A Story of Zabpinto
Pinto always reminds me of my childhood memories; kids had to take pinto to school for their lunchtime. There were many courses of home-cooked food in each tier of the container. Every day I was excited to see what kind of food my mom cooked for me and looked forward to getting together with friends to show off one another’s food. The most joyful moment was comparing the food flavors with friends, and everyone wanted to win to be the most Zab food of the day.
When I grew up, I had to go to work with dad. I usually took pinto to rice fields and had lunch with him. Sometimes, my family didn’t have enough money to buy good food, then, the forest became the best grocery store for us to find something to eat. (After seeing what we collected, we created new recipes each day, using my experience cooking local Isan foods.)
One day, I had a chance to move to Portland, so I decided to start my new life here with my family. As you know, I am interested in cooking and of course, setting up a restaurant is my way.
I would like to represent how Isan food influences my lifetime cooking style. Moreover, Portland has so many places to get distinctive ingredients from locals to enable the creation of unique dishes. As far as I can tell, this city is similar to mine in the way of having a lot of woods and forests. It makes me remember how my dad taught me when we had to find something to eat in the forest, and him telling me, “Do not forget where you came from”....