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The Courageous Kitchen connects Hmong, Lao, and Thai Cuisines for a beautiful cause

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Photo by: Saengthong Douangdara

A Courageous Family Dinner’s mission was to highlight Southeast Asian culture to raise awareness for asylum seekers and refugees currently displaced in Bangkok, Thailand. Courageous Kitchen, a 501c(3) non-profit focusing on food education, nutrition, and housing, will be hosting an exclusive private dinner on the ranch at Wanderin’ Star Farms.

Dinner was catered by:
Chef Yia Vang of Union Kitchen MN,
James Beard Semifinalist Chef Seng of Thip Khao, and
Jen Phanomrat of Just Eat Life.

In addition to their Southeast Asian dinner, they had Guest Speakers from the refugee community, including activist Sedrick Murhula who shared his triumphant story of his journey to freedom.

Photo by Chef Yia Vang

Words from Chef Yia Vang at the Courageous Kitchen SouthEats Event:

“I’ve often think of what this would look like…I saw a glimpse of this last night at Wanderin’ Star Farms while putting together an event w/ The Courageous Kitchen.

Historically Hmong, Laotians and Thais do not get along. There has always been a divide between our peoples for many generations but on a Sunday evening in the hill country side of Dripping Spring, TX all of us (Hmong, Laotians, Thais, African Americans, and Whites) sat at a dinner table together as brothers and sisters eating and drinking into the evening.

We shared stories of our struggle to get to America and what it takes to #becourageous. We spoke of being refugees and immigrants and how that shaped us. Our white brothers and sisters listen intently and embraced our stories.

We shared our food experience and cooked side by side together as one. We (Union Kitchen MN) believe that “food is the ultimate equalizer”. It has an ability to bring people together to the table. On this evening we sat “at the table of brotherhood (sisterhood)” together as a family.

Thank to Justin Barnard and Marla Clark Barnard for letting us use your beautiful farm! Thank you to Christy Thornton and her team from Courageous Kitchen. Thank you to Seng LuangrathSaengthong DouangdaraDonny Darkoo and Lao Food Movement for being a part of this event!


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