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Historical Cultural Context9:08
About This Class
Learn Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker’s process for faithfully recreating Northern Thai cuisine, and then apply his insight to a favorite cuisine of your own. In this 45-minute class, Andy goes over the importance of the historical and cultural context of dishes, finding native ingredients, utilizing endemic tools and techniques, and even considering the proper means of consumption. As Andy says, this is less of a cooking class and more of an exercise to look deeper into the food that we eat.
Andy Ricker spent his formative years, as many budding chefs do, as a teenage dishwasher, in his case at a small Vermont restaurant. Unlike many chefs, Ricker also spent years backpacking across the globe, working at a number of restaurants in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and Europe, including Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons. Those international horizons, combined with a pivotal introduction to Thai cuisine by an old friend who moved to the country’s northern region, inspired Ricker to bring himself and his favorite flavors, back to the states.
Now an established stateside champion of Thai cuisine, Ricker still considers himself a student of his passions. He travels throughout Asia at least a month out of every year, tasting and trying and taking notes for his own nascent culinary empire, which began when Ricker opened innovative Thai temple Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon, in 2005. And while he still might shy from words like “authority” and “expert,” if success is any indication, Ricker is clearly doing something right. Pok Pok was named “Restaurant of the Year” by The Oregonian and ultimately netted Ricker the title of James Beard’s “Best Chef, Northwest” in 2011.
Still exploring in his own right, Ricker opened Ping in 2009, a pub-like space with an Asian fusion menu that made food critics’ “must try” lists. He also cut the ribbon atWhiskey Soda Lounge, a lounge with Thai-inspired cocktails. Most recently, Ricker opened Pok Pok Ny in New York City—first whetting our appetites with Pok Pok Wing—which has received immediate adoration and critical praise.