Gastronomy Tourism: Putting Cambodian Cuisine on the Map

Two Cambodian chefs known as the ‘Kimsan twins’ because of their shared family names – Kimsan Sok and Kimsan Pol – grew up in a country which had been torn apart by the violence unleashed by the Khmer Rouge. Add to the mix, that they were trying to make their mark in male-dominated restaurant kitchens, and their journey from life in a village to one of the best restaurants in Cambodia is even more remarkable.

“I knew I wanted to be a cook from my mom. Both our moms were village cooks, this is an important position in Cambodia. They are often asked by the whole village for weddings or ceremonies. They cook for everyone in the village,” said Kimsan Sok.

Today, the twins oversee teams — as executive chefs at Embassy Restaurant in Siem Reap – for tourists visiting the Angkor Wat temples. On the menu is traditional Khmer cuisine ‘with a twist’.

“When they try our food, we want our customers to taste the genuine Cambodian flavors,” Kimsan Pol told Hospitality Insights.

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