How We Came To Be

DiostarDumplings.com was founded in summer 2015 by Jacke Hui and Alev Gefen. In the winter of 2015, Jacke and Alev met online and bonded over their shared love of cultures and cuisines around the world. Theirs is a definitive *when-in-Rome* approach, from learning the languages, to tasting the regional dishes, to bringing home recipes, instead of souvenirs.

Jacke Hui & Alevtina Sherman

Jacke Hui (a.k.a. Diostar), a Chinese-born American, who grew up in Philadelphia. Studied Photography and Japanese at the Community College of Philadelphia. Received a Bachelors degree in Information Technology at Drexel University. He first traveled overseas in 2003, when he fell in love with food and unique culture of Fujian and Taishan Providences of China. Jacke was always passionate about food, constantly trying out new dishes and recipes. Being an awesome cook helped a lot, thanks to his parents’ culinary prowess in their hometown of Guangzhou, where they built a solid reputation as chefs.

jacke hui

Throughout his years at Drexel University and employed by the University of Pennsylvania, Jacke was constantly exposed to a variety of gourmet food trucks. The Philadelphia food truck and restaurant scene has notably exploded, over the past few years. Jacke wanted to expand his niche beyond web developer/designer. He envisioned opening a food truck that would feature authentic Chinese dumplings inspired by his parents’ cooking. That plan did not fall through, so Jacke decided to create a blog for foodies (especially dumpling lovers) and travelers.

Jacke handles all the technical aspects of the website, in addition to managing the photography and videography. All content is produced and copywrited by diostardumplings.com, unless stated otherwise.

Alev Gefen, a Belarusian-born American, grew up in Philadelphia. Received a Masters from UMUC in International Marketing and a double BA from Temple University in Asian Studies and History.

A lifelong passion for learning about various cultures and languages led her to pursue the said majors and to work in marketing. She always found cooking therapeutic, thanks to her grandmother, who, although not a chef, exuded utmost creativity in the kitchen and an appreciation for the world. This translated to Alev’s foray into experimenting with recipes other than those belonging to her native country of Belarus, especially the Cantonese-style cooking that she learned from Jacke. In the meantime, the two of them quickly developed a habit of trying a new recipe every day and a new restaurant almost every week.

Alev Gefen

Alev works as a web content manager, creating comprehensive articles and campaigns for art and home decor. Co-founding Dioatar Dumplings with Jacke was the perfect way to expand upon her passions for writing, cooking, and exploring the world.

Yoshi Ball, Short-haired domestic cat, the youngest of 9 siblings (5 brothers, 4 sisters, including herself). Yoshi Ball was born in Philadelphia on April 6, 2017 and joined our family on June 21st. A healthy, energetic kitten, Yoshi Ball is constantly curious about her surroundings. She shows a keen interest in exploring new places– not a single freakout during a visit to her cat grand-parents nor to the vet. We can tell Yoshi Ball has the potential to be a fun traveling companion.

Yoshi Hui Cat

She loves squeak toys and rattles in the shape of fishing reels. Her favorite foods are Purina Cat Chow, 9Lives, Jacke’s homemade congee, and ramen; she prefers to drink water out of our cups, rather than from her own bowl. Every chance she gets, Yoshi loves to sniff and lick our homegrown basil (especially Thai basil).  Yoshi Ball enjoys giving small kisses, and a jump on the bed is her wake-up call.