Team

Executive Chef-Founder: Earl Ninsom

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​ ​a co-founder ​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.

Chef de cuisine: Brandon Hirahara

Surrounded by great food at family get togethers in his hometown of Waipahu on Oahu, Hirahara believes the culinary arts enhance the quality of lives while sustaining life. Brandon refined his craft studying culinary literature and working his way through kitchens such as Portland restaurants Aviary and Genoa. Brandon joined the team at Langbaan in May 2016.

Sous chef: Kitsanaruk Ketkuaviriyanont

Ketkuaviriyanont studying classical Thai cooking in Bangkok, Thailand. He was trained at World and Asia top 50 restaurants including Nahm, Bo.Lan and was a head chef at Err restaurant before joining our team in Dec 2016.

Pastry chef: Maya Erickson

Erickson, a San Francisco native, grew up around good food. Her mother, who owns a dance studio in the Mission, is a passionate cook, and mother and daughter would spend hours watching cooking shows together. Erickson gets to apprentice in a pastry chef’s restaurant kitchen while she was still in high school, she staged for free for a year at Citizen Cake and fall in love with the profession. Erickson is San Francisco rising star pastry chef. Before joining us in Jan 2017, she was the pastry chef at Michelin-starred Lazy Bear.

Kitchen team: Jonathan Maristela

Maristela spent time crafting his cooking career at several of Portland top restaurants including Toro Bravo, Tasty and son, Bollywood theater, Nimblefish and The people pig. Jonathan was a chef de cuisine at Tasty and Alder before joining our team in Feb 2018.

Kitchen team: Daniel Kim

General Manager: Jenny Kwok
Assistant Manager: Cira Hamlin
Sommelier: Dana Frank, Food & wine sommelier of the year in 2015. Author of Wine Food.
Bar Manager: Jonathan Lewis