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Hansen Shieh

Hansen Shieh | One Culture Foods

One Culture Foods is dedicated to celebrating the universal language of flavor. Delivering nuanced, restaurant-quality flavors into the kitchens of food lovers as conveniently as possible, the company aims to give cooks the tools to create exciting flavors from home. Created as a way to share a passion for bold, spicy in-your-face flavors and broaden the exposure of global ingredients, One Culture Foods are versatile and easy to use.

What Inspired You To Start Your Company?

I grew up with and always loved big, bold, beautiful flavors and I didn’t see anyone pushing the boundaries on the flavor-front in the natural space so I decided to create something that did. The goal is to make these excited, nuanced flavors as easy-to-use and approachable as possible and deliver ambitious, global flavors, simply. 


Tell us about your products.

They are natural cooking sauces that all highlight hero ingredients delivered in meticulously-balanced flavor profiles. We try to do 95% of the work for people so they can experience flavors they maybe aren’t as familiar with, as conveniently as possible. Hero ingredients include Chinese fermented black beans, cumin, Sichuan peppercorn and fish sauce (and coming soon gochujang!). Discover them here!


Why do you believe in small-batch products?

I believe in taking pride in the process. In being thoughtful at every turn. Whether that be cooking for your friends for a dinner party or creating a world-class brand. I think we tend to think of ‘small-batch’ as synonymous with ‘doing with love and care’ and in that sense I believe in the ‘small-batch’ approach to every facet of life.  


What makes your product better than the their mass produced counterparts? 

Our products aren’t afraid to push the boundaries and force people a little bit outside of their comfort zone in order to provide them the opportunity to discover something they might really enjoy.


What is your favorite small-batch treat?

The ‘Spicy Square’ at Prince St Pizza in New York haha. If you’ve had one you know exactly what I’m talking about. 


What Drew You To Food?

I’ve been asked (and have asked myself) this question countless times and I’m not any closer to a good answer. I was sitting in front of the TV watching the Food Network for hours on end before I could remember. It probably has something to do with its ability to bring people together or its ability to nourish our mind, body and soul or its ability to teach us about ourselves and one another or its ability to put a smile on people’s face without fail but it could also be as simple as the fact that its so damn tasty. 


Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?

I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley of LA which has some of the best representations of regional Asian food in the country. I was crunching on marinated cold pig’s ears, sucking skin and gelatin off of chicken feet, and gnawing on pig’s feet from the moment I could chew. I’m inspired to chase as many different food experiences as possible and hopefully inspire others to chase some of their own as well. 


What Products Are You Working On Now?

A sweet and smoky gochujang based sauce with some unexpected complimentary flavors and an entire line of ready-to-eat products that will hopefully allow more people to enjoy exciting, global flavors through added convenience. 


Do You Have a Favorite Product?

They're my babies. Cant pick a favorite. 


Latest Ingredient Obsession?

Always and forever anchovies. 1 part fish sauce to 4 parts mustard is a secret weapon of mine + also to add complexity and bite to meats. 


What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?

I was product testing so a simple chicken stir fry with our in-development gochujang sauce. I finished it all so that’s a good sign! 


What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?

Tough one. Going to politely pass. 


What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other artisans?

Things are never as bad as they seem and never as good as they seem.


What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire?

Everyone who is doing something they believe in and are proud to share. 


If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?

Spatchcock brick chicken, sissig, shiro ebi sushi, jamon, uni everything, Prince St, my mom’s Chinese chicken soup, lengua tacos, sautéed tomato and scrambled eggs, all the noodles. 


Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?

Very memorable last few dishes: Arroz Negro at Estela, Duck ‘fried rice’ at Pig & Khao (and not just because we’re paired up on The Fare Trade ha), everything at Cosme, did I mention Prince St? And IMO Hearth is the epitome of the perfect neighborhood restaurant. 


What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?

Watching and playing football, kickboxing, cooking outdoors ha. 


What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?

Im a podcast/Netflix in the background guy. 

Find One Culture Foods In The Ultimate Thanksgiving Box!

Discover The Full Line-Up From Hansen's One Culture Foods