We had the good fortune of connecting with Samuel Baek and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samuel, what inspires you?
Seeing the influencer boom during early quarantine inspired me to give Califoodventure a make-over long over due. It was originally branded to focus on Disney’s California Adventure foods, but I knew in my heart I needed to expand to a broader audience. So I kept the name, rebranded and wanted to focus on local/favorite businesses all over. The name speaks for itself as we are embarking on a venture together throughout California with food.
Also as a Korean-American I wanted to have more presence of the AAPI community out in the world. It’s always great to see a strong community working together and seeing those around me like my good friend Robert (@foodwithwords) thrive with what they’re passionate about. Also my Global Eats family have been a supportive individuals who have been so loving. Working alongside these creators, fellow local restaurants and owners really fulfills my heart. Creating memories throughout photos/videos in particular cherish a lot of meaning and I hope to vocalize that more throughout this journey. It’s what inspired me to be where I am today.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I feel like an artist it’s always going to be a rocky start, but once you find your footing it’ll be an easy ride from there. I started drawing in youth and was looking to pursue in it professionally, but I always held myself back because I was unsure. When I moved onto to photography and video editing, I knew it was a medium I would love to work with. Instantly I fell in love with the idea that you can tell a story visually captured through a lens. It took me a little while to figure out out my style, but I know that I’m always trying new methods to spice things up.
Specifically I love to make reels or Tik Tok’s at the moment. With trends always coming around left and right, it’s fun to participate especially with music that we can incorporate in our videos. I do voice overs in a lot of my videos so that my audience can get a better idea of what they are getting themselves into when going to these delicious joints.
I want people to know to that my brand is all about the California experience. Whether it is about the newest ghost kitchen opening up in your area, old school burger local joint or the trendiest Instagram-able café, Califoodventure’s gotchu. I strive to create a positive space that ensures happiness.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Do not get me started. I love to do a itinerary list with options just in case because things always happen! I’m not an expert, but I can recommend some of the best places for the whole day.
Let’s say we start off in Los Angeles. Here’s some options we can go with throughout the day
Grand Central Market @grandcentralmarketla
Nimbus Coffee @nimbus_coffee_la
Academy Museum @academymuseum
Sunright Tea Studio in Little Tokyo @sunrightteastudio.socal
Cafe Dulce @cafedulcela
Little Tokyo @golittletokyo
Mama Shelter @mamashelterla
I would definitely recommending all these places as it gives you the Los Angeles experience. There are so many other places as well, but that can go for another list.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give this recognition to my mother. She is the hardest working individual I have ever known in my whole entire existence. Throughout my childhood I have always seen her work multiple jobs to make sure her son (myself) and two older daughters were making ends meet. I remember when I was younger going to work with my mother to help her clean office buildings, then years later working alongside each other throughout long hours cooking for guests to now helping her with managing her business. Then on her spare time she always created dishes which ultimately sparked my love for food. One of my favorite things she would make at the time was Kimchi-bokkeumbap (Korean fried rice). I would stand by the stove top, ask excessive questions to the process so that one day I can make it myself. I can still smell the aroma of fried kimchi, rice, veggies, spam and sesame oil drizzled over a fried egg today.
She’s an absolute boss.
Other: Tik tok: @califoodventure