All posts tagged: Lao American

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 …

Lao New Year 2561 aka 2018

It’s that time of year again! For a lot of us…the 3rd time we celebrate, each year (hello Western 2018 and Chinese/Lunar 4716). Inarguably, I believe it’s also the one we hold dearest to our hearts: HAPPY LAO NEW YEAR! For the folks keeping record or the folks just curious–our year is 2561. The Western Calendar aka Gregorian Calendar aka Christian calendar, puts us at 2018. We’re over 500 years ahead–543 years, to be exact. I’m not sure if any of us has ever reflected on the implications of that. How many civilizations in history created calendars and realized the importance of having one? How many created…and kept theirs relevant vs just adopting another? Regardless, below is a collection of all the flyers we were able to get hold of via social media. So, for the start of 2561–get out and enjoy yourself at one or several new year celebrations–LAO-STYLE. Just remember one very important thing: While we are there to celebrate and we Lao really.know.how.to.celebrate. – please remember the location these celebrations are occurring in. Most celebrations are being held at a local Wat. …