Riding on the tail end of International Women’s Day, we wanted to feature one of our favorite female Chefs and friend of Courageous Kitchen, Seng Luangrath. Chef Seng is two-time James Beard nominee, and Owner of Thip Khao and Padaek the first and two of the most popular Lao restaurants in Washington DC.

However, before she was internationally acclaimed, Chef Seng was born in Laos and spent a few of her childhood years in a Thai refugee camp where she lived and watched in awe as the residents around her cooked traditional Lao food with only the simplest ingredients. Her family eventually resettled in America, and she found herself as an adult unhappily working in finance. With a little bit of coaxing from her husband of nearly 30 years, Boun, she eventually quit her day job to pursue her culinary passion. She is now successfully running two businesses, working alongside her son, Chef Bobby, and showcasing her love of Lao food with the world through what she’s dubbed as the “Lao Food Movement.”

Last fall, we had the honor of hosting Chef Seng at our SouthEATS Austin Dinner and she was able to share a little bit of her story with the 60+ guests at the intimate farm gathering. Now, we want to dig a bit deeper, so Christy will be sitting down with Chef Seng to find out more about her Lao food journey, what fuels her, her definition of courage, and what it means to be a refugee-turned-star-studded-Chef.

Join in on the conversation and submit your questions via Facebook or Instagram asap!

Follow Chef Seng: @thipkhaodc @padaekdc @chefseng


Dwight is director of Courageous Kitchen and a long term expat living in Bangkok, Thailand. A Thai speaker and astute lover of food, he enjoys teaching cooking, and using his passion for food to transform communities.