Andy Ricker, the James Beard Award–winning chef behind Pok Pok, lets us know his favorite cookbooks, meals and his thoughts on the Portland food scene.
1. Do you have any favorite cookbooks, books or cooking blogs that have inspired you?
"Thai Food" by David Thompson; "The Joy of Cooking"; "The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating" by Fergus Henderson; "White Heat" by Marco Pierre White; "Cous Cous and Other Good Food" by Paula Wolfert.
2. What do enjoy most about the Portland food scene?
The dedication the chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, food makers and gatherers have to using local products of the highest quality and being in a community that supports this ethos.
3. List your top 2 favorite meals (of all time or even this week).
Last week in Phrae, Northern Thailand, I had an amazing meal of expertly made local food at a restaurant called Jin Sot. The owner is a ninja. A Tai Yai/Shan restaurant near my home here in Chiang Mai reopened after a long hiatus, during which time I was jonesing badly, and much to my relief, the food had not changed at all: delicious egg curry called Khai Oop being my favorite dish.
4. Do you have any library memories to share?
When I was a kid growing up in rural Vermont, we had no TV so reading was our entertainment. We would go to the town library (Jeffersonville) and check out as many books as were allowed per person and devour them over the week.
Inspired to try your hand at Thai cooking? Check out our booklist below for our favorite Thai cookbooks that you can check out from the library. If you are feeling particulary adventerous, try your hand at making the egg curry dish that Andy mentioned, Khai Oop.