Chef Marc Forgione partners with Chef Soulayphet Schwader to bring Laotian cuisine to NYC at Khe-Yo

Chef Soulayphet Schwader and Iron Chef Marc Forgione

Iron Chef and restaurateur Marc Forgione has partnered with Executive Chef Soulayphet Schwader to open Khe-Yo located at 157 Duane Street. The Tribeca restaurant will feature a Laotian-inspired menu using local market ingredients.

“Soulayphet and I have been working together for a long time and I’ve been lucky enough to have tasted his dishes from Laos over the years,” offers Chef Forgione. “When the opportunity arose for him to have his own place, I jumped at the chance to partner with him. There isn’t any other restaurant in the city serving food like his and there aren’t many people I’d enter into business with but given our history, Soulayphet is certainly one of them.” Chef Forgione and Chef Soulayphet worked together for over twelve years at AZ, BLT Steak and at Restaurant Marc Forgione and grew to share many of the same beliefs and techniques.

The restaurant will offer a Laotian-inspired culinary experience with a few modern twists from Chef Soulayphet. Similar to how it’s done in Laos, ingredients will be purchased from local markets rather and change seasonally.

Khe-Yo means “green” in Laos and growing up, meat was never the focal point of the meal in Soulayphet’s family. There was always an emphasis on freshness, and the raw herbs and vegetables were as important as the protein element.

“Laos sits between Vietnam and Thailand and we pull our culinary influences from both countries,” says Chef Soulayphet. “With Khe-Yo I look forward to bringing this native cuisine to New York City and add to its ever-evolving diverse cultural scene.”

The centerpiece of Khe-Yo’s menu is sticky rice (Khao-Nieo) and in Laotian tradition, it will double as a utensil. Guests are encouraged to sample the seasonal “jaews” (dipping sauces) including Soulayphet’s signature “Bang Bang Sauce” which he’ll make each morning and serve to each table. Khe-Yo’s menu will also boast items like Crunchy Coconut Rice (Nam-Khao) with spicy kaffir lime sausage and baby iceberg, Jurgielewicz Duck Salad (Laap-Beht) with shallots, “tama” lemongrass and rau-rum and Lemongrass Berkshire Spare Ribs (Ping-Sien-Moo) with smashed purple yard bean and sticky rice.

Matthew Conway, GM and Sommelier at Restaurant Marc Forgione consulted on Khe-Yo’s beverage menu that includes sake, French wines and Asian beers. Signature cocktails will be created using seasonal and Asian ingredients also sourced from local markets.

Khe-Yo’s dining room, designed by Michelle Biancardo of the Rockwell Group, features tables made from reclaimed teak that will host 64 guests and 10 additional seats will be available at the bar. Overlooking the dining room is a unique wall mural that pays homage to Laos which is often referred to as the “land of a million elephants.”

Chef Soulayphet will soon serve a rotating menu of Bahn Mi sandwiches from the restaurant storefront takeout counter called Khe-Yosk.

Khe-Yo will fall under Forgione’s 1621 Restaurant Group that includes Restaurant Marc Forgione and American Cut restaurants.


Hours: Monday – Saturday from 5:30 pm to 11pm

Khe-Yosk will open for to-go lunch service in the coming weeks.

Visit or call 212-587-1089 for more information.