Updated: Mar 2
Hey there! We are the four petite foodies.
2020 has been a confusing time — although we all live in uncertainty due to the pandemic, it also flourished with creativity. It seems like every day, a new brand or project is starting up. With the rise of new mediums of sharing like TikTok and podcasts, we wanted to take this opportunity to come together and share our journey with you all. All originally coming from Asia, we noticed a large disconnect of Asian food culture knowledge immediately upon arriving in the US five years ago for college. When coronavirus hit the U.S. officially in March, there was a massive drop of foot traffic in Chinatowns, Asian restaurants and businesses all across America. Implicit bias became blatant racism, and many businesses and families suffered as a result. With the start of Four Petite Foodies, we hope to raise awareness on Asian food, and with it, the culture and history behind it. Through this short informal interview, we hope to provide our viewers more insight into our unique perspectives as well as what inspired us to start this blog. In your own words, what does it mean to be a foodie?
J: I feel like there are two types of people in this world, those who eat to live and those who live to eat. For me being a foodie means living to eat. I would always plan my meals days or even a week in advance, especially if I’m going on trips. I think that traveling is more than just seeing the sights a place has to offer but also trying all the local delicacies.
Cl: I once read an article that says, “just because you like to eat, doesn’t mean you are a foodie.” Yes, having a refined interest in food is an important quality to have as a foodie. However, I think it’s also important for a foodie to want to learn more about what they’re eating — what makes it good and where it comes from. Being a foodie not only means to have the love for food, but it also means to be open-minded and have the curiosity to try things out.
Ci: Being a foodie to me means to enjoy food in all possible ways. You get excited when you see, hear, and think about food. It is not simply consuming food to support your physical health; it is to feed you mentally as well. Not all foodies are alike, but we all have a common ground: we love and cherish the joy food brings us.
H: To me, being a foodie means to be keenly interested in food, especially in eating or cooking. Some people eat food just to survive while others eat food as a way to enjoy their lives. I’m definitely the latter. What do you enjoy most about being a foodie?
J: My favorite thing about being foodie has to be that I’m the go-to person for whenever anyone needs food recommendations. If I’m living at a place for over a month, I will more than likely have a solid understanding of what the popular places/recommended dishes of the location are. I love trying out new restaurants and cuisines, and my friends can always count on me to join them if they’re looking for company to share food with.
Cl: While I do love eating, what I love most about being a foodie is to learn the making of it. I believe that food is the heart of a culture, you can learn a lot from what they’re eating, the ingredients they use, and how they cook it. When I travel to a place, as much as I would miss Asian foods, I’d make sure I’d try local cuisine to really immerse myself in that culture. As a foodie, I also love to share the food and the knowledge of it with people. I believe that food is what connects people together; It’s the common denominator of all cultures. Just think about it, is there an occasion when food is not involved?
Ci: I enjoy the simple happiness that I can get by eating and trying out new food. This type of happiness is simple but warm and universal. I really live and love the idea of “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” I enjoy how food can bond us together without limits.
H: I would like to share the quote from Anthony Bourdain, one of the journalists that I respect and admire the most, to answer this question – “Food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It's inseparable from those from the get-go.”
Have you always been a foodie? Tell us a little about how it all started.
J: I think I’ve always been a foodie, but I didn’t realize I was a “foodie” until I went to college and realized that not everyone was as obsessed with food as I was. I come from a family of big eaters, and I think especially in Asian culture, love is expressed through the experience of sharing food. Coming from two different countries, I already had access to two very different cuisines. Vietnam had influence of the French and Chinese, while Malaysia was influenced by Indian, Middle-Eastern, and Chinese, with some British influence sprinkled on top as well. On top of that, attending an international school for all my life and living in a city expanded my palette from a young age. Going to college drastically shifted my perception that my upbringing wasn’t the same as everyone else’s and I found myself always trying to find the very best foods in any place that I’ve lived in.
Cl: I’ve never been a foodie until much later. When I was little, I hated Chinese/Taiwanese food…. I physically reject the idea of eating Chinese/Taiwanese food. All my family would tell the story of how I would always say I want steak and how I would just sit there waiting for everyone else to finish when we go to a Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant (yes, without eating anything). Under the influences of my parents, who are always in the search for the very best of restaurants and eateries to eat at, I came to appreciate foods as I grew older. Yet, I’d usually prefer pasta over Taiwanese street foods... It was until I moved to the States when I realized how much I missed the foods back home. And since I was living in a community full of people with a variety of backgrounds, I became more open-minded about trying different cuisines, getting to know them, and really enjoy them.
