24th Annual Taste of TriBeCa: An Interview with Chef Phet Schwader

Khe-Yo at Taste of Tribeca 6

The 24th annual Taste of TriBeCa will take place on Saturday, May 19th from 11:30am-3pm. The annual event, which draws between 3,000-4,000 people, is the oldest fundraiser to benefit arts and enrichment programs at local public schools, PS 150 and PS 234.

Festival-goers will taste feature dishes from more than 60 of Tribeca’s top chefs and restaurants including L’Angolo, Greca and many more. To give you a ‘pre-taste’ of this coming Saturday’s event, discover one of the chefs that will be cooking and serving at the event: Phet Schwader, chef and owner of Khe-Yo. Khe-Yo is a Laotian Restaurant on Duane Street.

Khe-Yo at Taste of Tribeca 3 - East End Taste

What are your three favorite ingredients to cook with?

  1. We call it the Funk here at the restaurant the name Laotian people say is (Padek) it is a funky fermented thick smelly chunky fish sauce
  2. Lemongrass, vibrant smelling component to dishes
  3. Cilantro, I love using the root of the cilantro to add depth to broths & stocks

Which current dining trends do you favor that are en par with your cooking style?

Cooking over Japanese charcaol (I like creating a caramelized sweet & salty crunch with whatever I’m grilling).

Khe-Yo 10


Which cooking ‘rules’ do you never follow and why?

In Laotian households recipes are generally orally passed down, so I don’t really follow measurements, I go by taste & smell

Who are your biggest influences in the cooking industry?

My biggest influences would be my mother and some chefs I have worked under Pino Maffeo, Laurent Tourondel & Patricia Yeo.

What is your most memorable meal and why?

Most memorable meals are always with my family and the connection the food has with where my family immigrated from (Laos).

Khe-Yo 2 - East End Taste

Why do you participate in Taste of TriBeCa?

I participate to support the neighborhood, very lucky to be located in Tribeca, wouldn’t be around if the neighborhood didn’t support us!

What are you most excited about Taste of TriBeCa this year?

I also enjoy the tasting! I always look forward to eating something from Nobu & Jungsik.

What dish are you serving this year?

I will be preparing a Bell & Evans chicken Coconut Curry with a lot of fresh herbs, served with rice vermicelli noodles.


Taste of Tribeca
Credit: Gary Petersen / Taste of Tribeca

Early bird tickets are $45. Each tasting ticket includes six food tastes from any of the participating restaurants, a beverage and two pours of beer or cider. Tickets will also be available full price on the event day ($55). Family tables are also available. To purchase tickets and learn more, visit:



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