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Chef James Syhabout and his mother in the kitchen of his San Francisco restaurant, Hawker Fare. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.

Hawker Fare 11 MIN, 51 SEC

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."

Hawker Fare

James Syhabout

Food of Bangkok 10 MIN, 25 SEC

In 2008, Leela Punyaratabandhu started her Thai food blog “She Simmers” in memory of her mother, whom she credits with her love of food and home. Last year Leela published her second cookbook “Bangkok: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Thailand,” a culinary love letter to her hometown. Find Leela’s recipe for braised chicken in coconut-galangal cream sauce on our blog.


Leela Punyaratabandhu

Market Report: Lemongrass 7 MIN, 19 SEC

Farmer’s Market correspondent Laura Avery checks in with Katy Noochlaor, chef and owner of Same Same Thai in Silver Lake about the versatility of lemongrass, a central ingredient in Thai cooking. She also talks to Kong Thao of Thao Family Farm, which supplies local restaurants with fresh lemongrass.

Market-fresh lemongrass at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market.
Photo by Joseph Stone.

'Drinking Food of Thailand' 9 MIN, 55 SEC

Yam Met Mamuang Himaphaan: Fried Cashews with Salt,
Chiles, and Green Onions. Photo by Austin Bush. Courtesy of Ten Speed Press.

Andy Ricker is widely known for his restaurant Pok Pok in Portland, which has spawned multiple locations while introducing many neophytes to the flavors of Northern Thai cuisine. Now he and co-writer JJ Goode are back with a new cookbook. It’s called “The Drinking Food of Thailand,” and true to form, it celebrates a swath of spicy Thai street food specialities.

Jonathan Gold eats his veggies at The Exchange 3 MIN, 50 SEC

Jonathan Gold recently visited The Exchange, an Israeli-inspired restaurant in Downtown LA’s Freehand hotel. His recommendations? Don’t skip the sweet potato entree, diced avocado with toasted seeds, and what Gold is calling “the best schug in Los Angeles.”

Chef Alex Chang wants you to eat your vegetables. Photo courtesy of Freehand LA.

Thai food in Los Angeles 13 MIN, 11 SEC

When Mark Padoongpatt was first asked to write a book about Thai food in America, he wasn’t interested. But then he began to examine the immigration history between Thailand and Los Angeles, and found a rich story about immigration and cooking. Padoongpatt ultimately wrote “Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America,” which examines how cooking was at the heart of the assimilation of Thai Americans.

Flavors of Empire

Mark Padoongpatt

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