Two Lao-Americans whipped up a traditional Lao dish on an American television show on Fox 5 San Diego, to promote the San Diego Lao Food Festival which was organized last week.
Bobbie Oudinarath, Communications Director of the Lao Advocacy Organization of San Diego (LAOSD), introduced Laos and its cuisine on the show before speaking about the food festival that took place last weekend with FOX 5 San Diego reporter, Shally Zomorodi.
“This food festival that we are hosting in Mira Mesa is a two-day event that’s going to feature the cuisine and culture of Laos,” she said.
According to Bobbie, San Diego has the second largest Lao community in California, with over 10,000 Lao-Americans living in the city. She added that more than 250,000 immigrants from Laos live in the US, who came to the country as refugees post the Vietnam War.
Chef Kennedy Pounsiri cooked the traditional Lao dish called Laab Kai, during the show. “You might have seen it in Thai restaurants, but it’s actually a traditional Lao dish,” he said.
Bobbie added that this special dish is made in Laos and in Lao communities during special events like weddings, baby showers, and graduations, to provide blessings to hosts and their guests.
Chef Kennedy demonstrated how to cook Laab traditionally, after which the host and the two guests sampled the food. Bobbie added that the Lao Food Festival would see over twenty food vendors, have cooking demos and competitions, live music, an art exhibit, and sports competitions.
“Basically, it would be a wonderful family event,” she said about the festival which was held in honor of World Refugee Day.