MS: What are your favorite parts about what you do?
HP: I enjoy how the community reacts to the food blogging, both good and bad. And answering questions for those who are new to Lao food, It’s the best feeling ever. It’s also a huge learning experience!
MS: What made you want to be what you are now?
HP: Growing up I enjoyed watching The Food Network. The programs there have inspired me to do what I do now.
MS: What was your pivotal moment in life that made you take this direction?
HP: My mom loved YouTube, she always enjoyed watching Lao YouTube cooking videos. There was and still is a small group doing this here in America! I decided that I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to bring a different kind of content to the table to help bring attention to Lao food. I started by just shooting on my iPhone, exactly two years ago. I shot in my small apartment, with a tripod.
MS: What are your short-term and/or long-term goals at the moment?
HP: My short-term goal is to continue creating food recipe content. Long term goal is to travel the world as a personality event host in the media.
MS: Do you have advice for people interested in the same field?
HP: Do it as a hobby or as a passion, always be open to learn from your fans and experts. Be open minded or else it can be painful from food critics.
MS: What is something(s) you wish you knew in the beginning?
HP: I wish I knew more about my culture. I went into this knowing only the basics of my culture. There’s so much more to know. It’s crazy!
MS: Who/what are your biggest inspirations and why?
HP: My biggest inspiration is Seonkyoung Longest. My fiancé loves her. I would hear my fiancé always watching her show in the background while I’m cooking. I started watching her show shortly after. I became an instant fan! I got to meet her in person as well. She is so humble and has a bubbly personality. Seonkyoung Longest is herself on TV, her style is different! She’s a comedian, she is able to make you connect and relate with her. She’s just amazing!
MS: What is your favorite food/drink-related memory?
HP: My favorite food is steam chicken wrapped in banana leaves, made with delicious herbs (Mok Gai). It’s so delicious with sticky rice! So comforting and always brings back childhood vibes whenever I get the chance to make it. I remember patiently waiting for my mom to make this. Favorite childhood drink is strawberry soda. I would always ask my mom for a quarter to buy one from the soda machine.
MS: What is your favorite quote(s) and why?
HP: “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it's a failure, you will fail above everyone else's success.” - James Cameron I’m one to celebrate small wins, but I believe self love is important as a content creator. You worked hard to put out content, so give yourself a pat on the back for your hard work.
MS: What are some things that keep you going?
HP: Being able to relate to people is what keeps me going. It is such a beautiful thing to talk about family, food, music and culture.
MS: How do you approach a work life balance?
HP: I go in giving my 110% so I can clock out knowing that I want to learn and want to be better at what I do. That keeps me striving to do my best at anything I do.
MS: What is something you wish people learned or knew more about in your industry?
HP: I wish people knew more about Lao Culture. It’s really hard to describe our food as it’s still really not known. Maybe in certain states but still not mainstream, but that’s still the beauty of Lao Food.
MS: What does supporting local mean to you?
HP: Supporting local means to give a hand to those who are starting off or a small business. Or how can we support each other? Two way street.
MS: Do you have advice or encouragement for ways to support local?
HP: Yes! Help out what you can, do Yelp Reviews on small businesses, give a hand when you can. Do what you can to help your community, when you can. But understand that it’s okay to take steps back or time off to help yourself as well.
“Be grateful and celebrate all of your small wins. Each accomplishment will push you to get bigger wins. Give positive reinforcement to yourself because social media can get ugly! Do what makes you happy. Set the bar high and make it fun to get there. Inspire people as you're making your way up.”
Being able to relate to people is what keeps me going. It is such a beautiful thing to talk about family, food, music and culture.
to stay in the loop with all of Harris Panyanouvong's mouthwatering food and delicious food adventures follow him on youtube, facebook and instagram @mrintharriss