Chanthaboupha Vongsalavan, an International Business and Marketing graduate-turned chef, founded "Toob Toob Seng" - a truly authentic Lao cooking school in Luang Prabang, Laos. He recently showcased his arts and cooking skills at the Mekong Folklife Festival in Washington D.C., hosted by the Smithsonian museum, as a participant from the Lao PDR.
Mr. Chanthaboupha Vongsalavan, known as Chantra, was born in Salavanh but grew up in Pakse and Vientiane. He completed his high school in Laos then continued his higher education in Germany and Hungary in International Business and Marketing. He worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Laos before becoming a chef and restaurateur.
In a recent interview with VOA, Chantra talks proudly about his beloved mother land, especially Luang Prabang where he presently resides. “The first time I came to Luang Prabang, I felt in love with its people, culture, traditions and many things surrounding Luang Prabang.”
Since Luang Prabang has become a world heritage site and is the most unspoiled land in Southeast Asia
that still retains its unique beauty, tranquility, and its lifelong way of life, Mr. Chantra saw a golden opportunity and decided to open restaurant that later became a Lao Cooking School which he named “Toob Toob Seng”. He has given not only cooking classes on Luang Prabang dishes, but also Lao foods from through out the nation.
Mr. Chantra also says Lao food is very light and is a good diet source. Most important of all, all ingredients are organic, fresh from nature and they are very good for your health. Chantra says so far he has taught over 12 thousand students from all over the world in his cooking classes. If you happen to travel to Laos, especially Luang Prabang, do stop by "Toob Toob Seng" to get a taste of Chantra’s food. He guarantees you will enjoy it and will come back for more.
Listen to audio file for more details.