Big Bad Queens with Good Eats

– by chichai@empire –

The blog is coming back to life! We lightweight stepped away from the digital sphere when opening our pop-up shop— it was a lot of work y’all! Now, since we said BRB to having a store, we’re making our way back to giving you content.

And what a way to kick-off our blogging than with womxn empowerment?

On Sunday, February 17, I attended a #feministAF dinner by Haejin Chun.

Haejin Chun — the culinary artist behind Big Bad Wolf SF— hosted her first-ever womxn-only event titled Big Bad Queens. Upon announcing Big Bad Queens, Haejin referred to it as the “most significant, meaningful, and empowering gathering thus far, or imma die trying.”

Let me tell you…

Homegirl succeeded that and beyond.

Leading up to the night, Haejin set the tone with her IG posts of how her celebration of being Big Bad Queens would be. You knew her and her team poured their hearts in preparing for this gathering.

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Did I make these Pom Poms and mini tassels ? 🙇🏻‍♀️yes. Was it meditative and fun? 🙃 no. Am I a crazy person who has a million things to do before a big dinner with Pom Pom fuzz all over me? Definitely. At least no one can say I don’t care or try hard enough 🤷🏻‍♀️. Vessels for our 1st course: “Ceremonial (medicinal) Tincture.” CBD, manuka honey, aloe vera, tumeric, jujubes, ginger, pineapple, cinnamon. We will start the dinner by pouring each other’s glasses. #communal. The jars are empty for now, bc the ingredients are too expensive just for photos. My goal has been the same since day one: people coming together from all walks of life, vibing. That everyone who sits at my table will be present, filled with joy, and feel like they’re part of something bigger. But most of all I hope they feel special -that I will hold space for them and that I fucking care deeply. Because I do. I’ve never felt more love, more aligned, or more empowered going into a dinner. 💫 #BadAssBossBabes got me feeling a type of way. 🙏🏼 Thank you. Giving it every, single, last drop of who I am and what I can give in one moment. See you Sunday. #foodismedicine #loveisinthedetails #tribevibes #weareallvessels

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“BIG BAD QUEEN” (sold out). 👏🏻EMPOWERED. 👏🏻BLESSED. 👏🏻FEELING IT. . . Another 💃🏻👑 just gave me the greatest compliment I’ve received thus far in life: “You empower other women.” 🔥🙏🏼 And while I’m humbled that might be true, right now I’m feeling pretty empowered by all who are coming. Every one who is gathering for this event is undeniably a FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH. We’re about to give them heaven and hell. #LaurynHill. All bad ass women playlist for our 7-course womxn’s dinner. When’s the last time you were in a room filled with other BIG BAD WOMXN?! Those accumulative vibes, that intentional gathering, unapologetically powerful… This one’s gonna be beyond 💫.#feministaf #sisterhood. Be about it. . . #feministaf #bombesquad #girlswithknives #sfwomen #ladiestothefront #girlgang #femalechef

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I admitted to Haejin prior to the night that the particular reason why I wanted to join was because of a need for inspiring vibes. Her response:

[That’s] exactly why I wanted to do this dinner. Women empowering and inspiring other women.

Because the lead-up alone nourishingly hyped the Queens up, entering the venue felt magical. Womxn  gathered glammed-up in their own unique styles; rose was poured alongside the night’s  roses; and, as we mingled with each other in the nicely dimmed San Franciscan loft, the first two courses were passed out to give us a teaser of the glorious flavors composed by the Big Bad Wolf.

