Category Archives: what shi said

what shi said: Meet Christine. She tastes food for a living!

ChristineI wanted to do more of these interviews, starting late last year with my interview of Kura’s owner, Huey, but I have failed. I want to do more, so let me know if you like these and I’ll definitely make a bigger effort to do them! Here goes my second of hopefully many more to come.

I have a scientist friend. Her title is legitimately “Scientist” on LinkedIn (how cool is that?) and she’s my favorite kind of scientist… a food scientist. Meet Christine.  She studied Food Science and Packaging Science in college (wish I had my shit together back then) and now tastes and tests and creates all kinds of crazy stuff for PepsiCo. Oh, and that photo is from her engagement shoot with her now hubby. Good choice of a prop to show off the rings. Definitely my kind of girl! She was nice enough to entertain all my curiosities about her job and answer some questions for us. Check it out!

Okay, first of all, how the hell did you know you wanted to study food science in college? I feel like most people probably didn’t even know a major like that existed at 18 years old.
Me neither!! I had no idea what Food Science was until I was at a crossroads as a freshman in college trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I started off the Pre-Pharmacy track in my undergrad studies. I wasn’t extremely passionate about it, and all I knew was I’d probably have a pretty stable career. After an intense first semester of taking Chemistry, Biology and Physics and talking with a few people who were already in the Pharmacy program I knew it wasn’t for me and I would probably be pretty miserable if I kept going. The plan was to go the “exploratory” route and figure it out later, but many days of walking past the Food Science and Human Nutrition building on my way to the dining hall had me curious. I wasn’t huge on Nutrition or Dietetics, because honestly I really didn’t care too much about “Health & Nutrition”. I am not one to tell people what they should or should not eat, it’s really their choice at the end of the day. But what is Food Science? Does it have anything to do with culinary? I loved all things food but I know I didn’t want to be a chef. I stopped in and talked with an advisor, and he had me sold within the first 5 minutes. Food Science is defined as “the discipline in which the engineering, biological, and physical sciences are used to study the nature of foods, the causes of deterioration, the principles underlying food processing, and the improvement of foods for the consuming public” as defined by the Institute of Food Technologists. It is such a broad field that really did not limit me to just one specialized path, and he assured me that humankind will always be eating food so there will never be a shortage of jobs. He was completely right! It is an extremely high demand field with a very wide reach globally, and even now is projected to grow at least 9% from 2012 to 2022 (according to US Dept of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics). Continue reading

what shi said: Huey Cheng, owner of Kura and all around BAMF

KuraFINALLY! I’m so excited to share the first of many what shi said interviews that I will be doing with all the food industry BAMFs. To start the whole shebang, we have Huey Cheng, owner of the very loved Kura restaurant in East Village. Kura was recently written up in the NYTimes, and if you haven’t read it, you need to right now. It profiles Chef Ishizuka (above) so very well, accurately depicting his joyfulness and candid style of making sushi. What the NYTimes article does lack is a profile of the man who started it all: Huey. (Huey is camera shy, so here is a photo of the amazing chirashi bowl Kura offers in place of him.) Continue reading