Lisa Tolson was born in DaeJun South Korea, and came to the States when she was 7 years old. She lived in Colorado but most of her summers and holidays were spent in Ashford Alabama where her Grandparents lived. She actually learned English with a southern twang. At a young age she was well exposed to farm life and deep southern culture in Alabama. She helped cream batches of corn and freeze them, helped pick mustard greens and turnip greens and of course as she grew older her helping role went from just curious observation to taking over the kitchen completely by high school.
Her father was in the service which meant she moved locations almost every three years. She has been Far East (Korea and Japan), West, all over America (California, Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado and Philadelphia), and Europe (Holland, Belgium, Germany and Turkey). She was able to experience many cultures and learn them through food. The different International cuisines helped her understand different flavor combinations and spices unfamiliar to herself. However, among the diversity the one constant that she grew up eating regardless of her location was traditional Korean cuisine.
Her father finally settled and retired in Florida and she was able to finish High school and graduate college right here in Tampa. Lisa was a part time cook at several local Korean restaurants and café while she was finishing up at University of South florida with a degree that had nothing to do with cooking what so ever. Right after Lisa graduated, her passion for cooking came calling with an opportunity to learn under Yoshi san who was a very established 3rd generation Korean Japanese sushi chef. Lisa took that opportunity to sharpen her sushi skills and Japanese cooking.
Lisa’s specialty is authentic traditional Korean cuisine and Japanese sushi. She currently runs the biggest cooking meet up group in central Florida and Tampa Bay. She has been the organizer for over 2 years with almost 500 members and growing. Lisa is also a part time chef at Rice Restaurant and Lounge, a traditional Korean BBQ and sushi restaurant. Currently, Lisa runs a website for a Korasian kitchen which is a Korean cooking show that she hosts as well. Lisa comes to you as a 1.5 generation Korean American. 1.5 meaning she was born in Korea but was raised in the states.
Lisa is a natural. Not bad for the first time! Food was cooked well and tasted wonderful. I’m glad she suggested combining bites of food to get the best flavors. – Linda B.
Love Korean food – Chef is so much FUN! Love the Korean BBQ! – Andy S.