Noriko Kamei | Still from "The Migrant Kitchen" Sequoia Sake MKs3

"The Migrant Kitchen" is an Emmy®-winning food series that explores California’s booming food scene through the eyes of a new generation of chefs whose cuisine is inspired by the immigrant experience. Visit the kitchens of those who have transformed the culinary landscape of the state, combining traditional ethnic cuisines and a fusion of new flavors and techniques to make it a food capital of the world. "The Migrant Kitchen" is produced in association with Life & Thyme.


Full Episodes

Upcoming Airdates

The Jewish Deli

The Jewish Delis of Los Angeles serve an important role for connecting heritage to food. Factor’s Famous Deli has been a central pillar for the community for 70 years while newcomers like Micah Wexler and Michael Kassar of Wexler’s Deli bring a fresh take to classic deli food traditions.

Sequoia Sake

Jake Myrick and Noriko Kamei have taken their love for namazake and created Sequoia Sake, a small brewery in the heart of San Francisco. Rooted in the traditions of Japanese sake brewing, they work to resurrect an heirloom rice in California and pioneer the young but growing craft sake movement in the US.

The Migrant Kitchen 1-Hour Special

Los Angeles’ booming food scene is being shaped by a new generation of chefs. Visit almost any kitchen in Los Angeles and it is likely you will find a migrant chef combining ethnic cuisines with new flavors and techniques. And often within the food, is a story of their migration.

“The politics of migration, the labor economy, all that drama plays out in the restaurants that we go to,” says journalist and author Rubén Martínez

Alta California

A collective of culturally connected, distinguished chefs (including Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Wes Avila of Guerilla Tacos, Carlos Salgado of Taco Maria, as well as Jorge Gaviria of corn purveyor, Masienda) work to preserve heritage and push forward the “Alta California” Mexican food movement. By celebrating those dishes and ingredients integral to Mexico's cuisine and its economy, a group of accomplished Mexican-American chefs are working to elevate not only the food, but what people of their heritage can achieve in the food business.


Indian food has often been associated with stiff restaurants, all-you-can-eat buffets and heavily spiced, cream-based dishes. The Mahendro family (Anu, Pawan, Nakul and Arjun) immigrated to Los Angeles and found that they didn’t recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant Badmaash and to the city of L.A. Featured in the episode: Downtown L.A.’s Badmaash.


Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found Los Angeles lacking in these Japanese taverns. Sonoko Sakai is a teacher with a passion for buckwheat and the near-sacred art of soba noodles, and Seiichi Yokota knows how to prepare and preserve fresh fish with a traditional Japanese technique never seen before in Los Angeles. Each aims to introduce Angelenos to the unique spirit of Japanese hospitality and the culture's deep culinary customs.

Beyond Pho

Banh Mi. Spring rolls. Pho. The war and its subsequent refugees. These are things most commonly associated with the Vietnamese culture and its people. But a group of chefs in Los Angeles (including Cassia’s Bryant Ng and Diep Tran of Good Girl Dinette) are hoping to demonstrate that there’s so much more than that. Featured in the episode: Cassia in Santa Monica, Good Girl Dinette in Highland Park, Red Boat Fish Sauce, and Minh Phan of Porridge & Puffs.

El Jardin

Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins opens her new restaurant, El Jardín, in San Diego. Inspired by the traditions of generations of Mexican women and combining regional heirloom ingredients from across Mexico, Zepeda-Wilkins takes a huge risk to elevate the cuisine in her hometown.

Mister Jiu's Chinatown

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, Brandon Jew walks the line between his Chinese heritage and his American upbringing with his restaurant, Mister Jiu’s. With the rapid gentrification of the neighborhood, the face of the country’s oldest Chinatown is changing while a younger generation holds on to the traditions and flavors of the past.


Two extraordinary women of Palestinian descent, Reem Assil and Lamees Dahbour, use food to bring their misunderstood homeland closer to Western tolerance and acceptance.

