A view from the city - Phnom Penh

12 June, 2015

Kampot Pepper was the first ingredient I recognised as Cambodian – green peppercorns with a long delicious history, present in many dishes, and sold in the streets still on the vine. Just the first of many things I had never tasted before living here, even with years of experience in bars and restaurants. 

Last week a chef blew my mind with a sorbet of fruit that is only around for a short, two-week season. 

I have truly enjoyed learning about local ingredients by shopping the markets, dining in traditional Khmer restaurants, and collaborating with chefs who are already pushing the boundaries of what you can do with Khmer traditions and modern cooking techniques. 

There are a few things that I have trouble finding – proper bar tools, bitters, refined ice programmes, and my favourite agave spirits. However, as we come to find those voids, we aim to fill them. 

Working for La Familia gives me the unique opportunity to bring in provisions that have not formerly been available in the Cambodian market. Imagine being a painter and dreaming of a certain colour to complete your imagination’s masterpiece. We make those colours available with products that bartenders here have only been able to read about previously. Introducing them means being the first to see the excitement in my peers as they taste and experience new flavours for the first time. I’m incredibly honoured to share these moments. Thus far our company has been met with open arms. I feel lucky to have been embraced by the Phnom Penh F&B family so quickly, and I am excited for our future.   


Philip Duff

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