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’s story begins in a refugee camp in Thailand, where she was born to parents fleeing the communist takeover of Vietnam. Growing and cooking food was not a luxury in her early life, but a precious necessity; she literally doesn’t remember learning to use a knife–it was as much a part of her developmental
experience as learning to walk or speak. It’s difficult to overstate the fundamental role that food, its production, and its preparation played in her life, just as its difficult to overstate the visceral connection that she developed with cooking as a result. The potential of food and culinary tradition to sustain, connect, and lift up families and communities is a chief contributing factor in her view of cooking and eating. This deeply-layered perspective shines through in the cuisine she creates, which manages to be both grounded and elevated, an achievement born of a life lived through food.
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.”
"the most important ingredient in any meal
is family and friends.” - Lando
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.