This week on Cooking in America, host Sheldon Simeon heads to Oahu’s Chinatown to visit the Pig and the Lady, a family-run Vietnamese restaurant that first gained traction as a pop-up and weekly farmers market stall. Run by chef and owner Andrew Le (aka “the Pig”) with recipes passed down from his mother (Mama Le, or “the Lady”), the Pig and the Lady combines Vietnamese tradition and Hawaiian ingredients to create comfort food fit to feed the whole family, like hu tieu ga (chicken broth with egg and cracklings) and cu’u kho (lamb with broth and curry spices).
The Les were some of the first Vietnamese refugees to land in Hawaii in the 1970s, after their Midwest-bound flight from Saigon made an emergency landing in Honolulu when a pregnant Mama Le went into labor. The family decided to stay on the island, raising their three sons on Oahu. In making sense of his family’s history and looking for ways to honor it, youngest son Andrew turned to food, attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York and returning to his home state to start the business that would become the Pig and the Lady — a project the whole Le crew got behind. Watch the video above to learn more.