Cooking Demonstrations

We’re excited to help spread the joy of soy in various creative forms this year, incorporating a number of Cooking Demonstrations and introducing a couple of special hands-on Cooking Workshops for the first time. The Cooking Demonstrations are free and open to attendees, and the Cooking Workshops will be fee-based.


Mariko Grady, Aedan Fermented Foods

Cooking Demonstration: Shio Koji Tofu with Dengaku Miso

Cooking Workshop: Miso-Making Workshop ($25, includes Festival admission. Limited seating): 12:15 p.m. in Hall C

Mariko Grady with Aedan Fermented Foods sitting at a wooden table
Photo Credit: Erin Ng

The name Aedan ‘叡伝’ comes from two kanji characters, ‘叡’ means wisdom, ‘伝’means hand down (as information) from generation to generation. Aedan Fermented Foods founder Mariko Grady creates small batch fermented products using the knowledge passed down from her grandfather’s miso-making business and her mother’s home miso recipes in Japan. Using this traditional knowledge, she has adjusted and perfected her recipes to match the unique flora and environment of San Francisco.

In 2011 after the devastating tsunami struck Japan, Mariko sold her natural fermented products to friends to fundraise for Japanese victims. The popularity of Mariko’s delicious fermented foods spread quickly by word-of-mouth in the community of Japanese mothers and friends. After this fundraising, Mariko started to write Aedan’s weekly newsletters to share information on fermented foods and her wisdom on leading a happy, healthy life. In May 2012, Mariko joined the incubator kitchen program at La Cocina in San Francisco and since then has worked to develop her Aedan Fermented Foods product line.

Reina Montenegro, Nick’s Kitchen and Nick’s on Grand

Cooking Demonstration: Sisig Made with Grilled Mushrooms and Tofu

Reina Montenegro of Nicks Kitchen Asian female smiling

Born and Raised in the Philippines, this self-taught chef started as a personal chef and caterer. Now she owns two vegan restaurants in the Bay Area, Nick’s Kitchen in Daly City and Nick’s on Grand in South San Francisco.

After being in the Corporate world for 10 years, she decided to follow her passion of food and cooking. After turning plant-based less than five years ago, she evolved her business to align with her belief system.

If Reina is not in the kitchen creating new dishes, she is spending time with her children or learning another passion, dance.

Henry Hsu, Hodo Soy

Cooking Demonstration: Tofu and Yuba Making 101

Henry Hsu of Hodo Foods

Henry Hsu came to the professional world of food relatively recently, working at Oakland’s Hodo Foods where he’s held many hats in his eight years at the local tofu maker (which has now gone nationwide and to Canada).  A bit of a dabbler in many fields, he comes to the culinary food with a background in public health, architecture, fashion, furniture design and development work.

Besides his work at Hodo, he also teaches dumpling making classes under Oramasama Dumplings, leads culinary tours with Edible Excursions, and volunteers at the Farmers’ Market with Green Gulch Farms. He’s also started to host pop-up dinners here in the Bay Area focusing on food from his native Taiwan.

Hodo is the only maker of fresh, organic, non-GMO yuba in the U.S., the nutrient-dense layer of cream lifted off the top of heated soy milk and turned into a protein-packed dream of a “noodle.”

Kaori Becker, Kaori’s Kitchen

Cooking Demonstration: Soymilk Mochi Dusted with Kinako

Cooking Workshop: 1) Soymilk Mochi Dusted with Kinako, 2) Odango Made with Mochiko and Tofu, Glazed with Mitarashi Sauce ($45, includes Festival admission. Limited seating): 2:15 p.m. in Hall C

Kaori Becker from Kaori Kitchen smiling

My name, “Kaori,” means “fragrance” in Japanese, and I have always been passionate about teaching guests how to make delicious, fragrant dishes from my Japanese heritage. I learned how to cook traditional Japanese meals and desserts from my mother, Yukiko, who teaches our mochi classes as well. I own a cooking school, Kaori’s Kitchen, and teach mochi and ramen classes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Kaori’s Kitchen is a culmination of my mother and my love of cooking and our desire to share this love with those who also love food. When my mother told me that many years ago my grandmother owned her own ramen shop in Fukushima, Japan, I decided to dive deeper into her roots through cooking ramen.

In 2014, after studying and specializing in ramen as well as mochi from-scratch, I taught classes at The Seasoned Farmhouse, a recreational cooking school in Columbus, Ohio, as well as at Franklin Park Conservatory, centering around Asian cuisine. In 2015, while teaching English to high school students, I ran a bi-weekly cooking club every month at school, beginning to realize that my passion for cooking, and teaching others how to cook, was greater than my passion to teach English.

After moving to the Bay Area in the summer of 2016, I created my business, Kaori’s Kitchen. Asking my mother to join my team was a natural move for me. My mother Yukiko has been well-versed in mochi making for several years now, making mochi for local festivals and bazaars in the Bay Area.

Now, my mother and I work together to provide mochi, ramen, and other Japanese cooking classes to the Bay Area.

In creating Kaori’s Kitchen, our mission is to deepen relationships through authentic interactions while cooking, and create a space where conscientious individuals, friends, and family can come together to make a positive difference in their local community.