ENCLAVE is a grassroots movement by culinary artist, Lan Thai. Along with the information below, she will be sharing in our e-zine to tell her story and what keeps her doing what she loves to do.
"The most important ingredient in any meal is family and friends."
Lan Thai, better known as Lando, is the brains, sweat, and heart behind this venture.
"Doing dishes is free therapy."
Lan recommends hand washing dishes with Dr. Bronners's Magical Soap in Peppermint or Eucalyptus to maximize therapeutic effects.
LAN'S STORY IN DEPTH
Lan Thai, aka Lando’s food creations are as vibrant as the cultures that inspire it. Her parents, who were forced to leave Vietnam because of the war, escaped on her father's fishing boat, and settled in a Thailand refugee camp where Lan was born. Shortly after, her parents emigrated and settled in America before her first birthday. Lan grew up on a farm in Southern California that belonged to her parents. Her father raised animals and grew their own food. Her mother, who is Lan’s biggest inspiration and gifted her with her love for cooking, carried on the traditions and flavors of Vietnam.
Lan’s food tells the story of the life she has lived and is written in the language of her native culture. Lan has always understood the importance of honoring heritage and one of the most important aspects of Vietnamese culture is food. Lan’s cooking is a modern and creative fusion of her Eastern roots and Western upbringing.
Like many of today’s greatest entrepreneurs, Lan left a successful career to follow her passion for cooking. After graduating Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Graphic Communication and a minor in Business Administration, she worked for Adobe Systems for 6.5 years before leaving to pursue her dreams. Since then, Lan has parlayed her passion for food into a bevy of forward-thinking businesses.
Lan is chef and owner of Happy’s Hawai’i Green Catering, which crafts unique Asian-fusion dishes that land at the intersection of the freshest ingredients, art, and community. She is also the creator of the Farm-to-Chopstix Craft Beer Tour, where she goes by Drunken Master Chef. She views these events as an opportunity to connect people to the source of their food and embrace the communal aspect of food because, as Lan says, “the most important ingredient in any meal is family and friends.”
Look ma! No glass shards!
"I drive in traffic to listen to Bill Burr's podcast."
Besides great music, listen to podcasts or audio books, but keep your eyes on the road!
DRUNKEN MASTER CHEF?
"You know when you have a couple drinks with your friends, and you think you've come up with the most awesome name in the world? I blurted 'Drunken Master Chef', thinking it was totally clever since it was a play on the TV show and my favorite kung fu movie, 'Drunken Master'. And then, without thinking, I buy the domain name and set up a blog and put it out there for the public, and I'm totally embarrassed by it now. Not because of Drunken Master, but because the word 'chef' makes me cringe. But then again, I wonder if the band, 'Spoon', thought of that too. I can't imagine how in the heck they ever came up with that band name but it works because when I listen to their music, I don't even think of the actual physical object that carries food. Unfortunately, I'm not a rock band."
Learn to embrace and own it, or rather, just don't care.