All posts filed under: Literature and Writing

Staff Favorites: May – What Song Gets You Going?

Nothing and no one can get under your skin as well, and as fast, as your own mother. Maybe it’s because you were inside of her for around 9 months. Maybe it’s because she watched you grow and memorized the times you were triggered. Mom is our greatest superhero and, if we’re being honest, the single greatest villain and opposition any time we wanted to just give in to our dark side. So, in honor of Mother’s Day and her status as greatest superhero villain–we asked our staff–what is your hype song, and why? Because let’s face it–your hype song and your mom both know how to get your temper and emotions going from a cool 75 degrees to heatstroke, in less than 2 seconds flat. Happy Mother’s Day! Enjoy our list and–let us know yours!  –Sai Sisavatdy ~~ Donna Luangmany: I love a good hype song. Jay Z, A Tribe Called Quest, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, and DMX always get me in the right mood. But my anthem lately has been Alicia Keys’ “Girl …

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 …