The original Pok Pok opened in Portland in 2005 and has been a beloved mainstay of the culinary scene there ever since. Chef Ricker is frequently called an expert in Thai cuisine but the chef's abiding philosophy is to see himself more as an eternal student who is always searching for new techniques and flavors on a lifelong educational quest that enriches the dishes served at this restaurants.
Chef Ricker began his culinary career in his teens when he took a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Vermont. And then the chef hit the road. For years, he worked at restaurants and backpacked through Australia, Thailand, New Zealand and Europe. His culinary odyssey even included a stint at Raymond Blanc's restaurant Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons near Oxford.
The James Beard Foundation named Chef Ricker "Best Chef, Northwest" in 2011 but his numerous accolades have not convinced him to take a step back and relax. Instead, the chef never stops traveling as a way to perpetually perpetually inspire himself and invigorate his cooking. His celebrated Pok Pok cookbook is a mainstay on the bookshelves of chefs throughout the world.
With the innovative ways Chef Ricker transforms the flavors, techniques and ingredients he experiences in Asia into menu to create culinary hits that guests can's get enough of, we are so pleased that the chef found time in his busy travel and cooking schedule to participate in our Roots: Innovate conference taking place this September 25th-26th.
Chef Ricker will be on our panel entitled Diaspora: The Influence of One Nation Upon Another and How It Drives Innovation. It's a fitting subject matter for a chef who has championed the virtues of Thai cuisine in America for over a decade. He will also be cooking during Roots. And if those endless lines out the doors at Pok Pok are any indication, Chef Ricker's cooking is not to be missed!