now, immediately at my job, it's just cutting down on our plastic and things at the store that kind of aren't really in my control, but I want to be a part of the change. So I'm doing what I can. I'm voicing those opinions and working with Johnny and pepper has been amazing. So yeah, they really listen and kind of hear me out on what I have to say and what I want to do.
Speaker 1:
35:27
Yeah. Um, I follow up to that is maybe like how do you personally define success now that you do feel like you're, you own your own vision of what that looks like.
Speaker 2:
35:38
For sure. Balance. Yeah. Successes, balance. Success is not overworking yourself. Where are your content league, that date, even if you have not been physically and working all day and you're just sort of stuck and going with the flow of how things have always been because that's how they've always been. Um, taking time for yourself but also staying passionate though the thing do you do at work and I don't, I don't believe success is like climbing the ladder and like getting to the top but then like collapsing once you're up there. Yeah. Yeah. So slow and steady and whatever works for you and whatever makes you happy and whatever keeps you going. Yeah.
Speaker 1:
36:45
I've been thinking about that a lot cause I think, um, particularly in the tech industry, there's like a lot of narrative around yeah.
Speaker 2:
36:53
Um,
Speaker 1:
36:54
the hustle, but then there's also almost a counter now of people burning out and realizing like, you, you can't be hustling all the time. And I think people really hold them as like two extremes and like there is, there's a large spectrum and the middle, like you can do things more sustainably, you can still be successful and not like kill yourself too. So yeah, I like that.
Speaker 2:
37:19
Yeah. Um,
Speaker 1:
37:21
what's something that you're really curious about right now or like trying to learn more about?
Speaker 2:
37:26
Definitely growing food, growing food. I'm eating out of my own garden and purely doing that, I'm really hoping to kind of not have to buy my own pre produce this summer. Uh, we have a garden going at the family, like raids family cottage right now, but we're also thinking about growing a bunch of veggies in our backyard and planning for that. Um, but also the whole zero waste movement and cutting down consumption, um, local food systems and how people are supporting local more and more now and what the impacts of that are and how that can help. Hmm. Yeah. Have you grown food before? I have, um, um, like a couple of the years new to it. But it's just so exciting when like this tiny little seed just sprout out of the ground and in comes this giant vegetables
Speaker 3:
38:38
[inaudible] and yeah, you just,
Speaker 2:
38:41
well I did grow all summer and you kind of, it makes you appreciate food a lot more because you don't want to waste it took all that time and you watch that grow and yeah, it's, it's been fun.
Speaker 1:
38:58
That's awesome. I think that I would maybe emphasize word curious to try it because um, I am like one of those people at definitely lets their plants die until I got, um, I guess nobody can see these, but like they're the [inaudible] plant and I always had succulents before cause I thought like those are hard to kill. Like the, you just tapped a lot of them like once in a blue moon, but they don't grow. So the Pato like, I actually see like new leaves coming up.
Speaker 3:
39:28
Yeah, absolutely. [inaudible] I already came. Such a crazy plan lady. This one we have like,
Speaker 2:
39:36
Oh, window sill up, jet planned every day. We're like, look, a new leaf.
Speaker 3:
39:41
[inaudible] exciting. Looking at a secular. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
39:48
Okay. Um, what did I not asked you about yet?
Speaker 1:
39:54
Oh, um, like what's something that you've recently changed your mind about or gained any perspective on?
Speaker 2:
40:03
Um, definitely Vegan is, um, and the number of people who are vegetarian or Vegan who come into the store. I have really influence the way I cook. Uh, I didn't really think about many alternatives in the past, but it is a really good lesson for me on top of cooking glutton free and staying true to being, I guess like allergen friendly. Hmm. I need to really consider the [inaudible] and how I can make like a mayo and to something that's very similar but case and case almost the same but had no meat products in it whatsoever. So what I found recently is that I've made this mayo a lot at JMP, which it's like of course mayo based Egged oil. Um, but on top of that I add garlic, chili paste, sesame oil and I put that in almost like any sandwich that I make because I want to make it taste more Asian. Um, but recently I've used Silken Tofu and you can blend all the ingredients with that together and it kind of like almost the exact same consistency thrown away. So just learning that has sort of allowed me to be more creative with my food and kind of hit more of the audience that, that comes into the store. So that's been cool. Yeah, it's um, it's really rewarding to hear as someone who, I mean, I was vegetarian university for a while, but that I was like the bad version of Eritrean where you just eat past [inaudible].
Speaker 2:
42:11
Um, but yeah, I mean it's something that I, it's not like recommended for me to go meet free right now. Like red meat's really important because I'm pretty low on iron and a lot of other things. Um, but I also always thought like the best food had meat or meat products in terms of like flavor and just like interesting food. So I think it's interesting to hear you talk about it as almost like a creative challenge where like definitely good with food, you can like experiment and find the other alternatives. I always thought that too, that things could only taste better with some sort of meat product. But I really been learning recently that things can still be really tasty with just plant based products. Yeah. Oh that's so cool. Um, is there, actually I would love to hear about like some of your recipes and like on average, how long it usually takes to make some of them, cause I think especially me, um, I'd probably, people listening to this podcast is like busy professionals but like want to cook their own food.
Speaker 2:
43:29
Yes. So how I cook at the store, they different from how I cook at home. I'm at the store. Anything that I'm serving that day will take me the majority of the three hours before service. Wow. So, and it's because everything is made from scratch and homemade and I consider all the garnish and like finicky components that you get at a restaurant. But at home I really love to cook simply. And, um, I think what helps is having a pantry that you stock and keep track of so that you can kind of whip up anything whenever you want. Uh, I always recommend to people who want to start cooking more to just pick a cuisine and then like get the staple ingredients for that cuisine and learn through those recipes and practice them. Cause then you can at one point just whip them out. Like, yeah.
Speaker 2:
44:42
If nobody fitness [inaudible] hopefully that's what I love about when people tell me that they have started to love cooking. It's just like, I now have all these things in my pantry, so a lot easier. You don't have to like go to the grocery store. Yeah. Or like I think that when people dislike cooking at home, it's like, Ugh, I have to go and find and track down this one ingredient that I don't know where to find it. That, yeah. Yeah. Um, I think that's what I actually really like about j and p also is, um,
Speaker 1:
45:28
I don't know if this is like a popular opinion or a lot of people feel this way, but I really hate grocery stores. Uh, they just like, there's no windows. It's a lot. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
45:37
The lighting lighting can be terrible.
Speaker 1:
45:44
It like Jane p is trying to see something like a little bit more cozy and cute and yeah, right. Yeah.
Speaker 2:
45:51
Yeah. I really love that they've been bringing in local vendors lately and showcasing other talent in the neighborhood, which had been awesome. Um, so any, is there anything else that you want to share that we didn't get a chance to touch on or anything you want to talk about? Um, support local, which we talked about. Yeah, I'm not, so I don't know. It's okay if not. Yeah, I don't know right now. Awesome. If we cut I might have something to add later. Yeah, that's okay. Okay. Um, and if people want to get in contact with you, what's the best way that they could do that? So like you did, you can reach out to me on my Instagram account, which is at my, VF is GF. I, you can send me an email at my BF, a gf@gmail.com and you can go to my website or my Facebook page, which is also maybe efforts. Yeah. Um, dot com or the Facebook would be slash maybe if it's, yes. So, yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much for coming today. Thank you for having me. Yeah. Yay. Yay.
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