Lao Cooking and the Essence of Life
By Xaixana Champanakone
From the author
How the book happened.
Ten years ago, after having spent the better part of my time in Thailand, life sent me to Laos. Contrary to knowing everything, with only a river separating these two countries, I knew nothing. There is to this day no book available about Laos which is written with insight, respect and deep appreciation in discovery of the wonder that is Lao people’s attitude to life. The seeker in me had no choice but to set out on his own.
Three years into this pursuit Sisavanh Manlom became my friend and teacher opening up a spectacular new world where simplicity and sanity reign supreme. He handed me the keys to Lao society and culture. In Laos, conversation about such earth shaking matters is carried on with leisure and for pleasure, which is obviously done over food. This I prepared for the occasions, creating the mood, and challenging his taste buds. His tastes buds said: 'Listen to me, write this down'. The beginning of a cookbook was made.
Eating and talking, or rather listening, made it soon clear that the way Lao people cook to nourish body and soul is nothing other than an extension of their 'being', going about life with ease and humility. To understand Lao Cooking one needs to understand all things Lao. The cookbook became a book about the Lao, a universal book about Cooking and Life.
Size 190 x 275 mm
206 pages, illus. 1 map, 13 pp. in col., 1 CD