A feed for the foodies


Photo courtesy of CARISSA JEON

Jeon often enjoys substituting plant-based ingredients for popular meat dishes.

Cooking up a storm, Diamond Bar High School junior Carissa Jeon has created a social media account to showcase her culinary works.

Initially, Jeon didn’t intend to show off her meals online. However, with more time on her hands, Jeon said she needed a way to get rid of her boredom during quarantine. As a result, she made an Instagram account (@carsa.cooks) to share pictures of her meals along with their recipes. Since then, she has gained over 300 followers.

However, self-managing a social media account comes with its own obstacles as Jeon expresses her frustration at not being able to constantly post new content. Along with not having the time to post as often, Jeon said that she has found herself cooking less and less in general due to school.

“During the summer, I used to stick to a posting schedule and would typically post every day, but nowadays I usually post whenever I have time,” Jeon said via Instagram. “A lot of my posts take the whole afternoon to cook, plate and photograph.”

Jeon said that because of her hobby, she usually is the one to make dinner for her family. She said that she didn’t mind this change, however as cooking is enjoyable for her and she is able to practice her skills.

“I used to cook meals for my family pretty often since I’m in charge of making dinner for them almost every night,” Jeon said. “In fact, a lot of the recipes I’ve posted have been taken from meals I’ve made for them in the past.”

Furthermore, Jeon said that her style of cooking used to be whatever came to mind, but overtime there have been some dramatic changes. After Jeon became a vegetarian in August, she said that she started focusing on plant-based recipes to better suit her diet.

“[Research] made me realize that the livestock industry has a much bigger impact on the planet than I would’ve ever initially thought,” Jeon said. “The most I could do as an individual would be to limit or eliminate animal products from my diet.”

Jeon said that her research, which included several documentaries on Netflix, coerced her into going vegan at first, but after talking about her decision with her parents, they’ve decided to compromise with Jeon going vegetarian instead.

“Last year, I had to write a research paper as one of my final assignments (about the impact the livestock industry has on the planet), so I decided to watch a few documentaries on Netflix as research,” she said.

When it comes to sharing pictures of her own meals, Jeon said that she takes inspiration from other outside sources such as food accounts on social media, which include sites like Instagram and Pinterest. Not only does she try to emulate their style of cooking, but the layout of their photos as well. Among a few of her many favorite creators online are @pickuplimes, @schoolnightvegan, @chez.jorge and @the.korean.vegan on the site of Instagram.

“They’re super talented creators and are my biggest inspirations when it comes to coming up with new vegan recipes,” Jeon said.