Pok Pok chef Andy Ricker wins national award

Portland foodies have recognized the genius of Andy Ricker for years, regularly packing his restaurant Pok Pok and bar Whiskey Soda Lounge.

Now Cooking Light magazine has singled out Ricker for one of its Trailblazing Chef Awards. The awards recognize chefs who are setting trends in culinary preservation, global flavor, healthy cooking and other areas.

As described by Cooking Light: "Ricker’s food is not cheffed up or dumbed down. Nor is it clever fusion food. While the word “authentic” is always loaded—Ricker isn’t Thai—“respectful” is a good substitute."

The magazine also noted Ricker's East Coast migration and the success of his Brooklyn Pok Pok, opened about a year ago, which Cooking Light said has "vaulted to the top of the must-eat lists."

Ricker, who is reportedly working on a cookbook featuring Northern Thai flavors, last year received a Best Chef Northwest award from the James Beard Foundation.