Soy Dara was born in a refugee camp in northern Thailand, a member of a Lao family fleeing the conflict in their home country. At the age of four she resettled in the United States, and along with her mother, and stayed connected to Lao culture by cooking for community gatherings and Lao Buddhist Temple events. To this day, Soy loves food for the way it brings people together. Among her most cherished childhood memories are days spent cooking sticky rice and making papaya salad to accompany freshly caught and grilled fish.
She took her love for food and community to another level while working for working for FEEST (Food, Empowerment, Education, Sustainably, Team) where she mentored high school-aged youth through cooking and learning about food through a food justice lens. And now Soy’s passion for food, and for wanting others to learn how to love cooking, has brought her right to The Pantry, where she teaches us about the food she’s most excited about, and connects with a younger audience as our Kids Programming Coordinator.