My name is Randy Clemens, and I am a freelance food writer based in Southern California. I am a graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts, a BJCP Recognized Beer Judge, a Libertarian, and a proud vegetarian.
On the writing front, I’m the author of The Sriracha Cookbook and The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook as well as the co-author of The Craft of Stone Brewing Co.: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance.
In addition to previously serving as the Associate Digest Editor for Los Angeles magazine, I’ve written for several major publications including:
When I’m not eating, writing, or reading, I can be found running in my awesome Luna Sandals (or barefoot), singing barbershop with Pacific Coast Harmony, or traveling anywhere in search of adventure.
Heard you on Splendid Table today. As a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in a town called Bang Saen near Sriracha, I have to say that I cringed every time you said the name of the sauce and town. Do not accent any of the syllables or it sounds very strange. In Thailand, we say, “Saw ["sauce"] See-ree-chah” with all syllables equally accented. If you make that correction, then I promise to look for your book because I do enjoy Thai cooking!
Thanks for coming to the site, and kudos to you for volunteering with the Peace Corps! As for the pronunciation, I go with the flow and use the slightly bastardized American pronunciation. I’m aware of the correct Thai pronunciation, and had actually explained it for the show, but it was cut for the sake of time I suppose. Anyway, sorry it made you cringe. As for the book, it is not Thai focused. Just as the Huy Fong Foods brand of Sriracha is an American interpretation of true Thai Sriracha, my cookbook is my take on using Sriracha in creative ways with recipes from different cuisines. There definitely are some great Thai and Thai-influenced recipes in The Sriracha Cookbook, but it would be quite a stretch to call it a Thai cookbook. Hope you pick a copy up and cook like crazy!
Found your Fire-Roasted Corn Chowder recipe in the The Week’s Feb. 25 issue. It sounds fantastic! I do have one question though…I’m not able to eat dairy and the last ingredient to add is heavy cream. Do you think the chowder would be suitable without it, or is there a non-dairy substitute you can recommend to thicken the chowder? Thanks!
Thanks for stopping by! There are a couple ways to add a creamy texture to the Fire Roasted Corn Chowder recipe from The Sriracha Cookbook without using cream. Truth be told, I’ve heard back from a few delighted vegans who just leave out the cream altogether! There are vegan cream substitutes, although I try to avoid items that are so full of processed ingredients. But for the sake of convenience, it’s there for you! Silken tofu pureed in a blender with some of the broth works wonders. If you have a Vita-Mix or other high-speed blender, you can soak raw cashews for four hours, and puree them with an equal amount of broth until smooth. One other way is to use coconut milk. It will change the flavor of the soup quite a bit, but it sounds delicious!
Hope this helps!
- Randy Clemens -
I was glancing at Sacramento’s Midtown Monthly and saw your Sriracha Cookbook listed on their recommended “Christmas Gift Guide” (next to Malto Batali’s cookbook). Right on!! Congrats on the great cookbook. I had the pleasure of one of your Sriracha Books magically appearing on my door step, signed by you and I love it. I see you’ve come out with a Stone Brewery book…soooo going to get it!!
I wish you much success….
I am greatly enjoying your new cookbook. I was hoping to find more than one recipe for Sriracha sauce in your cookbook. I have made it from red Serrano chili’s and red Fresno chili’s. I really thought the Huy Fong Sriracha was made with red Serranos. My experiment using fresh red Peruvian Aji’s looked great but failed the taste test as it was simply too hot for anyone to use. I would imagine Thai red chili based Sriracha sauce would be blistering hot also. There are some really old ketchup recipes based on green walnuts prunes and other Asian style ingredients that could be re-imagines with a Sriracha twist for burger and meat on a bun goodness. I hope your cookbook isn’t the last word on the subject.
I tried to post this last week, but it didn’t appear. Let’s try this again:
I made some of the Sriracha Buffalo Wings (sans honey, I will confess) for lunch today, and I thought, “How awesome would it be if Randy and the Oatmeal were to collaborate on a modern, sriracha-enthusiast version of one of those recipe calendars?” The calendars usually feature a single large illustration/recipe for each month in a hokey, faux-Americana style (both art and recipe, that is). If one were populated instead with the Oatmeal’s various sriracha characters (the fire-breathing bear, for instance), and featured either recipes from your cookbook (or perhaps ones you’ve developed in the last two years), it would really rock the cock. The two of you must be acquainted with each other, and Inman’s recent Sriracha popcorn shows he’s no opponent of collaboration when it’s for the cause of the Rooster.
I’d certainly buy one.
Just a thought…
When not doing all the above, Randy also sings a mean lead part in a barbershop chorus, Pacific Coast Harmony (http://www.pacificcoastharmony.org ) Another way to find harmony in the world.
I read your powerful blog on your father’s passing. You mentioned that your father hated his work that he did for almost 25 years. So that I can better appreciate the background of your story, may I ask what his line of work was.
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