BACK OF HOUSE
executive chef & owner
chef de cuisine
FRONT OF HOUSE
EARL NINSOM, executive chef & owner
Earl Ninsom was only 8 years old when he cooked his first dish: a simple rice-and-pork porridge he prepared for his mother when she fell ill. He hasn’t left the kitchen since. Today critics regard the Bangkok, Thailand-born restaurateur among the most talented chefs in Portland, Oregon, where he helms a small empire of nationally acclaimed Thai restaurants — including Langbaan, PaaDee and Hat Yai. Both the Oregonian and Portland Monthly crowned Langbaan as restaurant of the year in 2014, and GQ ranked it second on its list of the “25 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2015.” Hat Yai landed on USA Today’s “Top 10 Best New Restaurants” in 2016. A James Beard Award semi-finalist, Ninsom is also partner in Korean barbecue joint Kim Jong Smokehouse. Before opening his first restaurant in 2008, Ninsom — who holds degrees in marketing and economics — traveled the world pursuing a career in international business.
BRANDON HIRARHARA, chef de cuisine
Surrounded by great food at family get-togethers in his hometown of Oahu, Hawaii, Hirahara quickly realized how food brings people together. After building a culinary foundation in a few Hawaiian restaurants such as Vino and Hiroshi, Hirahara moved to Portland in 2011 and quickly became sous chef at a few of Portland’s well-loved establishments such as Genoa, Fireside, and Aviary. Brandon joined the team at Langbaan in May 2016.
KITSANARUK KETKUAVIRIYANONT, sous chef
A native of Bangkok, Ketkuaviriyanont studied classic Thai cuisine in this famous capital city. However, his love for food comes from an upbringing in a half-Thai, half-Chinese household where everyone had a passion for home-cooked food. Ketkuaviriyanont fondly remembers making dishes such as fresh curries with his grandparents when he was young. He has trained at a few highly regarded restaurants including one of World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Nahm, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Bo.lan and notably became head chef at Err, a rustic Thai spin off of Bo.lan, before joining our team in December 2016.
DANIEL KIM, chef team
Daniel Kim was drawn in by Portland’s culinary scene quickly after moving here from Ohio. With a degree in graphic design, Kim intended to use it until he decided the physicality of preparing and plating food as an art form was what inspired him to become a chef. Soon he found his way into the kitchens of Boke Bowl, Mian, Tastebud, and Grain & Gristle.
MAYA ERICKSON, pastry chef
A San Francisco native, Pastry Chef Maya Erickson grew up with a passion for cooking and a love for homegrown ingredients. Her eager spirit and remarkable talent have led her to new heights in the culinary world, receiving many accolades such as a nomination for Food and Wine’s “Best New Pastry Chef”, SF Chronicle’s “Rising Star Chef”, and Star Chef’s “Rising Star Chef”. After experiences at a number of renowned San Francisco institutions including two Michelin-starred Lazy Bear, Erickson made the move to Portland and joined team Langbaan in January 2017.
JONATHAN MARISTELA, chef team
Jonathan Maristela attended a barbecue in the summer of 2009 and brought some wings he had made himself. A noted chef was in attendance, tried his wings, and offered Maristela a job at one of his restaurants. From this moment Maristela’s cooking career was born. He then honed his craft at several of the top Portland restaurants including Toro Bravo, Tasty and Sons, Hokusei, Bollywood Theater, and Nimblefish before joining our team in Feburary 2018.