November 6, 2009 at 07:38 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | Leave a comment

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Metro NY and Metro Philadelphia recently printed an article about my cookbook Cute Yummy Time. It made it onto the cover…

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… and my Scottish Fold cat Basil Farrow steals the show inside!

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Woman’s Day Magazine printed some Halloween recipes from Cute Yummy Time. (If you’re interested in ordering the book or finding out more, click here.)

Japan trend scouting, fads and trends in Tokyo, Japanese fashion, how to be cool hunter, trend scout career and job advice, path, interview with la Carmina famous blogger, jrock journalism and jpop writer

Last but not least, Harukosama interviewed me about “cool hunting” or Japanese trend-scouting. You can read my thoughts here.

Book tour coverage coming up soon, including my Today Show appearance. Stay tuned for more press and a LA book signing! Thanks for your interest in Cute Yummy Time; you can find out more about my cute cookbook here.)


September 23, 2009 at 01:30 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, Cute Food Photos, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | 1 Comment

Abby Glassenberg of the adorable blog, While She Naps, received an advance copy of my recipe book Cute Yummy Time and wrote a glowing review on her blog! Abby was inspired by my Panda seaweed/shrimp/brown rice recipe above…

… and put her own creative spin on it, using healthy bulgar and snap peas.

Her daughter Stella even got into the action! She customized her design with raisins and Teddy Graham crackers. Love it!

Cute cooking is a fun way for children to become interested in cooking… and express their creativity. If you find inspiration from the pages of Cute Yummy Time, please send me photos to share!

La Carmina’s cookbook Cute Yummy Time can be preordered now — it’s out Oct 6. Also check out tons of cute cooking demos on my YouTube (please subscribe — much appreciated!)


July 22, 2009 at 16:08 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | Leave a comment

New Yorker book bench department review of Cute Yummy Time, cookbook about adorable food decoration by La Carmina, Japanese Goth girl youtube video star, book deal for popular fashion style blogger.

Hooray for cute food! La Carmina’s upcoming book is mentioned in the New Yorker Book Bench Department (published July 13, by Andrea Walker), which you can read above and here. The earless cat is, of course, Basil Farrow! Cute Yummy Time is out this October and currently available from Amazon (get a copy now!).


May 6, 2009 at 20:42 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | Leave a comment

Whoa! I didn’t realize (until a reader alerted me) that you can already order my two upcoming books on!

Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants comes out this July ($14.93 – a great deal for a hardcover with full-color photos). It’s a visual traipse into the wild world of maid cafes and theme eateries such as Wizard of the Opera.

I’ll be posting more adorable food photos on my Cute Yummy Time blog. Help me spread the word – Crazy, Wacky Theme Restaurants and Cute Yummy Time are now available for pre-order on Amazon. Be the first to get a copy!


April 7, 2009 at 02:19 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, Cute Food Photos | Leave a comment

Tama, the famous Japanese Stationmaster cat, is quite the kitty. He’s revived the Wakayama Railway and local economy, and even has a cute pastry modelled after him! 

For cute kitty lunch boxes, containers and more bento accessories, visit my online store!
To submit photos of cute food you found or made, 
click here. 


February 26, 2009 at 00:47 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, Cute Food Photos | 2 Comments


My upcoming recipe book Cute Yummy Time features adorable sushi such as the Obama one posted on Gawker! “Obama’s skin is made out of ami (little shrimp) boiled in soy sauce, his hair is made out of black sesame seeds, and his teeth are made from fish paste.” (Too cute to eat?)


February 26, 2009 at 00:41 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | Leave a comment


La Carmina or Carmen Yuen profile in Vancouver Sun newspaper. Book deal for young blogger, publishing contract for blog, Canadian author and Rococo designer.

La Carmina was featured on the front page of the Vancouver Sun’s Arts section.

Blogger signs book deals, publishing contracts for young Canadian author La Carmina. Cooking Cute Japanese bento trend food book.
As you can see, I wore a gigantic tower-of-flowers Gothic Rococo hat for your amusement. You can read the article online here; below are some quotes. The story is accompanied by a video, which you can view here. Intrigued about my work? Clickity click on for more.

“I’m just so enthusiastic and passionate about these ideas. I guess that when publishers looked at it they could pick up on that, too. Ask me to write about the history of automobiles and I just couldn’t do it, even if you were paying me a million dollars.”

“I’m a creature of the night,” she says, “and I like to sleep in; ideally it would be 1 or 2pm but I don’t usually allow myself to sleep in that late.”

“I love the interplay between things that are frivolous and serious. For example, the Rococo era was considered very frivolous but I think there is a lot that can be learned from that. Now that kawaii is getting more popular in the west I think that it reveals a lot about Japanese culture and the reasons why it became popular here [the whole Hello Kitty phenomenon]. I think down the line we’ll be reading a scholarly text on kawaii.”

