Andy Ricker is the chef-owner of Pok Pok restaurants, located in Los Angeles, New York City, and Portland. He has spent years backpacking across the globe, working at a number of restaurants in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and Europe, including Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons. Those international horizons, combined with a pivotal introduction to Thai cuisine by an old friend who moved to the country’s northern region, inspired Ricker to bring himself and his favorite flavors, back to the states. His own nascent culinary empire began when Ricker opened innovative Thai temple Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon, in 2005. Pok Pok was named “Restaurant of the Year” by The Oregonian and ultimately netted Ricker the title of James Beard’s “Best Chef, Northwest” in 2011. Still exploring in his own right, Ricker opened Ping in 2009, a pub-like space with an Asian fusion menu that made food critics’ “must try” lists. He then opened Pok Pok NY in New York City and most recently, has opened Pok Pok Phat Thai LA in Los Angeles.