When Thip Soulisak moved to Los Angeles from Virginia, he came to fulfill his unique dream of becoming an event planner for the Hollywood elite. As he began coordinating more and more events, however, he found working with many of the unpredictable personalities of the industry stressful. To escape, he found comfort in watching Food Network and cooking dishes from cooking shows, such as Barefoot Contessa, as well as from recipes he’d find in various food magazines. His West Hollywood backyard became a gathering place as it was next to many bars and clubs. Friends came over for dinner daily.
The more Soulisak cooked, the more he missed his mother’s cooking and wanted to learn her recipes. “My mother is a really good cook and cooking is how she supplements her income,” he says. Soulisak began a path, taking after her and the recipes she created from their family’s journey from war-torn Laos to Thailand, before landing in the United States. He called his mom on the phone to receive instruction on how to prepare her dishes — eventually preparing these family recipes for others.