ciplantgo#7: Traci Consoli, visual and food artist - spirituality, and hospitality for all food lovers with the Pink Cow
Traci Consoli is an artist and the owner of the Pink Cow, one of the first vegan friendly restaurant in Tokyo. Traci moved from California to Japan a long time ago, thinking of staying only a short while. Fate would decide otherwise, as she met, then married, a Japanese rock star. Fast forward a few years later, she opens the Pink Cow, mainly to have a place for her community to share good food, and to grow further. From the start, she wanted the Pink Cow to cater for the needs of every and any diet, something quite uncommon in Japan at the time - and still nowadays. Long story short, her restaurant became the venue for the monthly Tokyo Vegan Meetups, every first Thursday of the month.
This interview starts with us addressing the elephant in the room: why is Traci, who is not plant-based, on the show. Then we move on to Traci’s path to Japan and the opening of the Pink Cow, what Japan means to her, her lifestyle, her take on everything plant-based, what it was like for the Pink Cow to be located in Roppongi for a few years, how the relocation in Akasaka has been working out so far, potential future plans for the Pink Cow, what does a typical Traci day look like, Traci’s business and life recommendations, and finally a few rapid fire questions.
Traci’s story was fascinating in many ways, and it was a real pleasure to discover what kind of person is behind the Pink Cow, its great food, and the colorful art displayed on its walls.
(One last note: I was mildly coughing from time to time, so I tried to cut the worst of it out; it might make some edited part sound a little unnatural)
- 0:01:37s - Addressing the elephant in the room: why is Traci, who is not ‘plant-based’, on the show?... the Pink Cow’s role in Tokyo’s plant-based scene.
- 0:09:10s - Traci’s path to her life in Japan.
- Studying art and religious philosophy in California.
- How she ended up married to a rockstar.
- 0:10:35s - How the Pink Cow started.
- 0:11:50s - What interested Traci in East Asia religious studies?
- 0:13:50s - When did Traci came in contact with what she views as Eastern philosophy.
- 0:19:30s - What struck Traci living in Japan about Japanese people and spirituality.
- 0:22:40s - What Japan represents for Traci.
- 0:23:15s - Traci’s lifestyle.
- 0:24:50s - Traci’s take on plant-based stuff: why the Pink Cow had from very early on vegetarian and vegan food.
- 0:26:20s - How the Pink Cow started to host vegan meetups.
- 0:31:00s - On the impact of your consumer choices, and going to vegan friendly places rather than 100% vegan ones.
- 0:36:20s - How being in Roppongi impacted the Pink Cow business
- 0:39:20 - About having relocated in Akasaka
- 0:40:30s - A Pink Cow franchise in the future?
- 0:43:15s - A typical Traci day
- 0:45:10s - Traci’s drive to go forward
- 0:47:55s - Traci’s business and life recommendations
- 0:51:30s - Rapid fire questions.
Introduction BGM: "Corporate Japan" by Birocratic (http://birocratic.lnk.to/allYL)
Additional notes and links
- The Pink Cow: http://www.thepinkcow.com/
- Tokyo Vegan Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/fr-FR/vegan-389/
- Vegan Tokyo: https://vegantokyo.org/
- ciplantgo Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ciplantgo/