Founder of LiveRice
EunYoung Sebazco was born in Korea when its economy became global. She witnessed the enormous changes in her country after the summer Olympic cultural expansion. She then spent many years in Japan when their economy was booming and ending. During their economic downturn, she observed how the Japanese kept their traditional culture, and how valuable it was to preserve and maintain its importance and beauty. EunYoung’s heritage and unique background bring critical assets such as an extensive education, intellectual curiosity and passion to this project. She challenged herself to successfully create the first Rice paddy in NYC 2011 and has been continuously evolving and expanding the rice program.
She practiced Landscape Architecture in Korea and Japan and trained as a horticulturist at the New York Botanical Garden. She has combined urban agriculture with her work as professional horticulturist in NYC for many years. She spends her free time in the ceramic arts and studies the practice of the Japanese tea ceremony.
Tom Sebazco is an artist, optimistic entrepreneur and visionary. Combining his award-winning fine art talent as a painter and sculptor, Sebazco has propelled his in-law’s invention, Eni Puzzles, into an international success by incorporating an interactive design that uses the fundamental principles of mathematics to teach and nurture creativity as a learned skill. As CEO, Sebazco has leveraged both his Pratt Institute and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business experience to brand the colorful, pocket-sized Eni Puzzle cylindrical tumbler product line as the first lifestyle brain workout that is fun and addictively challenging.
Researcher / Curator
Hadeel Assali is an anthropologist and filmmaker currently pursuing a PhD at Columbia University in New York City. Her rice journey began when she learned from her elders that many traditional rice dishes were originally made with wheat. How did rice come to displace wheat in Palestine? This question led to many discoveries beyond Palestine, and in the process of her research, she met EunYoung, who continues to inspire her. Hadeel is a former engineer and comes from a family specialized in food science and agriculture. She is also the founder of the Houston Palestine Film Festival and has curated film events around New York City. Her rice research journey has brought her much joy and many amazing meals. It is far from complete; in fact, will it ever end?
Davide Mantovani was born in Isola della Scala, a small town near Verona, Italy. Curious and passionate of beauty and human productions, he obtained a master’s degree in Cultural Heritage Sciences and Arts. He is actively involved in associations that promote and defend locals traditions. With experience in cultivation; he organizes tours, lessons, exhibitions and festivals to educate and share evaporating traditions in hopes of rejuvenating with upcoming generations.
Davide developed a passion for Rice through his family heritage. During his youth, he attended his uncle’s family-run rice farm where he gained insight and perspective about Rice. Representing the family farm would lead him to NYC transmit the atmosphere of his land in the first Italian Risotteria. In NYC he met EunYoung at Randall’s Island Urban Farm and one year later, made a partnership with the farm by growing the first Italian rice varieties in NYC and teaching about Italian risotto’s tradition.
In 2015, he worked as incoming manager for the Slow Food Movement’s pavilion in the World Exposition of Milan. For six months, he retained the role of spokesman to visitors and press about the safeguarding of biodiversity and a "local food’s communities."
Entrepreneur / Contributor
WhaYoung Ji graduated from Tokyo Agriculture University in Tokyo, Japan in 1997. He established an Agriculture consulting company “J Farm” upon his return to Korea in 2005. He has consulted offering technical support, advice and solution to farms and other agriculture professionals to ensure that their agribusiness runs as efficiently as possible. Recently, he has assisted designing farm community space and programs. He is thrilled that one of his passions, Asian agriculture history will be shared with LiveRice community.