Earl Ninsom: Executive Chef-Founder

Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Earl Ninsom grew up cooking at an early age, making curry paste and dipping sauces as part of his family dinner. His mom would send him to get ingredients from a neighborhood market every week. He cooked his first dish when he was just eight years old. During summer breaks, his family took him to visit a grandparent in Suratthani where he learned to cook Southern Thai food using a small charcoal stove. Visits to another grandmother in Lopburi Province introduced him to a delicious old-school Central Thai-style cooking. His grandmother’s sweet pork belly dish is still in his memories.

Earl went on to graduate with a business degree and attended graduate school at one of Thailand’s top universities, studying International Economics. He then traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and France, working as senior merchandiser for Groups Casino, France.

After falling in love with food, he decided to give up a career in business and move to Portland, Oregon to work in the restaurant world. He opened his first restaurant in 2008 and since helped to open eight restaurants in the Portland metro area, all of which are still in operation today. He is currently a chef-owner of Langbaan, Hat Yai, and Paa Dee, and a partner at Kim Jong Smokehouse.

In his free time, he has staged at restaurants Nahm and Bo.lan in Bangkok and local spots including Le Pigeon, Ava Gene’s, and Genoa in Portland, Oregon.