The two appetizers included a warm and crisp pan-fried savory mochi (mm) and a pine nut purée that felt like a hug from the inside of your belly (not pictured because I ate it right away… same with the second one I ate.) What I also wish I took a photo of was Haejin passing out vapes on a silver platter. I don’t indulge in smoking but, c’mon, look how cute this is ( + bonus points for the organic, local, sustainable  shout-out):

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First course: @permanentxholiday. . . Regardless of what happens, who knocks on our door, free swag or not… I have and never will work with products or brands that I’m not feeling. Period. I know it’s a privilege to be so selective; I know I’ve been spoiled AF. But it’s not just business, it’s personal. And I’m not about to put anything subpar in my body or my guest’s. I use organic, local, sustainable ingredients whenever possible. It’s the same for flower. 100% cannabis derived oils and terps (flavoring), a high content of live rosin, and non of that toxic filler. Happy to welcome these new friends at our table. That #tangie is YUMMY. 👌🏼✨#cannabiscommunity . . Artwork by Hawaiian artist: @aaronkkai

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Greeting us to our assigned seats was a simple & elegant table setting with our take-home gifts, including  osmanthus honey brittle and two sorts of wrapped up flowers, one with our names handwritten.

Once everyone made their way to their seats, Haejin welcomed us with an opening speech about how this dinner is the most meaningful one she put together to-date.  She referred to the guest list as powerful and, you know, Big Bad Queens.

She then redirected the floor to Kayko Tamaki  for a ceremonial soundbath. Kayko guided us into meditative thoughts of how extraordinary womxnhood is and to honor our connection to ourselves, our bodies, and the earth herself.

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This is Kayko. #Womxn to Womxn, she has given me strength, shared her wisdom, made me feel my own feminine power… I’ve admired her and have been inspired by her on a soulful level for many years now. She’s a healer, activist, #feminist (is an understatement), hypnotherapist, spiritual guide, a well-known figure in the #LGBTQcommunity, POWERFUL and so much more. I’m so honored and humbled to announce that she will be leading us through a pre-dinner ceremony and sound bath … to initiate, welcome, heal, and further unite us during our women’s gathering (however you identify on the spectrum, all are welcome.) I have the chills just thinking about it. @kaykotamaki thank you for being you so unapologetically, so poetically, so beautifully accepting of yourself and others. You are the sister in #sisterhood. 2.17.18. Can’t wait. More about Kayko in my stories. #BadAssBabe

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Then came the feast. And, while indulging, Haejin had one rule. She wanted us to further connect with each other by engaging in one small yet meaningful task: pour each other’s glasses. For the first round, we raised up our ceremonial tincture to drink together.

The night wasn’t only about gathering Big Bad Queens together, it was about filling us with goodness. In Haejin’s welcoming speech, she shared how she did research on foods that are healthy for women’s reproductive systems. Our tastebuds, tummies, and vaginas thank you.

The main courses included: a banchan flight, chicken dumpling, bo ssam, and spicy mussels with soba noodles. From the presentation to the taste and portions, wow. I really don’t know the right words. How about this; every dish made each guest close their eyes and mutter words along the lines of omg… so good…

Last — and definitely not the least — were “double chocolate brownies with toasted hazelnuts, raspberries and dusted with a pink Himalayan matcha salt.” Holy Sh*t. I forreal slumped my head back upon taking the first bite and whispered to my chocolate, “ I didn’t know how much I needed you in my life.” Next thing you know, Haejin catches me and says, “Look at you eating that chocolate like a queen.”  I was too betwixt reveling in the chocolate to ask if there were any more.

Thanks to @katrosereyes, you can relive the dinner with more visuals here:

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“Behind every great woman there’s a shit ton of other dope ass women.” -It’s so fucking true. Beautiful recap of the dinner through the heartfelt perspective of @katrosereyes. I didn’t hire Kathleen. She casually asked me through DM before the dinner if it would be ok if she took some videos at the event, or if that would be disruptive. I had no idea it was gonna be this. 🙏🏼🔥💕. Sunday was the first day we met and she did this completely on her own. I’m just so overwhelmed with everyone’s love, vibes, and womxn to womxn affirmations… empowerment. Strangers becoming friends at our table: our creative energy inspiring/fueling each others… believing in each other’s dreams and valuing each other’s existence. This is why I do what I do, and why it’s so damn important to me. Full throttle FEELZ. I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky, but I’m so thankful for you and for this.

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Thank you to Big Bad Wolf for an extraordinary evening. Days after the dinner, the inspiration from that night’s sisterhood is still keepin’ me feeling revived.


Coming up next on our website: a blog blitz of our time at Moment SJ. Stay tuned and welcome back.

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