Sweet and Salty: A Conversation with Asian American Women Chefs

Tuesday, September 1 at 7:00pm

USC Pacific Asia Museum
46 N Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, California 91101

NOTE: If in-person events are not permitted at this time, this event will be livestreamed.

Admission is free. RSVP beginning Tuesday, August 4, at 9 a.m.

Join a wide-ranging food conversation and cooking demonstration with L.A.-based chefs Cecilia LeungIsa Fabro, and Sonoko Sakai, moderated by journalist Jean Trinh. In addition to discussing the cross-cultural aspects of culinary culture, the chefs will explore the impact of cooking on identity and memory. So many of our memories and cultural traditions are connected to food and cooking—often done by our mothers and grandmothers, while most of the professional cooking world is dominated by men. This conversation will feature women who are combining an appreciation for tradition and their cultural backgrounds with creativity and innovation as professional chefs gaining attention in Los Angeles.

The event will be followed by a special reception featuring tasting stations from each chef.


Cecilia Leung grew up in a Cantonese restaurant family, but was banished from the kitchen by her chef father. Yet she watched, taught herself how to bake and cook, and is currently the executive chef at Little Flower Cafe and Lincoln, both in Pasadena, CA.

Isa Fabro is a critically acclaimed Los Angeles–based chef known for her pop-ups and Filipino-inspired dishes that have helped create an ongoing dialogue in the Filipino food movement. Her company IsaMADE showcases a varied repertoire of projects with creative industries, allowing for a cultural and gastronomic exchange of ideas.

For more than twenty years, Sonoko Sakai worked in the film industry as a film buyer and producer traveling around the world while freelancing as a food writer. In 2009, Sonoko decided to leave the film industry. She went back to Japan to study noodle making as a way to restore her energy and fell in love with soba, and the rest is history.

Jean Trinh (moderator) is an award-winning Los Angeles–based journalist whose work has appeared in VICE, Los Angeles Magazine, Eater LA, and KCRW’s Good Food. She writes about L.A.’s food scene, culture, and history, and was formerly the deputy editor at LAist.

Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative. Organized by the USC Pacific Asia Museum. Co-sponsored by Asian Pacific American Student Services.

Photo (Strawberry Galettes): Excerpted from Little Flower Baking
Photo (Soba Noodles): Rick Poon

Event Type

Arts, Lecture / Talk / Workshop, Student Life, Reception


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


Other Location


Art & design, humanities, employees




Admission is free. Reservations required.

Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative


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