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Q & A

Andy Ricker

POK POK IN RED HOOK, New York City

Andy Ricker is the chef/owner of Pok Pok, Pok Pok NW, Pok Pok Noi, Pok Pok Wing, and Whiskey Soda Lounge in Portland as well as Pok Pok NY in New York. He first visited Thailand as a backpacker in 1987. Since then, he has spent several months each year traveling, eating, cooking and studying the food culture in Thailand and neighboring countries.
1

What is the first dish you remember cooking?

I called in goulash, but it was really just hamburger and macaroni glop. My mom taught me how to cook at a young age in a very hands off way and encouraged me to experiment.
2

What prep to you hate to do? Love to do?

I hate to peel garlic.... but hate is a relative term; all prep is important. I love to butcher meat, poultry and fish.
3

Which food is your guilty pleasure?

I don't mix guilt and pleasure.
4

If you weren't a chef what occupation would you like to try and why?

Tugboat captain. I have no idea why I have fixated on this occupation!
5

What or who inspires your culinary creativity and why?

Music and musicians. Like cooking, listening to and playing music gives pleasure, stokes creativity, and requires discipline.

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