Female entrepreneur and baking enthusiast, Jasmine Cho, is teaching Asian American history in a uniquely different way.
The founder of Yummyholic, an online bakery that specializes in custom desserts based in Pittsburg, Cho creates intricate, hand-drawn cookie portraits of recognized Asian American leaders and activists. Cho’s effort aims to spark further conversation regarding Asian American representation and awareness.
Cho has painted icons such as Takako Ozawa, a Japanese American who was denied US citizenship and sued the government in a landmark Supreme Court case, as well as Olympic gold medalist Sammy Lee. She shares her artwork on social media, which allowed her work to become more frequently featured in Pittsburgh’s art scene. According to NPR’s feature on Cho, her work is on display at Pittsburgh’s City-County Building.
“Privilege is when your culture is taught as a core curriculum, and mine is taught as an elective.” Cho said in her TedxPittsburgh talk earlier this year.
Furthermore, Cho hopes that her cookie-activism transpires new knowledge to her audience. “With all that has happened, and all that’s still happening in America, it’s so easy to become desensitized,” she told NPR. “Cookies are always going to be inviting, and your curiosity is always going to be stoked. I’ve never seen them met with less eagerness to know more.”
In addition to her patisserie career, Cho also wrote and illustrated a children’s book titled Role Models Who Look Like Me: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Made History. Inside, Cho introduced Asian American leaders, athletes, and other types of personals who changed or shaped our society in different ways. She said that these stories were lacking from her own childhood and hope this will bring solace and comfort to young Asian American children today.
According to her website, Cho is taking a break from custom baking orders and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in developing a form of art-therapy through baking. She is inspired to pioneer the nation’s first research-based and trauma-informed bake therapy program.
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