Rice Paper Scissors was created by Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan, two Vietnamese street food vendors in San Francisco who love sitting on small stools. Inspired by the sidewalk dining and street food they experienced in Vietnam, they wanted to recreate the experience in San Francisco’s Mission District — complete with small tables, even smaller stools, fresh Vietnamese condiments, Cambodian pop music, and a rotating menu of Vietnamese comfort foods. Their cafe pops up on front porches, garages, and sidewalks and when they’re not figuring out what kitschy Asian housewares to buy, you can find them at various street food events and every Thursday at Mojo Bicycle Cafe.
Valerie grew up in Sunnyvale, California where she was a high school yearbook nerd. She received her B.A. in Sociology at UC Santa Cruz and also wrote for City on a Hill, the student-run newspaper. Valerie fell into the food world when she got caught up with forageSF’s Underground Market in 2009, selling Vietnamese food as Little Knock. During the same time, she worked as an Event Coordinator for Oakland’s Eat Real Festival for two seasons. Now she happily combines her love for Vietnamese cuisine, Asian culture, storytelling and events into the madhouse that is Rice Paper Scissors.
Katie grew up in the Bay Area and got her B.A. in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Rice Paper Scissors, Katie worked in quantitative analytics as a biotech consultant and started KitchenSidecar.com, a food blog. As chef and co-founder Rice Paper Scissors, Katie creates Vietnamese and Chinese dishes, inspired by memory, fantasy, and her peers. When she’s not in the kitchen, Katie styles and shoots food. On Wednesdays, Katie is at the Heart of the City Farmer’s Market hunting down Vietnamese herbs and tiny oranges. Stay close – or she’ll disappear in plain view.
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