Good Food Awards

Meet D.C. Winner Artisanal Soy

Posted on Wednesday, June 15th, 2011 in Pickles by Heather Hammel

Katy Chang is the proprietor of Mer-chan, the team behind Artisanal Soy. After spending years in her father’s kitchen, Katy became a professional cheese monger before coming to lacto-fermentation. She is also a documentary filmmaker.

Katy is busy creating great demand for fusion food at the Washington D.C. farmers’ market. While many eat her award-winning Edamame Kimchee plain, she advocates mixing a few tablespoons with an avocado for a quick take on guacamole, with the kimchee functioning as a salsa replacement. She also uses it on “sandwiches, nachos, toast, burgers, you name it.”

Kimchee is by definition a fusion product, Katy said. “Red chili, one of kimchee’s main ingredients, wasn’t indigenous to Korea,” where kimchee is native, she said. “European traders brought chilies back from the Americas, and they were added to kimchee later.” Her small-scale production is feeling the effects of national attention. A business that originally grew out of her making kimchee for herself in Dubai, where it was unavailable commercially and through her friends asking for jars, has now expanded to a farmers’ market booth.

Right now, Katy is working on balancing kimchee production with the unveiling of new products from Artisanal Soy. Though she is working on scaling up production and distribution, she is also happily enjoying her other products. The versatility seen in her kimchee usage also comes into play with her other products — she eats Artisanal Soy Granola all day, as cereal for breakfast and as an ice cream topping for after-dinner dessert.

For Katy, regional influence comes in the form of diverse people and international cultures that all come to the table in the Washington D.C. area. She uses all natural and local ingredients from farms in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Additionally, she’s become pretty active at the farmers market, filming a web show and podcast called “2mrkt 2mrkt,” highlighting what’s in season locally, speaking with the farmers and sharing recipes.