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By sharing the
living history of cuisine
by the hands that make it,
we're changing the way
people think about food.
The Lost Plate Story.
Like the microwave, penicillin, and so many other good things, Lost Plate came about as a total accident.
Ruixi, a Sichuanese, and Brian, a Portlander, were married and working in Xian. New to China, Brian was lost without Ruixi’s ability to maneuver the city, and most importantly, find the best food. Knowing what to order and how to communicate with the shop owners seemed far from reach.
When friends visited, Ruixi would share her favorite spots, and her passion couldn’t have been more obvious. She would tell endless stories about what they were eating, its significance to the local culture, and where all the best places were. This is how the first Lost Plate tours were born.
Brian built the first iteration of this website, which was a single page with some tour details. Ruixi led tours and collected glowing reviews from her guests.
It was only a matter of time before she decided to start tours in her hometown of Chengdu and Brian’s sister, Michelle, did the same in Portland. They’d always spoken about how food is the ultimate way people were connected with each other, so the three of them saw an opportunity to make their passion their work in the places they have a close connection with.
You are what you eat.
To us, the media’s newfound preoccupation with chef shows demonstrates that food is the ultimate link – things are stupid delicious in every language.
Travelers are waking up to this and getting hungry for adventure.
Food from every continent can now be delivered to your door with a few taps on your phone.
Traditions are disappearing as cooking is no longer a necessary skill. Flavors are becoming homogenized.
Industrial farms and new logistics technologies have completely transformed brick-and-mortar supermarkets, and exponential population growth has created an unprecedented demand on the earth.
Our Tasty Commitment.
Once you dig a little deeper, you begin to understand how important that conversation is. We call it our Tasty Commitment – cultural conservation through exciting education. Don’t be fooled by all the beer on our tour, we are 100% trying to teach you things, but we also believe that fun and learning don’t have to be a zero-sum game if you do it right.
In short, we think and talk about food, a lot. We’re a small family business that works with small family businesses on every level of the value chain.
For a hundred million reasons, now more than ever, it’s important to think about food and the hands that make it. To go out into small farming communities and understand what makes delicious happen. Meeting chefs and learning methods that have not yet made it into any fancy cook books or blogs. Spending an average of 3 months to meet the makers every time we build a new tour.
And at the end of it all, bringing that conversation and those lost plates to your table.
Meet the Team.
Our Founding Foodies:
Based In: Beijing
Origins: 10x Generation Sichuanese
Bar Order: Mojito
Current Food Obsession: Food from Yunnan, it’s so unique. Local ingredients are really key, it’s all by season, by region. For example, Dali is wet, so people stir-fry a local tree moss with eggs.
Co-Founder, Lost Plate
Based In: Beijing
Hometown: Born in Portland, serial expat.
Bar Order: Whatever local IPA is on tap.
Fave Weird Food: Grilled cheese on sourdough, dipped in ketchup.
Based In: Portland, Oregon USA
Hometown: 3rd generation Portlander. Loves it more than you do.
Bar Order: An Oregon Pinot Noir.
Favorite Food: The Steam Burgers at Canard in Portland. Claims she could eat 5 in one sitting. Character witnesses assure she already has.
Customer Service Specialist
Based In: Chengdu
Hometown: Auburn, Alabama; but always moving around and exploring new places.
Bar Order: Whatever the bartender’s signature cocktail is.
Favorite Food: Too many to choose! Dim Sum, Taiwanese Beef Noodles, or Som Tum Papaya Salad just to name a few.
Cambodia Operations Manager
Based In: Phnom Penh
Coffee order: A Cambodian street coffee: a shot of espresso over steamed sugarcane juice and fresh milk.
Favorite Food: Bok Tirk Curry – you’ll have to join our Siem Reap tour to discover what this is!
“Tour Researcher & Content Writer – AKA Pro Cheerleader”
Based In: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Origin Story: Half Filipino, Half American, raised in Cambodia.
Bar Order: Jim Beam & Soda Water. It’s weird, don’t ask.
Would Kill For: “White Kimchi. Prior to chili’s introduction to Asia by the Portuguese, kimchi was white. Now the technique is forgotten, but legend has it it’s still around in North Korea. Would I go there just to try it? Yes. Yes I would.”
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