Hi! I'm Davy. Middle child of 3 girls. Daughter of survivors of the Cambodian genocide. LA resident from Boston. Avid traveler. Adventure seeker. Fashion planner. Food lover. Recipe developer. And now, most recently, attempting to be a cookbook creator.
Where shall I begin? My idea to create a cookbook of my Mama's Cambodian recipes began 5 years ago. My grandfather had recently passed away in Cambodia and I had been living in Hong Kong for a couple of years, working in fashion. Due to a tiny kitchen and even tinier apartment (and also amazing happy hour deals and cheap street food), I didn't cook very often. Even though there were plenty of delicious options, I craved Cambodian food all the time since it was what I grew up eating.
After 2 years living abroad and my grandfather's passing, I was happy to say goodbye to Hong Kong and start my journey back to the USA to be near my family. Before moving back, I spent about 2 months in Cambodia, exploring the countryside, volunteering, and eating my way through a variety of delicious Cambodian dishes. I wanted to eat EVERYTHING. I took a cooking class. I went to the local produce and meat markets. I sampled dishes from street vendors and restaurants from all different parts of Cambodia. I even tried a deep fried tarantula!
It was during this trip that I felt inspired to create a cookbook. Almost every dish brought me back to my childhood. There were so many recipes that I had forgotten how to make. There were so many dishes that I had never even learned how to make! I thought of my mother and all the love she put into her cooking. It was then that I realized I wanted to share that love with my sisters, with my family, and with everyone! I want to be able to pass these recipes onto the next generation--my future children and also my nieces and nephews. I want to share my mother's love of cooking. I want to share her Cambodian recipes. She survived a genocide and raised 3 girls on her own! I didn't appreciate all of her cooking when I was younger, but I do now! Good cooking can be a lot of work!
After my adventure in Cambodia, I spent that summer in Boston cooking with my mother and learning new recipes. I created a list of dishes that I wanted to make with her. My mother never measures anything so it was not easy learning how to cook with her. I scribbled very vague instructions in my notebook, knowing that I would have to recreate everything to get accurate measurements.
When I returned to LA, the cookbook idea got put on the back burner and collected dust for many years. I started a new job, and you know...life happened. I also became a pescetarian for 3 years, which really didn't help the situation because meat is a substantial part of Cambodian cooking. But this year is different. It has been a big year of change for me. My job ended and I decided that I needed a change (and a break) after 10+ years in the fashion industry. Fortuitously, this became the perfect time for me to take my cookbook off hiatus.
So here I am. On a new journey, ready for a new beginning. I do believe that all things that are meant to happen, will happen in time. I am ready for everything to fall apart, so that everything can fall into place. The boundaries of my comfort zone have been pushed in the process of making this cookbook. But maybe that is what I need right now. To be a little uncomfortable to grow in ways I never imagined. So...I think, I'm ready...
Open to ideas, suggestions, encouragement, and support! I need it ALL! In the meantime, please follow me on Instagram @LoveInMyBelly. Check back in on my journey on the blog! Thank you!