Ci: I have always enjoyed eating and sharing food. I always love to tell the story of how I can eat 40 dumplings in one sitting ever since I was 10, but it goes beyond that. I not only enjoy having food, but I also enjoy sharing it with others. I think food can really bring out the simplest happiness and brighten up a day. This is not only a necessity, but also a great way to socialize with people.
H: I’ve always been a foodie and enjoy eating different kinds of food since I was young. I used to stress eat when I first left home and moved to the States for college. The worst part about this was that I didn’t know how to stop even when I realized I was stress eating. It took me a couple of years to prevent myself from emotional eating through reading books, keeping a food diary, practicing yoga and meditation, and seeking professional help and support from family and friends. To be honest, the journey wasn’t smooth, and I struggled a lot emotionally. Today, I am grateful for being able to keep a balance between stress and eating. I cook and eat for pleasure, and most importantly, I enjoy being a “happy” foodie.
Have you ever seen yourself starting a food blog? How do you feel about Four Petite Foodies so far?
J: I actually have an Instagram page dedicated to food myself, but I never really took it that far since I was always so caught up with life. Regardless, I almost always post pictures of what I’m eating or cooking and get either a lot of heat or love from my friends who are either hungry or excited about the food. I’m glad I was able to be a part of the Four Petite Foodies because we’re able to take it a lot further with four people, than if it was just one person. We all come from very different backgrounds so we have a wide range of ideas and translate them into interesting and aesthetically pleasing content. Especially because of the pandemic, we’ve had more time to really work on this project and I'm really happy of what we’ve accomplished so far.
Cl: I have always been the “camera eats first” kind of person. Before starting a food account myself, my friends would always tell me how they’d drool over the food photos I share in my feeds. As it took further, I found myself lost in the social media world and was only posting without an actual focus. I am very excited to further my journey as a foodie with four petite foodies. Although four petite foodies has only started a few weeks ago, we’re definitely putting more effort into the content we’re making. I hope this platform serves it purpose to better educate people about different Asian culture.
Ci: I never thought that I would start a food blog. I have always been the person that loves to eat and share my joy of food by feeding those around me, but I have never tried to express my love of food in words. I truly enjoy working on Four Petite Foodies and having it as a platform to allow people to not only learn about how to cook authentic food, but also to share that culture by eating the food.
H: I didn’t really see myself having a food blog before as I used to do it just for fun on my personal account. I’m lucky to have close friends who share the same hobby as me. We are passionate about photography, writing, and food. The Four Petite Foodies idea was conceived during COVID-19 quarantine and later turned into reality on September 2020.
What do you wish to achieve with Four Petite Foodies?
J: My hope is through Four Petite Foodies, I can show my love of food, and more particularly Southeast Asian food to the world. Many times, when people think of Asian food they only think of oily late-night Chinese takeout or California Rolls. Not to discount those, but Asian food is much more than that. Just like how in different regions of Europe people have different tastes, likewise in a country like Vietnam, different regions of the country have completely different flavors and dishes. If this information was more accessible and presented in a digestible way, I think it can really change things. It could make people more open to going out of their comfort zone to try different Asian cuisines like Burmese or Taiwanese (which many commonly mistake for Thai cuisine).
Cl: All these Asian food cultures are similar yet distinguish themselves from each other, and it definitely takes more than one short conversation to fully answer the question “how are they different?” I hope more people realize there is so much more than Crab Rangoon, sushi , and pho. As an avid foodie and an aspiring journalist, my goal is to better introduce what Asian food culture is and tell the story behind all the dishes.
Ci: I only have one simple goal with four petite foodies — bringing happiness and embracing the universal experience of food with everyone. That could either be cooking with simple ingredients at your own kitchen or enjoying food at the restaurants we love.
H: My goal is to share my passion and knowledge of Asian cuisines to more people by introducing the history and culture of Asian food, easy recipes, and food recommendations. I want to share the joy I have from food with other enthusiastic eaters like us.