Deana Saukam

Photographer, food and travel writer

Deana has many talents: stylist, photographer, food writer, restaurateur, communications expert, social media influencer. But the one we know and love her for most? Deana is an avid traveler that lets her heart guide her passions.

Deana lives in Austin, Texas, and ran social media and PR for Austin’s highly respected restaurants East Side King and qui for five years. Today she spends her time traveling in search of bold experiences and adventurous meals. Name a city and she’ll excitedly tell you the best places to find pho or fried chicken, her favorite up-and-coming restaurateurs or unique ingredients she’s found at a local market.

Deana’s grandfather, Saukam Khoy, was the last president of Cambodia before the country fell to the Khmer Rouge in 1975. Her family fled to the United States and Europe; Deana was raised in Texas. She speaks fluent Khmer and English, and has spent her adult life building a career focused on sharing food and travel stories. “My family loves food, so we’re always eating and talking about food.”

Why We Love Deana Saukam

Deana is special to us because she epitomizes the heart of a traveler. She’s brave, fearless, headstrong; bold and proud of it. We never cease to be inspired by her unending devotion to exploring the world and generously sharing her discoveries.

True Adventure

Deana is an adventurer at heart. Take a peek through her Instagram and you’ll find her riding camels, snorkeling in the Maldives or bathing in a bamboo tub between tea fields in China. Or here, learning a new move.

Deana's unofficial motto? 'Keep calm and carry noodles.' Fermented mudfish paste and chili paste come in handy too.

Deana’s Travel Essentials

  1. Organic and all natural, easy for on-the-go
  2. My favorite Japanese pens in multiple colors
  3. A million bikinis - because you never know when you'll need a swimsuit.
  4. My Spotify playlists
  5. Sara Happ lip scrub and lip balm + Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
  6. My Sony RXiii camera. It's the perfect size to carry, shoot discreetly and take with me anywhere I go for the perfect shot.
  7. My notebook - because I'm always working, especially when I'm on the road
  8. My Tecovas Leather Duffle Bag and my Gucci Velvet Jacquard Travel Bag: I take these with me every time I travel, they're perfect travel companions.

6 Questions with Deana Saukam

  1. What’s your favorite food you have to convince people to try?

    Uni - sea urchin. Most people I know are huge fans, but every now and then I’ll meet someone who’s never had it and they’re a little uneasy but they usually all come around. :)

  2. What do you think is the closest thing to real magic?

    Kittens. The perfect bite. Afternoon naps. Falling asleep on one side of the world and waking up on the other side. Pizza in a bathtub. The way a person’s face lights up when you show them something they’ve never experienced before and they love it - love at first sight. Ranch Dressing. Cool Ranch Doritos. Spotify premium. Making new friends.

  3. If you could choose a BFF from any era (dead or alive!) who would it be and why?

    All of the BFFs I have now! I can’t live without them and no one I know dead or alive would accept me and my shenanigans into their hearts like my current BFFs already do. :)

  4. Who’s been the biggest influence/guiding force behind what you do?

    My friends, family and food.

  5. What’s your favorite go-to comfort food?

    NOODLES. In any way, shape, form or sauce.

  6. What’s your favorite smell in the whole wide world?

    Garlic hitting a sizzling, hot pan in my mother’s kitchen.

Explore Upcoming Trips with our Tastemakers

Peru with Traci Des Jardins & Enrique Sanchez

The best of Peru with Traci Des Jardins & Enrique Sanchez. Ancient Incan culture, Michelin-star cuisine and colorful food markets, hikes through Sacred Valley villages up into the sheer audaciousness of Machu Picchu. This is the Peru of your dreams.

Provence with Junior Borges

From buzzing cities to bucolic countryside, this is an immersive expedition into the heart of Provence, one of France's most storied food and wine regions. Join us for a true feast for the senses alongside Junior Borges.

Oaxaca with Diego Galicia & Rico Torres

Explore food, art and culture with chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres. Oaxaca packs in so much of the complex, fascinating culture of Mexico and we'll experience it all—at artist studios, ancient ruins, local markets, street-food stands and hacienda hotels.