Archive Page 2


The Ann Arbor Observer Event at Top of the Park 7.10.10

We were fortunate enough to be included as one of the caterers for The Ann Arbor Observer’s customer (donors) appreciation party at Top of the Park today. We had a table right next to our good friends, Sarah and Amos of Cafe Memmi (another new aspiring Zingerman’s restaurant). It was a ton of fun, and a ton of work! We realized how much our catering inexperience led to wasted energy, but it all worked out smoothly in the end.

Previously for events, tastings, or private parties, we had been buying frozen buns to steam for our pork and shiitake buns since we were still trying to develop the recipe for the dough. With the MUCH APPRECIATED time and help from Shelby from the Bakehouse/BAKE!, we were able to crank out 600+ house-made buns to steam. Also a big thanks to Pete from Marketing & Graphics for designing and printing our menu hand out.

Ji Hye and Shelby started at 9am at the Bakehouse making the dough for the steamed buns by coercing yeast to come out and play in this big machine:

I think it would give Capt. Hook the Napoleon complex…

Continue reading ‘The Ann Arbor Observer Event at Top of the Park 7.10.10’


Great Oaks CoHousing Dinner 6.9.10

Great Oaks CoHousing is an amazing community of 37 households in Ann Arbor that live in a close-knit neighborhood, which includes a community house. Each night, a different member of the community is responsible for organizing dinner. Luckily, one of our incredible coworkers and IT extraodinaire resides here and hooked us up with the opportunity to provide dinner for 50 people.

Continue reading ‘Great Oaks CoHousing Dinner 6.9.10’


The Ann Arbor Observer

our first kinda-sorta-ambiguous first public press exposure: page 9 in The Ann Arbor Observer

Zing’s spin-offs:
After building a reputation around reubens, olive oils, macaroni and cheese, and other deli and gourmet delicacies, Zingerman’s is cooking up something different: staffers are lobbying to add a Tunisian eatery and an affordable Asian restaurant to its “community of businesses.” Zingerman’s stated goal is to have fifteen to eighteen businesses in the Ann Arbor area by 2020, up from eight today. “We have a few in the pipeline right now,” says co-founder Paul Saginaw, who cautions that many ideas never come to fruition. However, Maggie Bayless, managing parnter of ZingTrain, told a recent training class that the Tunisian and “Asian street food” concepts were on the “path to partnership.” Employee-advocates research new ideas, then work with a senior partner to refine and test a business plan. The decision to go ahead requires consensus among all sixteen Zingerman’s partners- it will be “a minimum of twenty-four months,” says Saginaw, before either could open its doors.

For clarification, we’re not technically on the “path to partnership” until we submit an application, which we’re working on, but we haven’t submitted it yet. After that, we go through a long process to try to get approved as partners, and to get our new business approved. That is just one big hurdle in the adventure of opening our first restaurant!


What’s in a name?

My name is pretty common, easy to pronounce.  Ji Hye means wisdom and it was a popular name in the year I was born.  At least in Korea, anyway.

I came to the States when I was 13.  Within a month, my aunt took me to a local high school and enrolled me.  At the end of that meeting, the school’s ESL teacher suggested that I take an English name.  For convenience sake.  Since my name Ji Hye starts with J, a bunch of adults decided to scrap “Ji Hye” and call me “Jennifer”.  I was at that school for exactly 4 month and I refused to answer to “Jennifer”.  Once I transferred to a different school, I stuck by my actual name but was rudely mocked for it.  Here are some variations:

Kimmie:  My last name is Kim.  I don’t know who Kimmie is.

Jai Hai: I don’t think so.

Gee Hi Joe:  Brilliant.

Once a kid named Charlie called me Ji and I barked at him that my name is not Ji just as his name is not Char.  In retrospect, maybe I over reacted.  It is spelled weird. Continue reading ‘What’s in a name?’


Cuisine X by Xu Yuan has a few webisodes called “Diary of a Foodie”.  One particularly hit close to what we are trying to do with our restaurant. The webisode is called Ancient Traditions:

About a quarter of the way through the video, there is a lady named Xu Yuan who runs a private kitchen called Cuisine X just outside of Hong Kong on a plot of land where she grows some organic produce. Everything she cooks is used with traditional cooking methods and some ancient equipment like the stone grinder to make her own homemade tofu. We are trying to track her down and learn from her, she seems to have hit the nail right on the head on making great tasting food from traditional recipes and cooking methods.

If any of you Hong Kongers out there know how to contact her, please let us know! She also has a restaurant in Wanchai, Hong Kong called Yin Yang in the JSenses building.

Also, the last segment of the video features a Vietnamese family that makes their own rice paper wraps the very traditional way by letting the rice paper soak up the evening and morning dew by laying them out right above the grass overnight to give them just the right amount of moisture after cooking them to a slight crisp.


Mama Hogue

I owe my street food exposure to my beautiful mama who would bring me home to Taiwan for the summers when I was little. We unfortunately had to stop going so often once I grew up and she started working full time, but the FOOD and the FAMILY are the things that I remember the most.

She admits she never did much Chinese/Taiwanese cooking, especially after moving to the U.S. in the 70’s, and her mother and father were the ones that could cook up a storm for her and her 7 siblings. Now, her oldest sister has most of the family recipes and they’re hard at work trying to remember, recreate, and translate them to me. If there’s one thing my mom loves, it’s working hard to help out her favorite daughter. I am indeed, the most spoiled child on the planet in so many ways.

Today, after cooking an American meal for my father (also spoiled by her), she whipped up a variation of her sticky rice, scallion pancakes, and her second attempt this week at sweet pickled cucumbers- my aunt’s recipe.

Continue reading ‘Mama Hogue’


Shelby is a baker.

Shelby is a baker. I know this because I tried the same recipe 14 times, each time tweaking a little something to my methods, all trying to get to one end result: puffy-ass, light, soft, BUNS. It’s the Wonderbread of Asian breads.

Continue reading ‘Shelby is a baker.’