Lao Food and Thai Food Made with Love

Hawker Fare Book Talk Event on 6/23/2018

Hawker Fare Book Talk Event on 6/23/2018

Hawker Fare: Book Talk with Chef James Syhabout

In support of our Lao community, Lao Thai Kitchen will attending Oakland-grown, Michelin-starred Chef James Syhabout’s Book Talk Event of his book “Hawker Fare” at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. We hope to see you there at the event (or at Lao Thai Kitchen)!

For event tickets, you can get it from Eventbrite by clicking here.



Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Isan Thai & Lao Roots

Book Talk with Chef James Syhabout and Eastwind Fundraiser

Eastwind Books of Berkeley welcomes Oakland-grown, Michelin-starred Chef James Syhabout for a book talk on his journey to his Isan Thai and Lao roots, the inspiration for his hugely popular Hawker Fare restaurant. Please join us for this community celebration and fundraiser for Eastwind Books of Berkeley.

Small plates and refreshments provided.

Program introduction by Professor Lok Siu, an Associate Professor at the UC Berkeley Department of Ethnic Studies and Affiliated Faculty of Berkeley Food Institute.

Hawker Fare: Stories & Recipes from a Refugee Chef’s Isan Thai & Lao Roots

James Syhabout’s Hawker Fare restaurant in San Francisco is the product of his unique family history and diverse career experience. Born into two distinct but related Asian cultures—from his mother’s ancestral village in Isan, Thailand’s northeast region, and his father’s home in Pakse, Laos—he and his family landed in Oakland in 1981 in a community of other refugees from the Vietnam War. Syhabout at first turned away from the food of his heritage to work in Europe and become a classically trained chef.

After the success of Commis, his fine dining restaurant and the only Michelin-starred eatery in Oakland, Syhabout realized something was missing—and that something was Hawker Fare, and cooking the food of his childhood. The Hawker Fare cookbook immortalizes these widely beloved dishes, which are inspired by the open-air “hawker” markets of Thailand and Laos as well as the fine-dining sensibilities of James’s career beginnings. Each chapter opens with stories from Syhabout’s roving career, starting with his mother’s work as a line cook in Oakland, and moving into the turning point of his culinary life, including his travels as an adult in his parents’ homelands.

From building a pantry with sauces and oils, to making staples like sticky rice and padaek, to Syhabout’s recipe for instant ramen noodles with poached egg, Hawker Fare explores the many dimensions of this singular chef’s cooking and ethos on ingredients, family, and eating well. This cookbook offers a new definition of what it means to be making food in America, in the full and vibrant colors of Thailand, Laos, and California.

Event is ADA Accessible.

Contact for event information.

Sponsored by the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies at UC Berkeley.