Erik Sun is a lot of things. More than a businessman, he is a spearfisher, hunter, chef, and now farmer of the finest meats.
Erik is part of restaurants Bestia and Bavel located in Los Angeles, head chef of Intercrew in Koreatown, and 2 more restaurants in San Francisco. The focuses of the restaurants are fun, vibrant vibes with original recipes and unique takes on food.
He is also the founder of Pursuit Farms, perhaps the most interesting of his ventures yet. What started off originally as direct purchasing at the Japanese Auctions to import Wagyu Beef has transformed into a full farm that will support his most anticipated Asian BBQ with Mangalitsa Pork (think Iberico, but even bigger and more dynamic), and fat-tail sheep (so legendary, the first three US Presidents had flocks of these sheep).
When it comes to ingredients, Erik only chooses or raises the best.
And to make his pursuit of food even more delicious, he recently launched his new business, XXHEAT – a high-quality seasoning powder to take your food to the next level.
He learned some of the ingredients of this powder from a master chef from Sichuan and decided to blend 5 different chilies and 2 of the highest quality Sichuan peppercorns available in all of Asia.
ERIK AND HIS LOVE FOR SPEARFISHING
Erik Sun grew up in Orange County, California, where he discovered his deep passion for spearfishing and the ocean’s treasures.
What started as a personal hobby soon became a business venture, as he began making spearguns in South Africa and connecting with fellow underwater hunters worldwide. Erik’s love for spearfishing allowed him to experience the physical and mental aspects of diving in a single breath, with each day on the water offering new adventures.
His inspiring story showcases how pursuing one’s passion can lead to remarkable achievements and a lasting impact on a global community.
CONNECTIONS MADE OVER FOOD
Erik Sun’s journey into the food business began with a memorable encounter at a renowned Los Angeles restaurant helmed by the esteemed Italian chef, Gino Angelini. Captivated by the exceptional dining experience and the sommelier’s generous pouring of wine, Erik felt compelled to reciprocate the hospitality in his own unique way.
Determined to express his gratitude, Erik made a bold promise to the sommelier: “I’m going to bring you some fish.” With that, he embarked on a mission to deliver an assortment of seafood delicacies, including lobster, scallops, scorpionfish, and octopus.
When he presented the bountiful catch to the sommelier, the sommelier said, “Show up for dinner tomorrow.” Erik told him that those were for him but the sommelier insisted on inviting him over saying, “If you don’t show up for dinner, you’re never allowed back here.” He prepared an extraordinary feast using the ingredients Erik had brought and they have been friends ever since.
The sommelier turned out to be Ori Menashe. And when Ori expressed his desire to open his own restaurant, Erik was the first to pledge his support, eventually becoming a partner of Bestia Restaurant, and occasionally cooking there.
CHALLENGES THAT ERIK FACED
Erik encountered a lot of challenges while establishing his businesses, particularly in the demanding landscape of San Francisco. The process of obtaining permits and navigating the intricacies of building regulations proved to be a daunting task. The estimates provided by architects and project managers fell significantly short of the actual time required to transform a small coffee shop into a larger restaurant.
To compound matters, the unexpected arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic brought construction to a grinding halt, and Erik dealt with some fraudulent contractors. Shifting his focus away from construction woes, he channeled his energy into enhancing the customer’s journey and creating memorable dining moments.
ABOUT XXHEAT SEASONING
XXHEAT is Erik’s latest venture, introducing a distinctive blend of seasonings that promises to elevate the flavor profiles of various dishes, particularly when used on the grill. The inspiration for this unique blend came from Erik’s desire to infuse meats, including Sichuan fried chicken, with boldness and aromatic richness. The reception of XXHEAT has been overwhelmingly positive, with its captivating fragrance and exceptional taste capturing the attention of culinary enthusiasts.
Erik uses XXHEAT on 烧烤, the Chinese term for barbecue skewers. Unlike many alternatives that offer one-dimensional flavors, XXHEAT boasts a blend of the top two peppercorns and a harmonious combination of five blended chilies.
ERIK’S ADVICE TO FELLOW HUSTLERS WHO WANT TO START A BUSINESS
- Start and figure it out – There’s always going to be naysayers but if you believe in it, give it a shot and live with no regrets. Problems will come? Figure them out. Not starting is a worse problem. It’d be like playing poker and never playing a hand, just losing your ante every round.
- Research and Development – For me, eating is my “research” and then getting back to the kitchen is the “development.” Try all the top that’s available in your sector and figure out how to make it better.
- Customer Service – Focus on your customers and when you get negative feedback, do your best to fix it. At one point, we had a lot of shipping issues and UPS / Covid-related delays. Turning a bad situation into good is powerful and having people who rave about your company/service will keep you in business.
CONNECT WITH ERIK
Pursuit Farms Website: pursuitfarms.com
Pursuit of Food Website: thepursuitoffood.com
XXHEAT Website: xxheat.com