Chef James Syhabout. Photo by Nader Khouri.
Oakland chef James Syhabout writes that war is God’s way of teaching Americans about geography. At the age of two, he came to the U.S. with his family as a refugee after the fall of Saigon. Today he heads up Commis, a Bay Area Michelin-starred American kitchen. But it’s the cuisine of both his Lao and Thai heritage that he breaks down in his first cookbook, “Hawker Fare.”