UO Interviews: Ho Foods and Bird's Eye Vietnamese

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In anticipation of our Goodie Foodie Night Market this week, we talked with two of our amazing vendors, Ho Foods and Bird's Eye Vietnamese. Read more about how these Taiwanese and Vietnamese American chefs are channeling their cultures to create unique culinary experiences.

Richard Ho of Ho Foods:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Taiwanese American with a large appetite. Grown in California, matured in New York City. 

I started my career at Blue Ribbon, and moved from waiting tables to becoming a very young manager at the age of 23. Before I knew it, I was General Manager at the Columbus Circle location and had been with the restaurant for 8 years. At that point I realized that I needed to pursue my true passion on the creation and cooking side (a skillset I'd honed on my own).

What made you decide to start your own culinary venture? 

Taiwanese culture is underrepresented in NYC. It's something we love, and would enjoy sharing with New York. Ever since we started, we find that many people feel this way about Taiwanese food too. Our experience has shown that we have a chance to make people happy with Taiwanese food, so that's what we want to do.

How often do you hold pop-up events? 

So far, it's been a few times a year -- we post updates on our website and Instagram whenever the next one is coming up.

What are your go-to Taiwanese ingredients?

Taiwanese trinity: ginger, scallion, and garlic. Oolong tea (how can you not? it's simply the best tea). Cured mullet roe (bottarga)- it's great with a little pasta. Sometimes as a treat we brush the cured roe with brandy (or Kavalan), toast it gently, slice thin and eat with apple slices.

What projects do you have on the horizon?

Opening a modest restaurant in the next few months, finally! (hopefully) 

What can people expect to experience at the Goodie Foodie Night Market at Space Ninety 8?

We're going to bring authentic flavors from our mothers and motherland with the modern sensibility of using organic and non-GMO products. 

What are some of your favorite food spots in NYC?

Blue Ribbon, Wondee Siam #1, Amazza Cafe, Veselka, Superiority Burger, and Te Company

 

Nam and Quan of Bird's Eye Vietnamese:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

We're homegrown Vietnamese cooks raised in kitchens from Texas and Virginia. Inspired by flavors and aromas, we've cooked and served anywhere from food pop-ups to street markets.

What made you decide to start your own culinary venture?

By way of good fortune, we got an opportunity to dive into this venture. We started this to share what good Vietnamese food means to us. As American-born cooks with Vietnamese heritage, our purpose and direction is to share our culture through our food.

What are some of Bird’s Eye’s staple dishes?

So far, we've presented Phở Gà Khô, which is a Chicken Noodle Pho with broth on the side, fresh sliced chicken, warm rice noodles, fragrant jasmine sauce, cured egg yolk, and Vietnamese herbs. Additionally, we have Cơm Gà, a Chicken Rice dish with fresh sliced chicken, ginger fish sauce, herb aioli, cured egg yolk, Vietnamese herbs, and pickles.

You participated in the Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market this season. How was that experience?

It was an amazing experience for us. We met lots of inspiring people who are just as passionate about food as we are. It was a great environment, and we discovered cool new bites.

What projects do you have on the horizon?

After wrapping-up Brooklyn Flea + Smorgasburg Winter Market this past April, we're actively engaging in various pop-up and event-based arenas.

What can people expect to experience at the Goodie Foodie Night Market at Space Ninety 8?

Bird's Eye Vietnamese will be showcasing some new food for the masses.

What are some of your favorite food spots in NYC?

There are too many to name, but to name a few: Los Hermanos Tacos, 2nd Ave Deli, Ba Xuyên and Brooklyn Star

Follow Ho Foods and Bird's Eye Vietnamese on Instagram

Come out to Goodie Foodie Night Market at Space Ninety 8 this Thursday April 27th from 6-9pm!