Fusspot is Dead! Long live Fusspot!

Dear Fusspot Friends,

It is with only a little regret that we inform you we will no longer be popping up at KitchenCru every month. What started out as a labor of love turned into a potential career and major life shift, but after much consideration, we’ve decided to put Fusspot on hiatus indefinitely.

We love frying for you. It has been an absolute joy, and we are so grateful for your support over the last couple years. As Fusspot has grown, people have urged us to open a brick and mortar restaurant. We seriously considered it. We looked at numerous spaces, met with contractors, planned an expanded menu, looked into purveyors and sourcing…And did the math. It just doesn’t add up.

Month after month, we see amazing restaurants run by professionals with much more experience than we have go in and out of business. Quite frankly, it was never our dream to open a restaurant. We started doing this for fun, and it just snowballed. But the more we run the numbers, the more we realize we aren’t willing to invest the 80+ hours per week and hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to build and operate a successful restaurant. We have nothing but respect and admiration for those of you chef/owner-operators out there who make it work, day after day, in the face of rising costs and shrinking profit margins. We salute you.

In addition, recent conversations about cultural appropriation have made us stop and think. Fusspot was born out of a lack of easily available Korean-style fried chicken in Portland. In the three years that Howard spent perfecting his recipe and the nearly two years we’ve spent serving you, the KFC landscape of Portland has changed. There are multiple Korean-owned restaurants that offer it now. We believe our fried chicken is just that: uniquely ours, built on years of experimentation and hard work.

However, we have seen how charges of cultural appropriation in food have caused serious (and sometimes business ending) public relations problems for some aspiring restaurateurs. We also recognize that cultural appropriation does real damage to POC and are uncomfortable with the idea that we could be unwittingly contributing to it. It’s an extremely complicated issue, and we don’t pretend to have all the answers. In the end, it’s just one more reason to bid farewell with gratitude and grace.

So what does this mean? We have suspended our monthly service at KitchenCru and will no longer be hosting a regular pop up. We may offer special dinners or one-off events as our schedules allow, but for now the only way to get our fried chicken is to book a private event. We do have a catering license and are willing to work with you on small-scale dinners or parties.

Thank you again, to everyone who has been a part of this amazing experience.

~The Fusspots

Fusspot Chili Fundraiser for Planned Parenthood

UPDATE 02/23/17: We raised $227 for Planned Parenthood in a little under two hours. Thanks, Portland!

Given what’s going on in this country, we think you might need a big bowl of comfort. So in honor of Presidents’ Day, we are stepping away from the fryer for one night only to make a big batch of our Cincinnati chili. That’s right; fried chicken is not the only thing we’re fussy about.

For those of you not familiar with the style.

To “honor” our current Commander in Grief, all proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood. Simply drop in to Kitchen Cru between 5:30-7:30p on Wednesday 2/22 for a bowl of chili or a coney (that’s a chili dog, for the uninitiated) and pay whatever you want for the food. Reservations not necessary- we will post on Facebook and Twitter if we run out. Beverages including beer, cider, and bubbly will also be available. Food and non-alcoholic drinks may be taken to go.

And to anyone who thinks we should shut up and keep politics out of our food, we politely decline your business. One half of Team Fusspot would have had no reproductive healthcare for over twenty years if not for Planned Parenthood and is at risk of losing her current insurance if the ACA is dismantled. We refuse to stand idly by while women, differently abled, LGBTQ, and people of color are targeted and attacked simply for existing. We hope that you understand, and if not, vaya con Dios.

TIME: 5:30-7:30p

DATE: Wednesday, March 22nd

COST: Pay what you will. We accept cash and debit/credit cards. All profits will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

LOCATION: KitchenCru, 337 NW Broadway. Come to door off the parking lot on the Southeast corner of NW Flanders and 8th.

PARKING: Street parking only. Please DO NOT park in either of the KitchenCru parking lots, or you may be towed.

BEVERAGES: Bottled water, Pellegrino soda, beer, cider, and sometimes bubbly available for purchase. All alcoholic beverages must be consumed on the premises.

Fusspot Chicken Hatches in Portland, Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, April 7, 2016

Fusspot Chicken Hatches This Saturday

Portland’s newest pop-up endeavor launches out of KitchenCru Culinary Incubator this Saturday, serving $12 plates of Korean-inspired fried chicken on the bone with sesame slaw and a gochujang-based spicy sauce.

Fusspot Chicken is the brainchild of New Jersey transplant Howard Kamil and Portland native Tonya Jone Miller who explains, “After living here in Portland for a few years, Howard returned to his hometown of Fort Lee, NJ, in 2011. Apparently there’s a large Korean population there now, and whenever we’d talk he’d rave about the fried chicken take-out shops popping up in the area. I didn’t know what he was talking about. At the time I’d never heard of or tasted Korean fried chicken.”

“Howard moved back to Portland in 2012 and decided he was going to try his hand at making me ‘the chicken.’ Having nothing to compare it to, I thought that very first batch was perfect.” She adds chuckling, “Though I did think the sauce could use work.”

Kamil, however, wasn’t satisfied with the outcome of that first attempt and spent the next three years fine-tuning his recipe on nights and weekends. Miller took over sauce-making duties and came up with the simple sides. After some tastings late last year for friends and family, they moved into the KitchenCru space in February 2016.

“It took a couple months for us to scale up the recipe and adjust the process to the point where we feel confident,” reveals Miller. “You just can’t rush it, which means you have to be making something good enough that people will wait for it if they have to.”

The chicken will be served takeout style in disposable containers, though there are a limited number of first-come first-serve seats at the KitchenCru chef’s counter. Beverages including beer, cider, and bubbly will be available for purchase while you wait, but alcohol must be consumed on premises.

“We’re really excited to introduce our fried chicken to the public!” Miller continues, “it’s a simple plate of food, but it’s really satisfying. And I don’t think there’s anything quite like it in Portland.”

Fusspot Chicken’s inaugural service is this Saturday, April 9th, from 5-7p “or until it’s gone.” For the time being, they are accepting cash only but hope to be able to take credit/debit cards by their next service on April 23rd.

FB: Facebook.com/fusspotchicken Twitter: @FusspotChicken IG: @FusspotChicken

Location: KitchenCru, 337 NW Broadway, Portland, OR, 97209

Parking: On street only. Please do not park in either of the KitchenCru lots!

Entrance: Come to the door off of the parking lot on the southeast corner of NW Flanders and NW Park.

Payment: Cash only! We’re working on taking cards, but for now there’s a bank with an ATM across the street.

Media Contact: info@fusspotchicken.com