All posts tagged: Behind the Feast

Behind The Feast: The Noodle Whisperer, Chef Darren

Darren Saypharaj grew up in Temple City, CA. Upon graduation from UC Irvine, he decided to move to New York to pursue his dream of cooking in fine dining restaurants. He attended the French Culinary Institute (now known as the International Culinary Center) following in the footsteps of Wylie Dufresne and David Chang. He spent four years in New York, making his mark in the kitchens of The Modern, The Nomad, and Dovetail. He eventually moved back home to Los Angeles and decided to start his own business, which coincided with the launch of Smorgasburg. Darren now hosts his own pop-up series at Smorgasburg every Sunday, serving his modern and original takes on Asian street noodle dishes. 1. What is food to you? Food is a ongoing learning experience. You eat to live and you live to eat. You discover things about culture and time and place through food. It is a way to share experiences and memories with one another. 2. How and when did cooking come into your life? I didn’t start professionally cooking until about 6 …

Behind the Feast: “Revival” Sous Chef By Day, Avant-Garde Cook By Night

“Somebody asked me, ‘If I wasn’t a chef, what would I be?’ My reply was simple. ‘If I wasn’t a chef, I wouldn’t BE.’” Working in restaurant kitchens, even executive chefs have to follow the “rules” of the industry. But cooking is an art that shouldn’t be restrained. That’s why Ronny Miranda came to Feastly – to share his personal experiments with passionate eaters who appreciate the story behind each and every dish. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Miranda hails from a long line of cooks. As a third generation Azorean-American, he grew up experiencing a plethora of cuisines in the culinary mecca that is the Bay Area. “Cooking is simply a part of my family’s history and has continued to be,” he says of his culinary-savvy forefathers, who immigrated to the United States from Portugal in the 1930’s. Miranda’s first gig was washing dishes for his family’s ice creamery. “It was a very humbling experience,” he tells us, looking back, “it’s harder than you think to get ice cream and hot fudge off 600 plates in one sitting.” …

Behind the Feast: Malaysian-Australian Expat & Cook Tracy Goh

As a fourth generation Malaysian, Tracy was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, where her Chinese great-grandparents settled in 1930. After 23 years in Malaysia, Tracy spent more than 5 years honing her cooking skills in Australia before bringing them to San Francisco’s Sunset neighborhood. Like her great-grandparents, she has spent much of her life living abroad, recreating foods and flavors she grew up with and misses from home. Tracy started cooking and hosting Malaysian dinner parties with Feastly because of requests she received (and still does) from curious followers on her Instagram, where she curates and posts photos of her culinary creations and food adventures. When asked about her cooking style and inspiration, she told us, “I don’t cook a dish the same way every time. Home cooking is about improvising and trusting your palate to find the right balance.” “I never use the word ‘authentic’ because Malaysian food is multicultural,” she explained, “so every cook has a different recipe for the same dish, depending on their regional and ethnicity influences. I just try …

Behind the Feast: Meet St. Croix-Native Chef Ralph Motta

Hailing from his native island of St. Croix, self-taught chef Ralph Motta has been passionate about food since he grew up as a child on his family’s goat farm. His Feastly menus showcase the unique flavors of St. Croix, using local ingredients sourced from neighborhoods around his home in Manhattan, New York. Guests at his supperclubs (aptly named Motta Cuisine) enjoy artistically prepared dishes stemming from a history that dates back five centuries. Growing up speaking St. Croix’s native Crucian dialect, Ralph’s come a long way to share his story and cuisine with NYC’s hungriest eaters. 1. What is food to you? Food to me is a whole body experience. While growing up I lived on a small farm where we raised goats for their meat as well as grew local produce for the house. This practice of farming shaped my ideas of food consumption and understanding how the animals were raised and where the produce came from at a very young age. 2. How and when did cooking come into your life? It wasn’t …