FARANG—the Thai word for “foreigner”—is the story of how chef Andy Ricker took a 25-year obsession and spun it into the Pok Pok restaurant empire. While the impetus behind Andy’s restaurant career in the first place was wanting to travel and move on from his house-painting business, it eventually became much more than that.
His mission soon became to represent the culture and food of the people of Northern Thailand as faithfully as possible. Andy constantly reinforces the idea that he is not a chef, but merely a person who is helping to curate this cuisine in America.
In the film, Andy introduces us to three of his main inspirations in Thailand on which he based some of his most successful dishes. FARANG covers Andy’s story from his childhood to present day, and was filmed between Chiang Mai, Portland, and New York. The filming was mostly done in May 2013 as Andy was getting ready to open up sixth restaurant, Sen Yai. Enjoy.