Community mourns passing of King Phojanakong: ‘Great chef, great friend’

Chef King Phojanakong, known for his Southeast Asian specialty dishes served in his Lower East Side restaurant Kuma Inn has passed away. He suffered from a rare amoeba infection, according to a Gofundme piece written by his brother-in-law Eddie Nau.

“King was admitted to NYU hospital with inflammation to the brain among other symptoms, including slight loss of hearing and balance issues. Doctors could not figure out the root cause initially, throughout several lengthy hospitalizations. King underwent multiple brain biopsies and craniotomies that revealed inflammation and lesions found to be due to a mycobacterium and a rare amoeba infection.”

An outpouring of affection for “Chef King” welled up from his Filipino and Asian communities with whom he shared his cooking skills and “instilled the importance of community and culture.”

King is survived by wife Annabel, daughter Phebe, son Eduard and his mother Emma, who is a nurse.

He was a friend to  many, a nurturing mentor to young chefs finding their way around the culinary world. He is  remembered with fondness.

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