Jasmine M. Cho is a Pittsburgh-based artist, author, and cookie activist most known for using portrait cookies to elevate representation for Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. She is also a Food Network Champion (“Christmas Cookie Challenge” Season 3, Episode 8) and the Founder of Yummyholic.
Her cookie activism has been featured internationally on various media outlets that include NPR, HuffPost, CBS This Morning, and The Korea Daily. In 2019, Jasmine gave a TEDx talk on her work that immediately went viral and has since reached over 47K views. Jasmine has received numerous accolades including CREATOR of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the Small Business Community Champion Award by Citizens Bank, and was also awarded a Mayor’s Proclamation declaring Jan. 28th, 2020 as “Jasmine Cho Day” by the City of Pittsburgh. Expanding to traditional fine art while pursuing art therapy studies, Jasmine wrote, illustrated, and published her first children’s book, Role Models Who Look Like Me: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Made History.
While managing the stressors of owning a small business, Jasmine became more aware of the therapeutic impacts of baking. Believing that mental health services should be as diverse as the communities they serve, she is now exploring the frontiers of research-based bake therapy with hopes to make the kitchen a more accessible and empowering space for creativity and healing for all people.
The flower logo associated with Jasmine's work is actually a traditional Korean snack known as yak-gwa (약과). Yak-gwa, which is made by frying cookie dough and then soaking it with honey, can literally translate to "medicinal confection." Honey was commonly thought to be medicinal during dynastic Korea, reserved for rituals, special celebrations, and for royalty.
Having yak-gwa as a logo to represent Jasmine's work pays homage to her Korean heritage while speaking to the healing properties of confection through activism and therapy.