Owner of Le Mu Eats
“The Lao community really communicates through food; it’s how we love each other, how we take care of each other, and how we invest in each other.“
What's the name of your business and how did you come up with it?
Le Mu Eats I’m Lao American and cook from that point of view. My food includes strong Southeast Asian influences, a deep love for Southern soul food, and a draw from my classical French training. The name Le Mu Eats is a reflection of the many different perspectives that shape my unique, modern American perspective.
What are your inspirations for being in the food industry?
One of the most impactful memories of my childhood was coming together to eat dinner together every night. The Lao community really communicates through food; it’s how we love each other, how we take care of each other, and how we invest in each other. It’s great that I get to make a living doing what I love, but for me, it’s more about capturing that experience and feeling from my childhood. I love seeing my customers take their first bite, or laugh together loudly; those are the feelings I’m chasing in this industry.
What were some of your challenges being a Lao business?
The first challenge is trying to educate people that Lao food is it’s own food. It’s often equated to Thai or Vietnamese, and there are similarities, but Lao has its own distinctive flavors and dishes. But you also have to strike a balance between asserting Lao food as its own (something many people aren’t familiar with) and still making it approachable so that people are open to eating your food.
What advice would you give to someone based on your experience?
Don’t doubt yourself. If you have a vision with Lao food, see it through. Don’t let outside influences change what your trying to say and do.
What's your favorite Lao dish?
Aw Gai is probably my favorite