“People who knew me growing up knew me as the goth kid, always the one that loved underground culture into strange music from the 60s – it’s just me. I consider myself an esthete; there were those people like Oscar Wilde and those in the Victorian era such as the dandys who were very flamboyant and out there, but at the same time they are joking behind the façade – they know it’s a façade, they play around with it, and not taking themselves too serious.”

“I loved the training [of law] and I really think it made me really focus and work smart,” she opines, “but I’m not passionate about the law the way I’m passionate about fashion, about writing, about the creative world.”

“To quote a fellow bootstrapper, ‘I work for no man,’” she tells me. “Since both book deals came through, I’ll have enough to work on (and live on) for the next while. The creative and entrepreneurial paths are always perilous, but I thrive on the thrill and risk, the sense of self-determination… I certainly wouldn’t trade them for a comfy corporate office.”

World knocking on Vancouver blogger’s door Published: Saturday, August 30, 2008
Interview by Lucy Hyslop
Photos by Jenelle Schneider


February 26, 2009 at 00:37 | Posted in Cute Food in the News, Press, The Book: Cute Yummy Time | 3 Comments

Cute Yummy Time article on Japanese bento decoration trend in National Post newspaper, Canada. La Carmina interview, photos of decorated hardboiled eggs.

Woo-hoo! La Carmina is interviewed in the National Post, Canada’s nation-wide daily newspaper. I discuss the Japanese cute bento decoration trend and my upcoming cookbook, Cute Yummy Time. (Coming out November 2009 from Perigee/Penguin Books.) Above is a scan, which includes a sneak peak of the images you’ll see in my book! Click to see the scan up close.

You can read the cute food article below or on The National Post’s website. Click here for more about my upcoming recipe book, and don’t forget to check out my latest how-to cooking videos. Can’t wait to share more from my upcoming books with you!

Aw, I just can’t wait to bite that itty-bitty head off!
Cute Food
Vanessa Farquharson, Weekend Post
Published: Saturday, February 07, 2009

If you thought smearing some peanut butter on a celery stick and throwing a few raisins on top to create “ants on a log” was endearing, think again.

The trend of cooking cute has officially taken off and some are taking it very seriously. Heart-shaped boiled eggs with smiley faces made from seaweed and carrots, walruses formed out of sticky rice and caterpillars crafted from avocado and tomato wedges are just some examples of the adorable edibles making their way into lunch boxes.

While mostly inspired by the labour-intensive craft of bento box assembly — which started in Japan but is now popular online, as shown on blogs such as and the Bento Porn sets at –cute food preparation can be applied to any meal at any time of day.

“Your mind goes to very strange places,” says La Carmina, a Vancouver-based author who just landed a deal with Penguin and Perigee to write Cute Yummy Time, set to hit shelves this fall. In it, she explains the origins of this trend and provides recipes and instructions for easy-to-make dishes that are almost too adorable to consume.

“Instead of seeing strawberries as a sweet, nutritious addition to a dessert, you think to yourself, ‘Can this be an ear? Could this be an eye?’ ” she says.

La Carmina–a writer, blogger and fashion designer whose real name is Carmen Yuen — already has one book under her belt, The Cosmos in a Carrot, a Zen guide to nutrition that she wrote at the age of 19.

“I’m the kind of person who will write a script just to see what that process is like,” she says. Indeed, she’s taken a hands-on approach to Cute Yummy Time, not only conducting her own research but writing all the recipes, cooking the food, photographing it and even sketching illustrations for the margins.

Although inspired by the Japanese bento style, La Carmina’s recipes will be geared to North American audiences.

“For my dishes, the techniques will be typically bento, but instead of seaweed and rice there’ll be pita wraps, quiche and pizza. It’s important for me to create food that’s appetizing and edible because some of the more complicated designs you see are like art, but you don’t want to sink your teeth into them.”

She notes that while there are already about 10 or 12 titles in Japan focused entirely on making cute food — whether they be books or mooks (magazine-type books)– there aren’t many available in the West.

“I think the Japanese have generally been more interested in these things and now they just have a greater tolerance for cute,” La Carmina says. “If you go to Tokyo, you’ll see businessmen in suits carrying around little Pokemons on their briefcases.”

Aside from its East-meets-West appeal, though, Cute Yummy Time is poised to do well for a couple of other reasons: One, with the economy in such rough shape, more people will be looking to create meals from scratch as a way to cut back on spending; and two, making a sandwich look cuter means it’s more likely to be eaten by the pickiest kid.

“Also,” La Carmina adds, “I think younger adults are starting to have a greater awareness of nutrition, eating vegan or local food, and cooking cute lets you make your own stuff while making it more interesting.”

Photo caption: Courtesy Cute Yummy Time. Those eggs won’t be smiling once you’re done with them.

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