The Evolution of Woo Can Cook: From Pandemic Cooking Videos to a Growing Food Business

Amidst the pandemic, Wesley Woo found himself at a crossroads when his regular gigs with the band Trace Repeat came to a halt. Unable to continue his usual routine, he turned to cooking as a way to channel his creativity and connect with people. Thus, Woo Can Cook was born.

What started as one-minute cooking videos with friends soon gained traction on their Reddit channel. As the brand grew, with nearly 14,000 subscribers on YouTube, people began to inquire about where they could find the Chinese food showcased in the videos. This prompted Woo and his team to venture into the pop-up sphere and eventually open a stand at the monthly Alameda Point Antiques Faire.

However, Woo’s journey into the world of cooking wasn’t solely driven by the desire to entertain others. It was also fueled by a nostalgic longing for the recipes he grew up with. Inspired by his grandmother’s mapo tofu, his mother’s curry, and his Chinese teacher’s green-onion pancake, Woo embarked on a mission to recreate these childhood flavors.

Through trial and error, Woo discovered that the essence of these dishes lay not just in their taste but in the memories attached to them. As a result, he began to take an updated approach to Chinese cuisine, deconstructing and reconstructing “Americanized” Chinese food with a more traditional Chinese wok cooking technique, as stated on his website.

Today, Woo Can Cook can be found at various locations, including the Dokkaebier brewery and the West Oakland Farmers Market. Woo’s future plans include establishing a full-time presence at the West Oakland Prescott Market Food Hall, where he aims to serve and nourish the local community.

Although Woo is at the forefront, he emphasizes that Woo Can Cook is a collective project, with numerous individuals supporting him behind the scenes. From sous chefs handling food preparation to the 85 contributors who donated to the Indiegogo campaign for the Prescott Market space, it truly takes a village to sustain the success of a pop-up like Woo Can Cook.

As Wesley Woo’s cooking journey continues to evolve, one thing is clear: Woo Can Cook has transformed from a pandemic hobby to a thriving food business that not only satisfies appetites but also brings people together through the power of food.

An FAQ section based on the main topics and information presented in the article:

1. What is Woo Can Cook?
Woo Can Cook is a food brand created by Wesley Woo during the pandemic. It started as one-minute cooking videos on Reddit and has grown to include a YouTube channel and pop-up stands.

2. What inspired Wesley Woo to start cooking?
Wesley Woo turned to cooking as a way to channel his creativity and connect with people when his regular gigs with the band Trace Repeat came to a halt. He was also fueled by a nostalgic longing for the recipes he grew up with.

3. What approach does Woo Can Cook take to Chinese cuisine?
Woo Can Cook takes an updated approach to Chinese cuisine by deconstructing and reconstructing “Americanized” Chinese food with a more traditional Chinese wok cooking technique.

4. Where can Woo Can Cook be found?
Woo Can Cook can be found at various locations, including the Dokkaebier brewery, the West Oakland Farmers Market, and plans to establish a full-time presence at the West Oakland Prescott Market Food Hall.

5. Who supports Wesley Woo and Woo Can Cook?
Woo Can Cook is a collective project with numerous individuals supporting Wesley Woo behind the scenes. This includes sous chefs handling food preparation and contributors who donated to the Indiegogo campaign for the Prescott Market space.

Key Terms/Jargon:
1. Pop-up: A temporary food business or retail establishment, often operating in a temporary location or event.

Suggested related links:
1. YouTube – link
2. Reddit – link
3. Indiegogo – link