My Morning at TECHmunch & The State of My Union

We find ourselves back in the Twin Cities for a family reunion of sorts.  Jake’s brother just returned home from his second tour in Afghanistan and we’re elated.

On Saturday morning, I was able to attend TECHmunch.  I was humbled to wander amongst many who contribute to the Twin Cities’ vibrant food community and write blogs that I personally love.  Giant chocolate croissant from Patisserie 46 and smooth, Bull Run coffee in hand, I met my seat mates and soaked in thoughts from Andrew Zimmern, Jason DeRusha, and Daniel Klein.  Their workshops inspired me to begin the process of re-evaluating what on earth I am actually doing and where I would like to go.  
What is my voice and do I have a distinctive voice?  Am I trying to write about too many things in a mediocre manner or should I hone my focus and try to do one thing really well? 
I question whether my voice is compelling enough to sustain what I think I’ve been doing. . . sharing my experience as an adopted Korean in the Midwest (more recently, Fargo) and the interesting food that I meet and make.  Maybe I need to find more of a niche.
I am, by no means, an expert on anything, but I want to tell good stories.  Zimmern notes that it’s best to tell stories no one’s heard before.  It is my hope to merge memoir and food.  As I’ve mentioned previously, food is never just about the food.  I want to highlight the oddities, heartbreaks, irreverencies, and humor in life and connect these with food.  Life isn’t always pretty and it sure isn’t polite.  That’s what makes its stories all the more compelling.  
During my quarter-life, I’ve managed to simultaneously attract and pursue chaos which has gifted me with more stories than one might imagine a 27-year old might have.  And as Jake has pointed out, I have an uncanny food memory.  At any point of time, I can remember what I ate or drank along, with those who surrounded me.  I want to dig deeper and share more of my life as it connects with food, saving some of the best stories for later.  They may be too soon to tell.  
Simply put, I hope to connect my passion for food with better stories.  
I am a reluctant North Dakotan who continues writing my love song to the Twin Cities while exploring the cafes, cultural celebrations, and restaurants of North Dakota and rural Minnesota.  I’m an Asian who is just learning she is Asian.  As I explore markets and restaurants of all ethnicities, I want people to fall in love with the diversity of food and those to whom it’s connected.    
Somehow, I’ve also found myself behind in technology, a reminder that was all too apparent at TECHmunch.  I aquired my first smartphone this weekend and look forward to Instagramming and Tweeting with the best.  My Tweets have come from a laptop and I’m happy to announce this will occur no more.  I was late to the Twitter party, but look forward to using my new tool to further illuminate my blog and connect with those in our vibrant food communities.  Eventually, I’d like to transition to my own website or a self-hosted website.  If you have any suggestions, I’d love to know.  
Since April 2011, An Herbalist Eats has evolved from 70% food and 30% herbalism to 90% food and 10% storytelling/travel/opinion.  Although I have been very much influenced by my studies in herbalism, my heart is leading me to focus on food, exploration, and storytelling, allowing the herbalist to speak when it seems authentic.
This blog is my love song to food.  To the people who make food and the journeys to find it.  This is a love song to my life and to my home.  My old home and my new one.  I hope you will continue to follow my blogs and I, as we evolve.  


  1. I think you’re doing fine. I think you have a distinctive voice already. I actually would rather read your writing than Zimmern. He is mostly interesting because he (as he suggested) writes about things noone else does. When he’s not doing that, I feel like he is pretty average.

  2. Thanks for the feedback!

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