WOW! Thank you all so much! Let's Keep Going.
CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL WITH THE TIME LEFT? A BIG YES! Pledges can continue to be made right up to the official deadline. WHAT WE HAVE RAISED IS JUST FOR THE INITIAL BUILD OUT OTHER FUNDS WOULD BE USED FOR: Cleaning up the Courtyard; Outdoor Seating; Signage; Design of the Tofu Mold.
WHAT AM I COOKING UP IN WEST OAKLAND?
My name is Sunhui Chang, chef and owner of soon to be open FuseBOX, a small 20-seat restaurant located in the West Oakland compound called O2 (the site of a former oxygen plant). O2 is the “home” of Outsider Art Wood Sculptor, John Abduljaami (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYaFUTqazH0), Joinery Structures, and other craftsman. Joinery Structures (joinerystructures.com/) is the Design-Build Team for FuseBOX. I’m excited to open FuseBOX, a restaurant that will be serving Korean and some non-Korean cuisine in an Izakaya* format. (Please read the sample menu below.) I’m passionate about this because I feel it’s the perfect platform to showcase Korean cuisine, as it will offer a friendlier atmosphere and allow customers to indulge in more variety of the menu items. We’ll have a well-informed staff that can explain away any mysteries. What I’m going for is quality food in an atmosphere that is fun, lively, relaxed and affordable. *An izakaya is a type of Japanese drinking establishment, which also serves food to accompany the drinks. They are popular, casual places for after-work drinking also known as salary-man’s food.
For the past year, I have been furthering my education in the traditional techniques of Korean cuisine with a focus on food preservation (kimchi, pickles and dried fish), and the making of small batch tofu. I, also, have learned how to make and age Go Chu Jang, a traditional Korean chili paste that is fundamental to Korean cuisine. Today, most Koreans, including restaurants, purchase their Go Chu Jang off the shelf. It is becoming a bit of a lost art, especially since it takes at least 60 days of aging. The Go Chu Jang is stored in a traditional Korean ceramic pot with a lid: The pot opening is covered with cheesecloth and stored outdoors. Each day the lid is removed in the morning and covered at night. True “slow food”. Go Chu Jang, if stored properly, can last years. Kimchi** making is a traditional Korean fermented pickling technique, the most classic being the napa cabbage “Kimchi”, along with Korean radish/daikon “Ggakdugi” and cucumber “Oi” being the other favorites. But, it can be made with a variety of other ingredients; I am now successfully making kimchi with what I refer to as the “offal” of vegetables, such as the green tops of radishes. I see so many people just cut off and throw away the tops of radishes, when in actuality; these tops are the real prize. Radishes are great, but these greens are more nutritious, more complex, more versatile, and as a kimchi, a taste to die for. At FuseBOX we say, “I bleed kimchi”.
**Koreans have known for many centuries what other cultures are just now discovering: fermented foods are the key to a healthy digestive system and immunity. New studies shed light on kimchi's effectiveness in fighting viral infections and point to kimchi as a potential cancer fighter.
I am also, exploring Korean pickling and the pickling of Guam, “island style”. I was born in Korea but moved to Guam at the age of seven. Guam is where I first fell in love with pickles. The pickled green papaya and, my favorite, pickled green mango are the roots of my love for pickles. As I make pickles now, I am constantly comparing them to the pickles of Guam. Are they Guamanian good? Currently at the O2 compound, FuseBOX has access to four raised garden beds, which include green onions, daikon, green beans, tomatoes and other seasonal items. I would like to expand on the existing garden to provide for more of my ingredients.
TOFU: I will be making daily a small batch of tofu. I would like to investigate the creation of my own tofu molds, finding a craftsperson that I could collaborate with to create a unique tofu mold, which is a piece of art in itself, since the mold is able to imprint an image onto the tofu. This would aid me in exploring this esoteric art of a crucial world ingredient, as it would present the tofu as the art piece that it is, rather than just a generic block. In making my own tofu, I have found that adding edamame within the tofu enlivens it, kind of a chicken and the egg scenario. This is my passion, to be able to continuously break new grounds with this humble but valuable ingredient.
All of these techniques will be taught and used with my staff in the restaurant. And with the success of FuseBOX, eventually expand to the 1200sq.ft.space next door where I would be able to not only make and sell these items, but more importantly teach these techniques and the history of these techniques.
I will be working with theater director Ellen Sebastian Chang as General Manager/Events Planner because of her creative skills. Ms. Sebastian Chang’s past theatrical background includes working with food as a focus in some her theater projects beginning in 1982 with the groundbreaking work, “Your Place is No Longer with Us” performed in two private large-scale mansions in Oakland and San Francisco. The audience followed a ten-year-old girl through the private homes while her grandmother cooked in the kitchen where the final scene of the play took place and ended with serving the audience a meal of black-eyed peas, greens and cornbread. And most recently in 2010 she collaborated with Amara Tabor Smith’s Deep Waters Dance Theater to create “Our Daily Bread” (http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archive/2011/04/we-are-what-we-eat-our-daily-bread-counterpulse ) exploring sustainable and unsustainable food traditions through dance, storytelling and music. Food was once again incorporated into the project by using an onsite kitchen to cook and serve food to the audience during the actual performance. (Video by Ellen with additional still photos by Sarah Khan. Special thank you to Mr. Scruff "Chicken in the Box" Music Use.)
WHAT WILL I USE THE FUNDS FOR?
I am seeking funds to build out the restaurant, create a 3’X6’ open aired, secured storage shed to age my Go Chu Jang, a fifth garden bed and finally an artisan tofu mold.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
We have the financial of goal of $15,000.00 to raise for our build out so we can open our doors. We have a set number of days to meet that financial goal. You pledge whatever you can to help us reach that goal. Bigger pledges get bigger Perks. If we reach (or hopefully exceed) our goal by the deadline, your credit card is charged, we get funding, and you get the Perks you chose. Simple. BUT! If we don't reach our GOAL BY THE DEADLINE, YOUR CREDIT CARD is NOT CHARGED, and we receive NO FUNDING NOT A PENNY. And we have to find another way to raise the money for our project. Can we exceed the goal? YES! Pledges can continue to be made right up to the official deadline of midnight Any extra funding would go into other restaurant needs(small equipment-would love a soft serve machine, outdoor seating, signage). If WE are successful: We want to meet you so we are asking our LOCALS PLEASE PICK UP YOUR PERKS AndOut of Towners please add $5.00 for packing/mailing costs for the Kimchi or FuseBOX “I bleed kimchi” T-shirt.
STEP ONE: Sign into Kickstarter - you only need an email, create a password and your set.
STEP TWO: Sign into Amazon (if you already have an account than you're good to go)
STEP THREE: Kick us $1 or more and your card will only get charged once we reach that $15,000 goal!
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING OUR VIDEO AND READING OUR DREAM TO OPEN A LOCAL NEIGHBORHOOD RESTAURANT THAT WILL MAKE WEST OAKLAND THE KIMCHI CAPITAL. Sunhui Chang and Ellen Sebastian Chang
French Breakfast Radish--
Oiji (Korean-style Cucumber Pickles)--
Blueberries with Sweet White Onion --
Tokio Turnip Greens--
Cheese and Pickle Plate with Sweet Baguette--
Ko Chu Jang Pork--
Ko Chu Jang Chicken--
Brussel Sprouts w/Dengaku Paste--
Small Batch House-made Tofu --
House made Miso Soup --
Rice – Purified by Binchotan --
Chocolate Pudding --
Brown Sugar Corn Flake Pudding --
Faux Peach w/ Palm Sugar & Vinegar Syrup--
- (36 days)