Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month: Local restaurant spreads heritage through food

ORLANDO, Fla. — The month of May is here and that means it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

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Channel 9′s Christian Bruey recently visited Hawkers restaurant to see how one of their founders is spreading his family’s heritage across the country through food.

Chef Allen Lo is the cofounder of Hawkers, one of Central Florida’s most popular restaurants.

In just 11 years, it has expanded to 13 locations across seven states.

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“We kind of have lightning in a bottle here,” Lo said.

In a bottle and on the plate.

Many of the dishes served up are traditional recipes from Lo and the co-founders’ families.

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“There’s some shout-outs on our menu. So my grandma’s curry. I call her Po Po. So on the menu is Po Po Lo’s curry,” Lo said.

Lo was born in Malaysia and has family in Thailand and Singapore.

Fellow co-founders Wayne Yung and Kin Ho have roots elsewhere in Asia. When the Hawkers menu was originally developed, it was an event.

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“Everybody started kicking out food. I’d say there was probably about 300 dishes that came out. We would taste it. We would eat it. And we would put our comments and we had two tables. One was the love table. One was the hated table,” Lo said.

It’s been all love since they opened the doors at their first location on Mills Avenue.

Lo continues to feel the love from his family on the other side of the world.

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