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Lucky Chow

Northern Thai Cuisine

Andy Ricker, a carpenter-turned-chef from Portland, Oreg., is known for bringing "authentic" Thai food to America. At a food festival in Las Vegas, Ricker prepares a welcome dinner for the participating chefs at the much-loved Lotus of Siam, with chef/owner Saipin Chutima at the helm. The duo create their collective version of a spicy Issan dish. At the table, Jet Tila rhapsodizes about the days when his family opened America's first Thai grocery store in Hollywood, Calif., and introduced lemograss, kaffir lime leaves and other ingredients to the American palate. The episode also includes visits to a Thai temple in Los Angeles.

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