All posts tagged: interview

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 …

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Lao Films and Films about Laos

This week kicks off Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, so you can expect lots of Celebrasian puns in various news articles. Not to be confused with Celebraisin, which would be one of those dancing claymation raisins from the 80s. This year marks the 40th anniversary since the first Asian Pacific American Heritage Month was recognized by Congress and the White House in 1978. For those of you who were curious, the month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants. And of course, everyone knows the significance of May to Lao because of the incredible lessons we all get about our journey to America in history class, right? Recently, community members have been asking Little Laos on the Prairie for movie recommendations involving Laos, especially in the aftermath of that Angelina Jolie movie about our …