Explore The Restaurants

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American Chef Michael Cimarusti has created one of the most elegant and sought after dining experiences in Los Angeles. Behind his kitchen doors you’ll meet Guatemalan Kitchen Manager Jorge Dugal.
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Indian The Mahendro family (Anu, Pawan, Nakul and Arjun) immigrated to Los Angeles and found that they didn’t recognize any of the so-called Indian food available to them. Like carefully selected spices to a classic Indian dish, each family member contributes something special and significant to their restaurant.
  • the migrant kitchen
Sonoko Sakai Cooking Courses
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In Japan, soba noodles are a serious matter. Great soba restaurants are found through word of mouth and are a highlight of a meal. Learn how to make your own with the help of whole grain activist and Japanese culinary expert, Sonoko Sakai.
  • the migrant kitchen
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Charles Namba and Courtney Kaplan, the couple behind Echo Park's Tsubaki, have always loved the culture of izakaya but found Los Angeles lacking in these Japanese taverns.
  • the migrant kitchen
Kobee Factory
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Wafa Ghreir has used her restaurant, Kobee Factory, as an outlet to showcase her pride in her Syrian culture and bring Middle-Eastern inspired food to many local residents.
  • the migrant kitchen
Guerilla Tacos
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When Chef Wes Avila first started Guerrilla Tacos in 2012 he wasn’t setting out to do something different—he was setting out to do something good. He had gone to culinary schools in California and France, had cooked alongside some of the most recognized chefs in the world.
  • the migrant kitchen
Taco Maria
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When Chef Carlos Salgado opened Taco María in 2013, he made a decision to honor his family’s culture and their hard work by making Mexican-inspired food with a reverence for its provenance.
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Located in the heart of Beverly Hills along Canon Drive, Spago is the flagship restaurant of the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group.
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Chef Charles Olalia’s story is one of the pursuit of the American dream. Emigrating from the Philippines, Olalia climbed his way up the ladder, cooking for gastronomic destinations from the likes of French Laundry to Patina. But then he left the fine-dining world and moved on to pay homage to Filipino comfort food by opening RiceBar.
  • the migrant kitchen
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Brothers Chad & Chase Valencia, whose LASA pop-up, which offers an amalgam of Filipino and Californian fare, is serving to a full house every weekend.
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Eggslut’s menu is small but mighty, revolving mostly around breakfast sandwiches on brioche buns. But the signature dish just might be the soft coddled egg with potato puree, aka 'the Slut.' It arrives in a mason jar, and the pro move is to stir the egg and potatoes together. Scoop them out with a crunchy toasted baguette, which basically acts as an edible spork. The Slut became an instant Market classic, further testament to the incredible edible egg.
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Grand Central Market
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Los Angeles is a place of perpetual self-reinvention; so it should come as no surprise that the city’s largest and oldest public market, the iconic Grand Central Market, has continually evolved since opening in 1917. Over the decades, the open air market has reflected the ever-changing population and landscape of downtown L.A. with a rotating roster of vendors selling prepared foods and groceries.
  • the migrant kitchen
Broken Spanish
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Ray Garcia's modernist Mexican restaurant has been pushing the envelope of what Mexican cuisine means, re-inventing dishes such as the tamal.
  • the migrant kitchen
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Helmed by Bryant and Kim Ng, Cassia on the Westside continues the inventiveness of its predecessor The Spice Table with flavors that borrow from Vietnam and Singapore.
  • the migrant kitchen
Porridge + Puffs
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A pop-up for four years, Porridge + Puffs finally becomes a brick and mortar shop serving comfort food with a Vietnamese flavor.
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Wexler's is a new traditional Jewish deli in Grand Central Market and also in Santa Monica owned by Micah Wexler and partner Michael Kassar.
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Factor's Famous Deli
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Factor's Famous Deli has kept the traditions and flavors of Jewish food alive in Los Angeles for 70 years and counting.
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Sequoia Sake
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Sequoia Sake brews right in the heart of San Francisco. On Saturdays, they open to the public and one can taste the freshest, liveliest sake available.
  • the migrant kitchen