Voices of Moxie and Moss : Meet Andrea | Japanese Cooking Instructor

May 03, 2017

Voices of Moxie and Moss : Meet Andrea | Japanese Cooking Instructor

Chef and Japanese Cooking Instructor Wearing workwear for women - the Maven denim work pant


We are inspired by the incredible women in our community. Not only have they put our Maven work pant to the test - they've shared some of their personal stories.

Why did you decide to become a cooking instructor and a business owner?
I decided to become a cooking instructor because I have always loved to cook, and once people found this out, they began to ask me how to make Japanese dishes. I realized that this could be something I could share with others. It all began with bento lunches, which I packed for my own kids... this led to my kids' friends asking their moms to make lunches like that, which then led to the moms asking me to show them how to do that themselves! I began teaching a few classes casually, and that soon led to more regular teaching.

How long have you been doing that?
I have been teaching cooking classes for about 8 years.

What is something that brings you the most joy or satisfaction in your job?
Nowadays, I conduct as many kids' classes as I do adult ones, and one of my favorite things about working with kids is when I get them to make, and then try, some food that they thought they didn't like, only to discover that it's actually pretty good! I also think that getting kids interested early in food and cooking is a great way to introduce them to a skill that will serve them well for their whole life.

When have you encountered an obstacle?
Because my classes are often off-site, I have definitely had instances of forgotten ingredients or tools.

How did you overcome it?
I am a champion at winging it. It's one of my superpowers. I can make do with other things that I have on hand, even if it wasn't the original plan!

What resources did you use or make to overcome that obstacle?
Again, whatever I have on hand is how I overcome this. I think it's helpful to show people, kids and adults, that cooking doesn't have to be a prescribed thing where you have to follow a recipe exactly to a tee to make it work. People often have a perception that Japanese cooking is fussy and constrained by rules, but my goal is to change that perception and let folks know that it doesn't have to be like that at all.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your family or personal life that helps us understand who you are and what you stand for?
I come from a long line of home cooks and food lovers. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction to know that I've cooked something for my own family and friends that they enjoy, and that by sharing cooking and good food together, I can pass on the love that has been shared with me over my lifetime.

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