My dad got me into cooking. He was a simple man with a bigger-than-life personality who enjoyed a glass of red wine. Mom would make most of our meals but on special occasions dad would set himself up in the kitchen with glass in hand and create some incredibly memorable dishes. One of his signatures was his version of Cherries Jubilee - flamed bing cherries served on top of vanilla ice cream. The sight of a huge flame exploding from the frying pan when he lit the kirsch, and my mom's gasps of horror that the overhead fan was getting burnt (and that he might bring the house down) was pretty impressive stuff for a 7 year old.
My parents eventually divorced, perhaps partly due to his cooking antics, and I would visit him regularly at his home in northern Quebec. As with most men, he started mellowing with age and became more immersed in cooking and gardening. Not having anyone making your meals forces you to become self sufficient in the kitchen. He often used an old tattered cookbook - All Time Favorites - which he gave to me before he passed away. Dad made some great meals which we shared and enjoyed while having (yes...) a glass of wine.
After I got married and had a family of my own, the love for cooking crept up on me. I started buying cookbooks, making a few meals and playing around in the kitchen. Then one day I decided to really get into it and bought The Professional Chef - Culinary Institute of America's behemoth 1000+ page student handbook. Every day, I would go over each chapter, take notes and apply the lessons taught by one of the world's great culinary schools. Sunday's became a cooking extravaganza, with a feast for the family and dishes that were mostly hits (along with a few misses).
Meanwhile, my career took off and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to go on expat assignments. We moved from Canada to Brussels, and then onto Paris. It's there that I discovered French cuisine and a whole new world of ingredients and local produce in the weekly open air markets. It was also where I began to appreciate the history of peasant foods, and how my descendants were able to make incredible meals from the humblest ingredients. And as we travelled throughout France and Europe, whole new worlds of regional foods, cooking techniques and the stories behind them fuelled my passion of food to another level.
We eventually moved to Hong Kong, and then onto Singapore, which has been home for the past 12 years. I've come to realise that, as I've travelled throughout Asia experiencing Chinese, Thai, Malay and so many other types of cuisine, the discovery of food and learning how cook is a lifelong journey. Even a stroll through a hawker centre in Singapore can be a mesmerising experience when you take the time to appreciate the food, it's history and the hard working aunties and uncles working the kitchen.
What's unique about food is that it has the power to bring people together. If you want to really understand a culture, someone from another country and how they see the world, share a meal that they remember the most in their childhood. Listen to the stories and ask questions. Try dishes you've never had before and, if you're fortunate enough to have one nearby, stroll through a local market with someone who can explain what's on offer at each stall. You not only open your mind to new possibilities of cuisine, but you'll become grateful for those who make incredible sacrifices to make this food available to us.
Over the years, I've been adamant about taking care of myself by finding healthier options to stay trim and fit. In that process I've come to realise that there's a lot of BS in the food industry, which helps to explain why there's an epidemic of obesity and diet related illness such as diabetes. A lot of what we've been taught (or made to believe) about so-called healthy eating, has been false and profit driven. Just read about the history of the low fat food boom in the 1970's and how the use of sugar became pervasive to offset the loss of taste in food, and you too will start to realise we were lead down a dead end path.
In business, there's an expression I love which is to scratch your own itch. If you're going to be an entrepreneur, solve your own problem because chances are many others are looking to solve the exact same problem. For me, that was trying to find food products that were low carb and keto friendly, a diet that I truly believe in. If you want to learn more about the benefits of low carb diets, I highly recommend www.dietdoctor.com as a learning resource. So after 20+ years in the high tech industry, I decided to start my own business and do something that was authentic to me. Honestly, I could have picked a much easier industry to build a business in than food, but here I am. And I love it.
We put a lot of effort into our formulations and working with suppliers whom we trust and share the same passion for food. We want to help people eat healthier and feel good about themselves. Eating healthy is not about sacrificing comfort food, that isn't necessary. It's about making better choices with the food you buy, the meals you make and what's in your fridge and pantry. At AMAZING LOKARB™ we want to offer the highest quality low carb food products at reasonable prices that are convenient to prepare, and that the whole family will enjoy.
I hope you'll try our products. We're proud of them because we only sell what my own family eats. I think dad would be proud too.
Our main product is shirataki noodles, and also known as konjac noodles. The noodles are made from glucomannan, a type of fiber that comes from the root of the konjac plant. Konjac is grown predominantly in China, Japan and Thailand, and has a long history of being consumed throughout Asia. It's unique in that konjac has no net carbs, making it ideal as a substitute for high carb regular pasta or rice noodles.
I first tried shirataki noodles a few years ago. I bought a few pouches of a well known US brand and was both disgusted and intrigued by the potential of the noodles. Why disgusted? Well, when I opened the pouch to drain the noodles, it smelled like bad fish. Not a good start, and would help explain why it was recommended to rinse the noodles thoroughly. I'd also read in a recipe that it was best to dry fry the noodles (placing them in a hot frying pan with no oil) to remove excess moisture and improve the texture. Ok, not convenient but it did work.
And I did end up enjoying the noodles and saw the versatility of shirataki noodles in a low carb diet. Who doesn't love a good pasta, or Pad Thai, or curry with rice? If I could come up with a better product that was odourless, that had great texture right out of the pouch, at a decent price point, then maybe this was the right place to start to build the brand.
Almost all shirataki noodle brands source their products from a handful of factories in China. You would be surprised that many competing brands on Amazon and your local grocery or health food store come from the same factory. I know, I've visited them and seen their production lines with our competitors packaging in their warehouses. Many of these facilities are world class, but some of them cut corners. And I didn't like the idea of selling anything with my family name on it that I don't fully trust.
I eventually travelled to Thailand to meet with a supplier who was open to working on a product formulation that met my expectations for taste, texture and smell. I also wanted a product that was ready-to-eat and super convenient to prepare. We ended up making AMAZING LOKARB™ Noodles & Rice using really high quality Japanese konjac flour and packing them in retort pouches, a type of plastic pouch that's highly heat resistant. Retort pouches enabled us to heat pastuerize the noodles, and package the noodles with very little water (which reduces the moisture content in the noodles).
Japanese konjac flour is expensive compared to Chinese konjac. Retort pouches are expensive compared to regular plastic pouches. The small batch manufacturing process we use is more expensive. In fact, the cost of our noodles is twice as much as it would be if we sourced from the same factories as our competitors. But what we end up with is, in my humble opinion, the finest shirataki noodles available anywhere.
We have a simple refund policy that's based on trust and belief in our products. If you’re not happy with your purchase, we want to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we can't make things right, we'll provide you with a full refund.