Eat, Drink And Be indie: Tasty Recipes, Inspiring Maker Stories & Exclusives

Pok Pok

At the heart of the seemingly ever-expanding Pok Pok empire of Thai restaurants (or should we say nouveau Thai?) is restauranteur Andy Ricker. 

Since opening a small Thai street food-inspired food cart in Portland, OR in 2005 that specialized in super sticky rice, burning-spicy papaya salad and simple roasted chicken, Ricker has grown Pok Pok into a nationally known brand with two outposts in New York as well as the original location (plus a few offspring) in Portland. 

Ricker’s background is diverse. While he’s worked as a chef in such Michelin-recognized kitchens as Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quatre Saisons, he’s spent just as much time traveling the world, and Southeast Asia in particular – tasting, smelling, looking, learning. These journeys are reflected in his food, and his drinking vinegar is the ultimate expression. 

It's grown out of cooling health tonics of Thailand and Southeast Asia, as well as the more western-style shrub (an oldey-timey fruit vinegar-based drink).