Tarsu20 Cookbook

Update: Congrats to Ratha Seng, who in March 2023 was recognized by the American Advertising Federation Columbus for his work on the Tarsu project. Seng took home several gold Addy Awards from AAF Columbus for his final capstone project, which included a Cambodian cookbook, a poster, an event, and an overall campaign. Seng received Student Best of Show, Judge’s Choice, and Student Gold for the integrated brand campaign; in addition, he took home a Student Gold for his Tarsu poster. Sample his work in the AAF Columbus' Winners Book

Some of Ratha Seng’s (Advertising & Graphic Design, 2022) earliest memories are of women—family and friends, members of the Cambodian refugee community—preparing food and telling stories in the kitchen. Those memories are what ultimately promoted Seng to  create and launch his own book, Tarsu Cookbook, for his Columbus College of Art & Design senior capstone project. 

The cookbook features 21 recipes from 10 individuals in the local Khmer community, and dishes range from traditional to modern. Seng selected its title,Tarsu Cookbook, as tribute to the word “tarsu,” which, he told the Columbus Messenger, means “perseverance, solidarity, community, and love.”

The Tarsu Cookbook, which highlights the connection between food and stories, was launched during the Khmer New Year Festival, which was held at the Cambodian Buddhist temple (Wat Samakyserirattanaram) in the Columbus suburb of Grove City April 15–17, 2022. Seng told the Columbus Messenger that the community’s overwhelmingly positive response to the cookbook has beens one of the most rewarding experiences of his life. 

Tarsu Cookbook Newspaper

This project was a love letter to my people, and what I got back was the same love multiplied by a thousand. There aren’t enough words to describe the joy I feel,” he said.

While its initial run of copies quickly sold out, the cookbook can still be purchased through Seng’s Instagram, @sengdesigns, for $30. 

Seng shares more about the project in this video. Read the entire Columbus Messenger article here.