Interview with Sayvepen Sengsavang

The Lao Food Foundation has published an interview with chef Sayvepen Sengsavang who is the chef and co-owner of Le Mu Eats (instagram) in Bethel, Maine.

Q: What does innovation of Lao cuisine mean to you? Why is it important?
A: To me, innovation in Lao cuisine is all about telling my own personal story, as a first generation Lao American, through food; taking the Lao cuisine I grew up with, understanding it, respecting where it comes from or why something is done a certain way, but then using the ingredients and tools that are more readily available. I’m not making food that is “authentically” Lao, but making it authentically to me and my experience as a Lao American. I’m the child of Lao refugee immigrants, but I was born and raised in the United States, so I’m not going to make food that looks exactly like my parent’s food…It’s important to tell your own story; trying to tell the story of traditional Lao food doesn’t make sense coming from me. I still use the flavors of Laos, Lao techniques, Lao foods that are available because they are a part of my story, but they are not the entirety of my story.

Read the full interview on the Lao Food Foundation blog.