These creative New Yorkers weren't bound by the mainstream- and neither are you. Make your own success!
Thu Mar 26 2009
THE DIYer: Angela Hwang, professional chef
THE CAUSE: When Hwang lost her job as executive sous chef at Soho House in December, she developed a skill completely foreign to many New Yorkers: cooking at home. A month later, her sister was laid off. Hwang advised her to give up her daily takeout habit: "We scoured circulars from local markets," Hwang says, "and I taught her husband how to make practical, delicious meals in their tiny Manhattan kitchen."
THE EFFECT: "After seeing my sister's food bill go from $60 a day to $10 a day for her, her husband and their daughter, I knew I was onto something," says Hwang. The pro chef set to work creating recipes and lesson plans, and by February had launched Practical Home Cooking (practicalhomecooking.com) to help people reduce the size of their food bills.
HOW TO DO IT: Use your preexisting talents: Hwang advises clients on how to better use their space. "I might suggest certain small wares or equipment they should invest in—like an immersion blender, which is about $30 and can be used for soups, sauces, purees, etc." She also demonstrates how to make dishes from her own repertoire. Business is growing. "I've had three clients so far," Hwang says, explaining that she bartered her services in exchange for those of a lawyer and a writer. "When you enter practical home cooking into a Google search, I'm nowhere to be found—yet! I'm figuring things out as I go."—Kate Lowenstein