Andy Ricker visited Thailand the first time as a backpacker in 1987. He has spent several months each year since his second visit in 1993 traveling, eating, cooking and studying food culture in Thailand and neighboring countries. He is the owner, executive chef and landlord of the award winning Pok Pok Restaurant in Portland, Oregon, which opened in 2005. Prior to Pok Pok, he spent a good portion of his life working in restaurants all over the world before settling in Portland in 1990. A semi-retired rock musician and fully retired housepainter, he spends any spare time he has catching up on sleep and traveling when possible. In late 2008, he opened Ping, a neighborhood eatery in Portland’s Chinatown which received the honor of being named Rising Star of the Year 2009 by the Oregonian newspaper and one of the Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America 2009 by GQ Magazine, Whiskey Soda Lounge, a bar/lounge featuring the drinking food of Thailand across the street from Pok Pok opened it’s doors in late 2009. Chef Ricker’s Pok Pok Noi, a small to-go joint featuring the menu of the original Pok Pok shack, opened in March of 2011 in Northeast Portland. In 2011, he won a James Beard Award for Best Chef, Northwest. In the works are two new restaurants in New York City and a fifth restaurant in Portland Oregon, all due to open in 2012.
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