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Hawker Fare 11 MIN, 15 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, 33 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, 10 SEC

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

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.

'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 and introduced 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 variety of spicy Thai street food specialities.

Jonathan Gold on Jitlada 4 MIN, 5 SEC

In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer Jonathan Gold rediscovered Jitlada. Jitlada had been around for ages and was known as the first "nice" Thai restaurant in Hollywood before falling off the map due to an influx in Thai restaurants. In 2006, it was bought by a family from Southern Thailand who revamped the menu to reflect their regional cuisine. Jitlada is still open and serving up some of the spiciest curry in Los Angeles.

Thai food in Los Angeles 13 MIN, 30 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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