All posts filed under: Interviews

Interview: Chef James Syhabout and Hawker Fare

It’s taken the Lao community by storm. Hawker Fare: Recipes & Stories from a Refugee Chef’s Thai Isan & Lao Roots was released at the beginning of the year and people are still buzzing. The book was published under Anthony Bourdain’s imprint, a man known for culinary travel shows like No Reservations and Parts Unknown. For a population that’s long been under the shadow of neighbouring Thailand, many are thrilled to see their cuisine brought into the limelight. For the history buffs–northeastern Thailand was once a part of the Kingdom of Laos. So, Isan food/Northeastern Thailand cuisine has roots from Laos. The author is Chef James Syhabout, who says his identity is difficult to box in. “People say I’m Lao and people say I’m Thai. I’m both. Lao American chef? Sure. Thai American chef? Sure, I’m that too. It’s complicated.” James was born in northeast Thailand to a Lao father and a Thai Isan mother. The trio landed in the US in 1981. They made a home in west Oakland, California, forging a community with other …

Staff Favorites: April – What are you most looking forward to, this year?

In honor of Lao New Year’s (how many other civilizations/countries figured out that a calendar of some type would be a huge asset?) and all the cleaning we do to start the new year fresh…we asked our staff: What are you most looking forward to, this year? I swear I saw something about meeting a Kardashian but hey–gone with the new year, huh? =)  –Sai Sisavatdy ~~ Donna Luangmany: I count myself lucky; life with my large family is abundantly full of love and joy (and a lot of chaos, but that just keeps things interesting!). As the new year dawns, I’m most looking forward to spending time with family – those related by blood and adopted in by love. I’m also excited for all the growth that’s on the horizon. My children are developing into amazing little people and it’s a pleasure to witness. I hope to grow too; creatively, professionally, and as a parent and role model for them. I am a careful and meticulous planner. But I’ve learned over the years that …