Meet Sylva

Woman Owned Business WBEMinority Owned Business MBE

Both my parents grew up in rural settings, my father on a rice farm in Taiwan and my mother on an acreage in Canada. Together they passed to my brother and me an appreciation for the land. We were urban farmers long before it was trendy. When we lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, we raised chickens and ducks in our garage, tapped local trees for syrup, hunted morels in old apple orchards, and raised bees in the back yard. We experimented with whatever our parents found interesting or possible. We made our own tofu, yogurt, applesauce, beer, and dandelion wine. A considerable amount of what we consumed was planted and harvested from our half acre in town. I consider my parents pioneers of today’s garden-to-table and maker movements.

Yum Boxes

I bring this free spirit into my cooking, by always using the freshest ingredients. I explore the culinary world by building relationships with other small businesses, makers, artisans, and farmers. A visitor to my home will find cookbooks in nearly every room−you could read Moroccan recipes in the bathroom! I follow food blogs, fellow chefs, and cool restaurants to learn about food and design trends worldwide.

Food Basket

Making food takes practice, curiosity, and research. My friends and customers often enjoy my experiments, practice drills, and culinary ideas. Seeing people gathered around the table with family and friends−eating, laughing, and debating the day’s events−provides me with a great sense of achievement.

Wine Glasses

I have inherited a wide range of interests and history, from Taiwan and Bangkok to the mountains of Western Canada, and from the Mississippi flatlands to the warmth of the Caribbean sun. I was born into the richness and diversity of a family of entrepreneurs, businesspeople, scientists, teachers, musicians, actors, artists, vagabonds, and travelers. These characters introduced me to adventures, many cultures, a hippie perspective, haute couture, music and serendipity. They have become my bridge to the world.