Southeast Asian Food and Culture through Raya and the Last Dragon


What’s it about?

Southeast Asian culture has a strong sense of community through food as food is the ultimate expression of unity and bringing together culture, people, and history.

Let’s explore Southeast Asian culture through the food that appeared in Raya and the Last Dragon, the recent Disney animated movie.

Our event includes:

  1. A cooking demonstration by Ploy who will show you how to make five-tasted soup made with fresh herbs that appeared in the movie. (click this link for recipe)
  2. Then, we’ll hear the story from Fawn Veerasunthorn, the Head of Story from Walt Disney Animation Studios. She will talk about the story behind the movie including different aspects of women as the main characters and cultural influences of family and food. 
  3. We’ll finish our talk with panel discussions among our local chefs including Ayu Martiasih and Irene Vania from Indonesia, Spring and Hieu from Vietnam, and Ploy Khunisorn from Thailand. Please check back for our updated list of panelists.

You’ll learn about different dishes that appeared in the movie but exist in Southeast Asian countries in different forms. We’ll talk about the names of these dishes in those countries and the variances that made each dish different.

This session won’t be recorded. We encourage our participants to join the discussion about the food as our panelists represent only 4 countries among 11 Southeast Asian countries.


Sunday, July 4th from 12-1pm ET

Who’s telling the story?

Fawn Veerasunthorn is Head of Story of Walt Disney Animation Studios. She is originally from Thailand and came to the USA to pursue her dream in visual arts. She is currently in Los Angeles. She specializes in story and visual development. Her previous work included Despicable Me and The Lorax before she stepped in and worked for Disney Animation Studios. She has been known for Frozen (2013), Moana and Zootopia (2016), and many more. Follow her on @fawnr Instagram to get updates of her work.

Ploy Khunisorn is Program Director of Cambridge Center for Adult Education. Originally from Thailand, Ploy moved to Boston for her master’s degrees at Harvard University. Passionate about traveling and learning, she believes we travel not to explore the world but to explore ourselves. Today she combines her passion for travel and love for food through teaching cuisines of the world. Instagram: @ployskitchen

Ayu Martiasih and Irene Vania are chefs and owners of Canang Sari Homestay in Bali, Indonesia. They are passionate about food, culture, and family. Not only do they welcome guests from all over the world to their home, but they also teach people how to cook Balinese food and desserts. They have been a great ambassador of Balinese food and culture. They have been sharing their love of balinese food to people from around the world to get to know more about Indonesian food. Check out their AirBnb in-person and online experiences. Instagram: @canangsarihomestaybali

Spring and Hieu are a Saigonese couple who have been guiding tours for over 5 years and welcome over 3,000 guests to Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. They also specialize in vegetarian and vegan food tours in Saigon. With their passions for helping people get to know Saigon, Spring and Hieu have been making each tour better and better every time. Spring also loves cooking and Hieu loves to eat Spring’s food. Instagram: @springvietnamtours

Jackie M is a Malaysian-born, Sydney, Australia-based Malaysian hawker food specialist, former restaurateur, TV presenter and pioneer of live cooking videos. She is the founder of Masters of Malaysian Cuisine, and she collaborates with tourism and cultural organisations to promote Malaysia and its food worldwide. Websites: &