Hyunjoo Albrecht, born and raised in Korea, not only lived on Korean food but also received formal training in Korean cuisine. After moving to the U.S. in 2003, she trained professionally under Master Chef Fritz Gitschner at the Houston Country Club and cooked in restaurants and catering companies, including Aqua in San Francisco. Hyunjoo writes about food and travel for various South Korean cooking and travel magazines and currently works on developing recipes and menus for restaurants and corporations. She is also an avid promoter of Korean food with her website, CookingKorean.com.
Robert Danhi, an expert in the cuisines of Southeast Asia, is the author of Southeast Asian Flavors: Adventures in Cooking the Foods of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore. His food writing and photography have been published in over a dozen publications and in the Asian sections of the Culinary Institute of America’s New Professional Chef and On Cooking textbooks. Chef Robert graduated from the CIA and returned as a chef instructor. He leads Chef Danhi & Co. in Los Angeles, consulting with educational organizations, food manufacturers, restaurant chains, and professional associations. He also leads culinary immersion tours for food professionals who seek a better understanding of the cuisines and cultures of Southeast Asia.
Karen Diggs is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and a Certified Nutrition Consultant from Bauman College. She has worked in many aspects of the culinary world including cooking at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Hong Kong, opening and managing restaurants in Asia and the US, and working with celebrity chefs on TV cooking shows on PBS. She now combines her love of cooking and knowledge of holistic nutrition to help individuals optimize their health and well-being through private nutrition consultations, cooking classes, and public lectures. In addition, Karen is also a teaching faculty at Bauman College for the Natural Chefs Training Program.
Robyn Eckhardt, a Kuala Lumpur-based writer, has lived in Asia for more than twelve years. She is the food editor for Kuala Lumpur Time Out, a Contributor to Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, and has written about Southeast Asian food for Wall Street Journal Asia, South China Morning Post, Chicago Tribune, Saveur, and Lonely Planet. Over the last few years she and her husband, photographer David Hagerman, have documented artisan palm sugar processing in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Jeannette Ferrary is the author of six cookbooks, a biography of M. F. K. Fisher and the memoir, Out of the Kitchen: Adventures of a Food Writer. She teaches food writing at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. A market development consultant for food associations and commodity boards, she founded and directed promotion and public relations firms in Minneapolis and California and has worked for the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Bogota, Colombia. As west coast reporter for The New York Times, she has written widely on the developing California culinary scene. She has contributed to Gastronomica, the Journal of Gastronomy, Antioch Review, Gourmet magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle among many others.
Nancy Freeman’s writing career began over 25 years ago in Southeast Asia when she became an art critic for a Manila magazine just a few months before Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and closed all publications. Back in the US, she spent over a decade chronicling the excesses of the Marcos regime for a Filipino community newspaper. Fifteen years ago, she turned to her passion: food. She has written on the subject for San Francisco Magazine, Via, Diablo, Slow, Epicurean, The Vine and California Homes. She is the immediate past-president of the San Francisco Professional Food Society.
Wendy Ho is Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies and Director of Asian American Studies at UC Davis. Her book, In Her Mother's House: The Politics of Asian American Mother-Daughter Writing, was published in 2000. Wendy’s more recent work examines the narratives of food, culture, history, geography, and environmental social justice among Asian American writers such as David Mas Masumoto, Karen Tei Yamashita, Shani Mootoo, Garrett Hongo, and Ruth Ozeki. She has also begun a project on Chinese American cookbook-autobiographies.
Joyce Jue, from her home base in San Francisco, educates and communicates about Asian food and culture throughout the Unites States, Asia, and beyond.  She was the winner of the IACP international cookbook award in 2001 for her book, Savoring Southeast Asia: Recipes & Reflections on Southeast Asian Cooking. Her primary focus includes cooking instructions, food and cookbook writing, consulting, event planning, and Asian culinary tours in San Francisco and Southeast Asia. Joyce was a founding member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society and currently serves as its board president.
Terrence Khuu, born in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region, feels most at home in restaurant kitchens, where he loves to find innovative ways to put modern twists on traditional Southeast Asian foods. As a child, he began baking and preparing Vietnamese sweets and then became hooked on cooking, learning as much as he could from his mother, who has been a professional chef in San Francisco since they immigrated here in 1979. Terrence was chef and co-owner of Monsoon restaurant in San Francisco, cooked at Le Colonial, and was executive chef of Bleu Ginger in Milpitas. He currently is chef/owner of Bayside Bistro in Fremont and enjoys sharing his culinary knowledge by teaching others.
Niloufer Ichaporia King, author of James Beard award-winning My Bombay Kitchen (University of California Press, 2007) has lived, studied, shopped, cooked and taught in the Bay Area since the early 'seventies. Her particular interests are in markets everywhere, the comparative use of tropical food plants such as rice and coconut, popular culture and street food, and she has taught and promoted these subjects at every opportunity.
Farina Wong Kingsley, a classically trained chef, is a culinary instructor, food consultant, and cookbook author. Her formal training includes a chef’s certificate from Tante Marie’s Cooking School, where she currently teaches. Farina’s travels have taken her throughout Asia, where she furthered her education with local chefs and learned about the cultures of each country. She serves as a consultant to national food companies with new product development. Her books for Williams-Sonoma include Asian, Food Made Fast-Asian, and Essentials of Asian Cooking. Farina resides in Tiburon, California, where she has also recently published Organic Marin: From the Land to the Table.
Kenneth Lee, co-founder and co-owner of Lotus Foods, Inc, has thirteen years of experience importing rice from small-holder farmers who had no previous exporting experience. He developed extensive personal relationships with his suppliers throughout the world and is responsible for establishing Lotus Foods’ primary account base. Prior to founding Lotus Foods, Ken worked in the insurance industry and was a financial consultant. He is responsible for the financial operations of the company. He received his BA in Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.
Martin F. Manalansan IV, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He studies gender, sexuality, public health, and food within the frameworks of urban life, globalization and transnationalism. His courses include “Food, Culture, and Society,” and “Filipino Americans: Beyond Empire and Diaspora.” In 2003 Martin published Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora; and he is currently working on a manuscript examining the politics of the senses in relation to race and Asian American culinary cultures in New York City.

