Andy Ricker has turned his never ending, OCD-like drive to bring an authentic Northern Thai dining experience to the United States into a James Beard award in 2011 for “Best Chef, Northwest” after opening Pok Pok Portland in 2005. Without a formal education in culinary arts, Ricker spent is formative years as a ski bum in Colorado while working as a line cook before moving to California, then Australia and New Zealand before finding himself in Thailand.
FARANG chronicles Ricker’s life during May of 2013 as he was getting ready to open his sixth restaurant, Sen Yai. This VICE Munchies documentary also highlights his unconventional path to culinary stardom that has taken him around the world many times over. While his Pok Pok empire has become a beacon for foodies from Portland to New York, Ricker insists that he is not a chef, but merely a person who is helping to curate Northern Thai cuisine in America. A blue collar line cook amongst a pantheon of celebrity chefs, Ricker’s taste for adventure has him constantly searching out the seasonal, regional flavors from every nook and cranny in the northern end of the Land of a Thousand Smiles.