- Episode 3
The Lunar New Year Episode
Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate! This episode is dedicated to empowering the global Asian community no matter where you might be in the world.
[6 min read]
Expand Your Network
Expand Your Skills
Regenerative Elephant Based Tourism in South East Asia via ACES
(It's a world-first free online training course for anyone in the travel industry to help raise awareness about captive elephant welfare and responsible tourism practice in Southeast Asia🐘 )
Jobs You're Qualified For
Program Manager of Community Programs @ GVI
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia ~ Level: Entry - Mid
Marketing Specialist @ SCOOT
Location: Singapore ~ Level: Entry
Program Leader @ RemoteYear
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ~ Level: Entry - Mid
Guest Relations Officer (Mandarin Speaker) @ Conrad Bali
Location: Bali, Indonesia ~ Level: Entry
CSR and Sustainability Summer Intern @ AGODA
Location: Bangkok, Thailand ~ Level: Enrolled Student
Crew Planner @ WizzAir
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE ~ Level: Entry
Event Specialist @ Employment Hero
Location: Malaysia or Singapore (remote) ~ Level: Entry - Mid
From The Mind And Palette Of Kiki Aranita
Kiki Aranita is a chef, food writer, adjunct professor, sauce boss - to name a few hats - with an academic background in Roman historiography and classical myth. She spent seven years as co-chef and owner of Poi Dog, a restaurant and catering company that served Hawaiian cuisine. She closed the Philadelphia location in 2020 but continues to promote the brand through pop-ups and retail sauces.
With Hong Kong and Hawaiian roots, for years her goals involved celebrating the underrepresented cuisines of multicultural origins. This blossomed into collaborating with other chefs and various chef residencies with likes of Jose Garces, Bok Bar, and other Philadelphia staples. Kiki is also a columnist for Fine Dining Lovers and a frequent contributor to Food & Wine Magazine, for which she was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Media Award in 2022. She has written for various publications such as USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Roads and Kingdoms. She has also created content and recipes for companies such as Vulcan Equipment, La Colombe Coffee, and the Norwegian Seafood Council. In 2020, she launched a nationwide line of retail sauces rooted in Poi Dog's Hawaiian cuisine.
For our entrepreneurial readers thinking about starting a business, we asked Kiki what top 3 things she learnt as an Asian person starting company:
Other people looking at you and your brand are often not going to understand nuance. In my case, one major aspect constantly glossed over is the difference between being from Hawai’i and being Hawaiian. That doesn’t mean when you tell your own story, you should gloss over nuances and distinctions that may only feel important to you in order to meet others where they are. My specific cultural heritage has to do with the difference between "from Hawai’i" and "Hawaiian" – if I didn’t continue to tell that story, there would be a silencing of many voices.
The press will misspell and mispronounce your name. It’s ok to correct them and corrections can always be done kindly.
Managing people is really, really hard. When you find people (connections, employees, partners) that are decent, never let them go – but know that your relationships will evolve and grow.
We also asked how tourism plays a role in her work:
Well, I taught tourism geography as an undergraduate class! My insights are based on that. To put it simply, people often travel for food. As a food writer, I have a responsibility to tell people where to spend their money when they travel by giving them honest accounts of my experiences. Being part of a larger chef community has offered me a privileged look into many kitchens and food cultures, but it has also imbued me with a lot of skepticism towards listicles, restaurants that garner a lot of attention due to hefty PR budgets and the broken system of food criticism. With much of my writing, I try to shine light on what falls through the gaps in attention paid by publicity and popularity.
Looking Ahead: What To Expect From The Year Of The Rabbit
In Chinese culture, the rabbit is seen as a symbol of grace, peace, prosperity, and good luck. It is also associated with the traits of compassion, generosity, and a love of home and family. In the Chinese zodiac, the year of the rabbit is considered a fortunate time, with people born in that year believed to be intelligent, cultured, and sensitive. The year of the rabbit is also thought to bring stability, calmness, and comfort, making it an ideal time for relationships and personal growth.
Want to learn more about what it might mean for you personally? Read more about it here.