Kent McKenzie, Ph.D., is director of California Rice Experiment Station (CRES) near Biggs, California. CRES was established in 1912 through cooperative efforts of the Sacramento Valley Grain Association, the USDA and the University of California. A rice breeding expert, Kent oversees CRES facilities, which consist of 478 acres of land, greenhouses, laboratories, and equipment dedicated to rice improvement research and seed production. He has also taught and conducted research at the University of Arkansas and Louisiana State University.

Raj Patel is a visiting scholar at the Center for African Studies at UC Berkeley, a Fellow at the Institute of Food and Development Policy and a Research Associate at the School of Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Recently he has worked in South Africa at the Centre for Civil Society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and before that he was a Policy Analyst at the Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First where he learned about the importance of land struggles and got involved with The Land Research Action Network. His first publication, Stuffed And Starved, examines global food systems and why there are one billion overweight people versus 850 million going hungry, and the millions of people who are fighting back. Raj holds a PhD from the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University, a masters’ degrees from the London School of Economics and a BA from Balliol College, Oxford.
Parama Roy is Associate Professor of English at UC Davis. Among Parama's publications are Indian Traffic: Identities in Question in Colonial and Postcolonial India (1998) and articles including “Women, Hunger, and Famine: Bengal, 1350/1943,” Indian Women in the Colonial and Modern Periods (Sage, 2005); “Reading Communities and Culinary Communities: The Gastropoetics of the South Asian Diaspora,” Positions 10.2 (Fall 2002); and "Meat-Eating, Masculinity, and Renunciation: A Gandhian Grammar of Diet,” Gender & History 14.1 (April, 2002). In 2006 she spent the fall as a resident fellow at the University of California Humanities Research Institute, addressing the topic “Eating Cultures: Race and Food.”
Edwin Soon has picked grapes, worked as a cellar rat and made wine in Australia, the US and in France. An enologist by training, he juggles many hats. He organizes wine competitions and sits on several international wine judging panels. In Asia, he speaks for Vin Italy, the California Wine Institute and SOPEXA. As an author, Ed has several books under his sleeve including Wine with Asian Food: New Frontiers in Taste and The Wines of France. Currently he is working on a book on tea and another on pairing wine with Asian cuisine. Ed is the consulting wine editor of Appetite magazine and wine columnist for Time Out Singapore and The Star Malaysia.
Daniel Sudar, born in Indonesia, developed his passion for cooking as a child helping his mother with her catering business. He knew early on that he was destined to be a chef and eventually attended culinary school in Indonesia and at the California Culinary Academy. Daniel was previously chef de cuisine at San Francisco’s popular Betelnut restaurant, where a career highlight was cooking for former President Bill Clinton. He has also cooked alongside Gary Danko at San Francisco’s Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton and with George Morrone at One Market Restaurant. As executive chef at Red Lantern, Daniel aims to educate guests on the nuances and varied flavors of authentic Southeast Asian cuisine and his menu features foods from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and other countries in the region.
Shiyam Sundar, born in Tamil Nadu in southern India, was captivated early on by the flavors that emanated from his mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. Wanting to do nothing else but cook, he began his professional cooking career at the age of fourteen. Shiyam honed his craft at the Oberoi in New Delhi, Taj Exotica Resort and Spa in the Maldives, and the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. He later trained at renowned Pierre Gagnaire in Paris and The French Laundry in Yountville. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Shiyam complements his mastery of western culinary techniques with his interests in Indian cuisine, traveling to remote villages to learn and record their food traditions. Currently sous chef at an award-wining restaurant and hotel in San Francisco, he enjoys presenting the healthful vegetarian classics of his childhood and his more recent discoveries using California’s abundance of fresh ingredients.
Ashwini R. Wagle, MS, RD is Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Science and Packaging at San Jose State University. She studies dietary practices, culinary acculturation, and food symbolism among South Asian immigrants. Among the classes Ashwini teaches are “Food and Culture” and “Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.” She is also the Dietetic Internship Coordinator for the program. A Registered Dietitian by profession, Ashwini has worked in skilled nursing facilities and acute care hospitals in the Bay Area for the last 13 years. She is also involved with the South Asian Heart Center, San Jose Peninsula District of California Dietetic Association, Cal-Pro Net Center and Student Nutrition Advisory Council (SNAC) for the San Jose Unified School District.




Asian Food Beyond Borders

Friday and Saturday, October 10 – 11, 2008

Our special guest instructors, speakers, and presenters are offering a wide selection of unique tours, cooking classes, and panel discussions to explore this year’s theme, “Asian Food Beyond Borders.”

Check out the full schedule and register online at our events page.

Asian Food Beyond Borders

Saturday and Sunday, October 10 - 11, 2008

For class schedule and online registration, please visit our events page.

Due to unforeseen events, Asian Culinary Forum may substitute speakers and instructors of comparable expertise and experience for individuals listed above.