“This is about the normalization of edible insects.” – Chef Joseph Yoon, Brooklyn Bugs
Meet Joseph Yoon, the multi-talented chef and executive director behind Brooklyn Bugs, an engaging and interactive food organization that promotes and advocates edible insects as the future of food. Right off the bat, it’s hard not to love Chef Joseph. His look-you-in-the-eye, always thoughtful, goofball personality makes what he does for ento-cuisine look incredibly easy. He is a natural educator, harnessing a flair for on-stage dramatics. To me, it’s no surprise he spent many years performing as a jazz musician/saxophone player. The comfort he exudes in front of food enthusiasts and audiences is rare. Honestly, I don’t meet chefs like Joseph very often. I’m sure this is one of those great recipes of The Universe, matching the perfectly tailormade ambassador to a sustainable cuisine that is really tough to like — but shouldn’t be!
Edible Insects As Environmental Solutions: Be Open
To be honest, I did and didn’t want to tell this story. The topic of insects innately feels very triggering. My mom will confirm that ever since I was 3, I hated bugs. At the time, my parents moved our family from Brooklyn to Florida, and I, unfortunately, had that sweet, tasty blood mosquitos swarmed to.
Growing up, I was often miserable outdoors. I have almost too many memories of instances where bugs ruined the occasion – it’s also the reason why I live in fear of camping. All in all, I admittedly have a bug phobia. I’m the girl you see running away from bees and dragonflies, the one always looking around ceilings for spiders. So, the idea of filming and eating edible insects for food. curated. was close to last on my list of Things to Learn.
But, I asked myself, what kind of storyteller would I be if I ran away from an important story about the future of food. Our planet needs solutions. Chef Joseph has very clear, very enlightening research and environmentally-friendly answers for how to feed our growing population. I didn’t want to be a coward. As a champion of small food innovators, I didn’t want to close myself off to anyone’s passion. So here I am. I have eaten edible insects. I know what a tarantula tastes like. I have come to tell you, Chef Joseph Yoon makes bugs taste really, really good!
I hope you enjoy this wonderful story that will inspire you to try and engage with edible insects. It’s a funny one!
Edible Insect Suppliers that Brooklyn Bugs partners with:
- Entosense – an edible insect marketplace for North Americans – tons of varieties to choose from
- Entomo Farms – a global leader in the cultivation of cricket flour, cricket powder and edible insect protein
- Merci Mercado – suppliers of exceptional and sustainable edible insects from Mexico
Bug Appetit! Thanks so much for watching and supporting inspiring small food artisans on food. curated.! You can catch Joseph Yoon on our tri-state area TV show food. curated. on NYC Life: April 4th, 8pm on Channel 25. I can’t wait to hear about all the edible insects you try!