We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaysson Li and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jaysson, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I really do not look at my business as a business. I look at it as a lifestyle. The style of life which I am constantly doing the things that I enjoy. In order to enjoy every moment, I cannot only choose to enjoy the good moment, but I also need to make myself enjoy all the tough/stressful times. Life is not always happy, there are sad, stressful, outrages, and many many more moments. Be ready for every moment, and try to find one little thing to enjoy in every one of them.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think one of the hardest thing for me to become who I am today is learning from other people while staying true to my own identity. I have learned from many chefs from different countries, and I have came to a conclusion that it is easy to learn and remember the procedure to every dish, but to understand the meaning and reason behind every flavor profile is the hardest. Just thinking of a dish that consists of 5 main ingredients and 15 seasoning spices, sauces, and herbs intertwines the flavor, aroma, texture, and color with each other in creating a new flavor profile is just phenomenal. Every person that has the vision and imagination to create something out of this world from using a combination of things that we do have in this world is called an artist. That is one of the reason why I created Ramen Zuru, A platform which I can use to introduce my way of cooking and thinking to the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Gaam, I would definitely bring my buddy to Gaam Restaurant and Lounge in Koreatown Los Angeles.. The culture and atmosphere of this Korean Gastropub gives is just out of this world. It is a place which you and your friends can enjoy really good Korean food while drinking some Korean Soju and getting hyped up with the right Kpop music. They do a really good job in bringing people together with every little detail. The only sad thing is this restaurant has closed down due to the Pandemic So I am still in search of somewhere that is on Gaam’s level. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Family played a very big role in how I became the person I am today. I grew up in a family of foodies, My dad loves eating at different restaurant, Ever since I was a kid, my dad would always briing me to different restaurant to try different kind of food. His favorite is Dimsum or the Chinese calls it Yumcha (Yes it has the word YUM in it), Yumcha is a traditional type of food which they serve in Guangdong, China. It consists of different small dishes which was made using different techniques from Stir-frying to Steaming to Deep Frying to Baking to Searing. You can basically have many different experience in just one meal. My mom on the other hand is very different from my dad, Growing up, I remember walking thru every street corner and alley with my mom to find the most “HIP” streetfood there is in the city. Oh boy, she loves this streetfood dish called Mala Tang, which is a dish that you can choose the vegetable and protein of your liking and they cook it and submerge in this Spicy Sauce. Every vendors got their own secret recipe on making this dish, but the two things that everyone use are the Sichuan Peppercorn and Dried Chili, Hence the meaning of MA-LA means “Numb and Spicy”. Just think about it this way, You have Mr. Sichuan Peppercorn and Ms. Dried Chili Salsa Dancing with each other on your tongue, Yep, that’s how it feels. So I am really really grateful to have grown up in a family of Foodies which got me experience two different styles of food. Oh yea, cannot leave my wife out of this, she is my NUMBER ONE FAN when it comes to the food I cook, She always give me the confident to continue doing what I love and she is the backbone to my success.