Cambodian Celebrity Chef Rediscovers and Saves the Forgotten Flavors of Royal Home Cuisine With Launch of New Cookbook

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, May 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Chef Rotanak Ros (known as Chef Nak) has dedicated her life to restoring and elevating traditional Khmer (Cambodian) cuisines, she has worked with researchers, writers, chefs and especially elderly Cambodians across the country to document and share this unique part of Khmer culture with future generations in Cambodia and around the world.

The civil war in Cambodia took millions of lives and with them, the memories of our unique Khmer culture, including our national cuisine. Cooking and food reveal the spirit of every culture, but as the people who survived the genocide grow older, those memories and recipes are disappearing.

“In my experience working with Cambodian Living Arts for almost 10 years, I learned that our surviving master artists passed down their knowledge orally, not so much in the form of writing, and it’s the same for our traditional cooking. So, I felt I had to do something about it,” shared Chef Nak.

Chef Nak shares her expertise with others through books, cooking classes, home dining, homestay, restaurant consultancy, and social media content to advocate for healthy Cambodian cuisine.  She also collaborated with organizations like the World Food Program to promote school feeding for young children, with UNICEF to improve the food environment for our future generations, and with the Food Agriculture Organization to inspire organic farming and support farmers and many other NGOs to promote healthy, nutritious food across Cambodia.

Chef Nak published her first cookbook “Nhum” in 2019. “Nhum” was the subject of a glowing NY Times article and set a new standard for Cambodian cookbooks. Her newly published cookbook “SAOY – Royal Cambodian Home Cuisine” is more than just a cookbook – it’s a work of art, a forgotten treasure of royal Cambodian home cuisine, featuring stunning images of each irresistible royal dish, of lovely murals from the Royal Palace, and original paintings of the ingredients by gifted young Cambodian artists.

From the zesty Salted Crab Salad to succulent Golden Stuffed Chicken and delectable Sweet and Salty Giant Freshwater Prawns, savor every dish as you uncover the rich cultural and historical significance behind them.

Chef Nak’s inspiration for creating her new book, SAOY, was the pioneering work of HRH Princess Norodom Rasmi Sohbana back in 1950’s and 60’s. Princess was a great advocate for women and Cambodian cuisine. The book includes a photo of the Princess with President Kennedy in the oval office, one of the last people to have a private audience with the President the week before his assassination.

Chef Nak believes that this book will demonstrate to everyone why Princess Sobhana was so passionate about Cambodian food and why she and the Princess both believe it should have a prominent place on the international culinary stage.

I have a vision that Cambodian culinary arts will become one of the world’s great cuisines,” says Chef Nak “We should have pride in our national cuisine, and everyone can celebrate it.”

With intriguing insights into the history and culture of Cambodian food, innovative recipe ideas, and instructive cooking techniques, this cookbook is a must-have for anyone seeking to discover and indulge in the delectable world of Cambodian cuisine.

Get a copy of “SAOY” as soon as possible here if you are ready to start on a delicious voyage through the vibrant and varied flavors of Cambodian cuisine. You can also try her culinary experience click here, check out her first cookbook on Amazon here, and check out her menu at Rosewood Phnom Penh here.

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