Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays at 6:30pm on WGBH 2. Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44
Sam Neang and Denise Ban are the owners of Simply Khmer. Sam is the head chef and Denise is the resident spring roll expert. (Patricia Alvarado/WGBH)
WGBH's Neighborhood Kitchens Meets Simply Khmer Chefs Sam Neang and Denise Ban Building on a 34-year history of producing Latino and multicultural programming, WGBH’s award winning La Plaza team has a new offering Neighborhood Kitchens, a series about the exploration of culture through food. Every week the show offers a unique window into immigrant communities in New England.
In each episode, host Margarita Martínez visits a different ethnic restaurant and learns three delicious recipes from the chef. She also explores the restaurant’s neighborhood, discovering hidden gems along the way. Join her as she learns about new ingredients, new cultures, and new neighborhoods.¡Hasta pronto!
Both Sam Neang and Denise Ban fled Cambodia as children during the genocidal reign of the Khmer Rouge, during which an estimated two million Cambodians died. Both spent years in refugee camps in Thailand before eventually making their way to the United States. They met in Lowell in 1987 when Sam’s mother was hired to plan Denise’s sister’s wedding. They married in 1990.
The idea to open a restaurant came from Sam and Denise’s friends and family. Nearly every weekend the couple would host get-togethers at their house and cook for 20-30 people. Their guests would always comment on how good their cooking was and would suggest that they open a restaurant together. At first they didn’t even consider the idea, but then one day a realtor brought an available space to their attention and they decided to just take a look. The couple ended up falling in love all over agian this time with the idea of cooking together. They opened up Simply Khmer in 2008.
Since then Simply Khmer has earned a reputation for serving delicious and authentic Cambodian food. It receives rave reviews from the Boston Globe and been featured on the Travel Channel. Simply Khmer has also been featured in the BostonGlobe, Boston Magazine, and the Lowell Sun.
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View the full episode of Neighborhood Kitchens below
Check out more episodes of NeighborHood Kitchens
Saturdays at 4pm and Sundays at 6:30pm on WGBH 2 and on Fridays at 7:30pm on WGBH 44