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

Italian Alps: Dolomites Hiking

This is Italy like you've never experienced: a trek through the jaw-dropping Italian Dolomites, with stays in luxury mountain lodges, Michelin-star meals, and immersive cultural experiences like local farm tours and cooking classes.

Portugal with Chris McDade & Natalie Grindstaff

Dreaming of Portugal this summer? Go deep with Chef Chris McDade and sommelier Natalie Grindstaff: azulejo tiles, Fado music, sparkling wines and rich Barolos. Explore taverns and markets, vineyards and farms, and sail through the world’s most gorgeous wine country.

Yucatán with Rico Torres & Diego Galicia

Our Yucatán means ancient pyramids, jungle wildlife, meetups with local artists, cenote swims and historic haciendas and, of course, unforgettable flavors. Dive in on this six-day cultural and culinary journey with chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres. This is no mere vacation in Mexico⁠. It’s an unforgettable adventure in one of the world’s most delicious destinations, alongside two of the most inspiring humans we know.