Japanese American Pioneer of California Cuisine

My nonfiction graphic novel tells the story of Bill Fujimoto, a Japanese-American food retailer who played a pivotal role in the development of 1970s California cuisine. Through his influence on California cuisine, he has changed how Americans eat.

Today, Americans are more aware than ever of their food choices—where the food comes from, its locality, how it was produced, and its health quotient. But back in the 1970s, local food movements were largely nonexistent. It was the Japanese Americans living in California who began advocating for local, organic farming and building communities of small family farmers.

Berkeley-based Fujimoto was the first person to source produce for Alice Waters’ restaurant Chez Panisse when it opened. Over time, the Bay Area chefs who were a part of igniting California cuisine all went to Bill’s shop to buy their produce. He created a community of chefs, local farmers, and eaters who cared about seasonality, taste, and unconventional produce. He inspired and allowed California cuisine chefs in the Bay Area to carry out their philosophies of fresh, local produce.

Please email me to let me know if you would like to purchase my book! You can also find the comic book at Now Serving in Los Angeles, Omnivore Books in San Francisco, and Kitchen Arts & Letters in NYC.

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I'm Editor in Chief of a comics anthology for Asian / Asian American / Pacific Islanders. Threads that Connects Us collects various stories about what it means to be an AAPI artist and person.  The anthology features work by amazing artists, including Mari Naomi, Rumi Hara, Meg O'Shea, Eunsoo Jeong (Koreangry) Teresa Wong, Angela Pan, Lee Truman, Kaitlin Chan, Jessica Jiang, Ashley Topacio, Shirley Pesto, and Kyla Smith. Andie Nakahira made the cover for the anthology and Nhi Luu was the book designer.


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