About Us

The Asian Culinary Forum fosters the exploration and enjoyment of Asian foods from around the world by connecting and sharing the stories, recipes, traditions and innovations of our diverse communities. We present educational, multidisciplinary events and programs that celebrate the rich history and culture of food and drink. And yes, we love eating and sharing good food!

The Forum’s events are open to anyone who wants to learn more about Asian cuisines. Whether you’re a chef, farmer, artist, entrepreneur, scholar, traveler or avid cookbook reader — our goal is to bring you to the table with other passionate, creative individuals.

As a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit, we depend on the time and spirit, talent and expertise of many volunteers and partners.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Thy Tran (president), Wandering Spoon

Bryan Wu (treasurer), Wu & Associates

ADVISORY BOARD


Anita Dharapuram, C.E.O. Women

Lien Ho-Lin, Slanted Door

Niloufer Ichaporia King, My Bombay Kitchen

Andrea Nguyen, Vietworld Kitchen

Alexander Ong, Betelnut Pejiu Wu



BOARD OF DIRECTORS

THY TRAN (cofounder & president), professionally trained as a chef, found her true calling in writing about the history and culture of food, teaching creative nonfiction, and specializing in educational programming within the culinary arts. She coauthoredThe Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Companion, winner of the Best Reference Book (English) award at the Salon International du Livre Gourmand. Thy has also contributed significantly to numerous books on cooking and traveling, including Asia in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Cultural Travel Guide and Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. While executive chef at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market’s educational kitchens, she recruited renowned restaurants chefs for cooking demonstrations and launched special market festivals. Her culinary writing has been featured in The Washington PostLos Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. A 2007 recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Thy is currently working on a collection of essays about how food changes in families across time, place and memory.

BRYAN WU (treasurer) is a digital product design consultant based in San Francisco. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, he found his calling in graphic and interaction design. He was the art director for A. Magazine, a national magazine about Asian American culture and politics, and has served as an advisor to Hyphen magazine.  Bryan believes in the power of mass media, the internet, and learning the "whys" behind the "what."


ADVISORY BOARD

LINDA CARUCCI, M.Ed., a founding board member, is an award-winning culinary instructor and cookbook author based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2002, her peers in the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) voted her Cooking Teacher of the Year. She is the author of Cooking School Secrets for Real World Cooks(Chronicle Books, 2005), which was honored as a finalist for the IACP’s Julia Child First Book Award and for a James Beard Cookbook Award. After serving as the first Julia Child Director of Culinary Programs at COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts, Linda assumed responsibilities as chef director of The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – San Francisco, overseeing the 2008 launch of a new culinary arts training program.

ANITA DHARAPURAM, MNA, simply enjoys food. She thrives on trying new ethnic restaurants, especially taste-testing new South Asian places. As Director of Programs at Creating Economic Opportunities for Women (C.E.O. Women), Anita helps low-income immigrant and refugee women learn entrepreneurial skills in order to open their own small businesses. She earned her Master’s in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco focusing on the overall success and feasibility of programs in the nonprofit sector. Anita has worked at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, served on the board of Kearny Street Workshop and was a collective member of OY! Organizing Youth.

LIEN HO-LIN, born in Hong Kong as the second eldest of seven children, started her culinary career at the age of eight washing dishes and folding wontons in her family’s restaurant in upstate New York. She also worked as a hostess and server in family restaurants in Los Angeles. Lien studied public policy, management and planning at the University of Southern California, but decided to follow her true passion for the culinary arts, graduating from the California Culinary Academy in 2003. She started her professional culinary career at the renowned Slanted Door restaurant as an extern and worked her way up to line cook, kitchen manager and special events/catering manager. Lien has been directly involved with opening Out The Door, The Slanted Door’s sister restaurant at various locations. She has assisted with recipe development and has contributed recipes representing The Slanted Door to Bon Appetit, Gourmet and Food Artmagazines.

NILOUFER ICHAPORIA KING, Ph.D., a founding board member, is an independent scholar interested in tropical food plants and cuisines. She is the author of the acclaimed cookbook, My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking (University of California Press, 2007) for which she won the James Beard award for best book in Asian cooking. Niloufer has contributed to the Journal of Gastronomy, Fine Cooking, The Slow Food Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area, and Cultural Survival Quarterly.

ANDREA NGUYEN (cofounder), M.A., one of the founders of the Asian Culinary Forum, is an Asian food expert, writer, and cooking teacher based in Santa Cruz, California. She created Vietworldkitchen.com, one of the most complete resources on the Internet devoted to the food and culture of Vietnam, her native country. A contributing editor to Saveurmagazine, she has written for the Los Angeles Times and San Jose Mercury News. She led a tour of Orange County’s Little Saigon for Epicurious TV, which airs on the Travel Channel. Andrea’s award-winning debut cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen: Treasured Foodways, Modern Flavors (Ten Speed Press, 2006), is the first comprehensive full-color cookbook devoted to Vietnamese food in the English language.

ALEXANDER ONG, born and raised in Malaysia, apprenticed at the Shangri La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur for four years before coming to United States. Recruited by the Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Georgia, he has traveled throughout the United States working on assignments for the company. In 1995, he moved to San Francisco where he worked with Chef Jeremiah Tower at Stars for three years. Though he was trained in classical French cooking, he decided to return to his Asian roots and opened Le Colonial’s kitchen and then Xanadu in Berkeley, where in 2000 he was named Rising Star Chef by the San Francisco Chronicle. Currently Alex is the executive chef & managing partner of Betelnut Pejiu Wu in San Francisco.