All posts filed under: Books

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 …

2018 Lao American Poet Spotlight

It’s April!  That means it’s Pi Mai Lao, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month, and National Poetry Month! Lactose intolerance kind of dampens our attitude about grilled cheese sandwiches but here at Little Laos on the Prairie we love our poets who’ve been blazing trails across the country, including creators like: Phayvanh Leukhamhan, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Krysada Panusith Phounsiri, Catzie Vilayphonh, Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Xaysouvanh Phengphong, and Kongkeo Saycocie. All of them have helped to make the world a much more interesting place with their verse and creativity! Last year we discovered several new poets in the community through events such as the Lao American Writers Summit in Seattle and social media, and we want to take the time out to draw your attention to their work. You might discover a new favorite writer! Alina Amkhavong is a Lao American spoken word artist with roots in Seattle who attended University of Southern California and performed at the Lao American Writers Summit sharing her poem “blossom” with the community. She’s been very positive about embracing her roots and heritage …