Thursday, November 8, 2007

New award!

The actual certificate is being framed and isn't on display yet, but the Ministry of Commerce of the Thai Royal Government has awarded True Thai Restaurant their Thai Select Seal of Approval for Thai Cuisine. (Note: this link goes to an Australian website. The program is more developed there, and there isn't a USA site yet, although that's coming.]

Our thanks to Mr. Rachane Potjanasuntorn, Director General of the Dept. of Export Promotion. We are very proud of this award because it is awarded for more than just the authenticity of our food.

“Thai Select” certifies that the food, the hospitality and the atmosphere of the restaurant is authentic.

I am grateful that the Royal Thai Government has committed itself to letting Americans know which U.S.-Thai restaurants reflect true Thai culture and dining standards. In the U.S., it is very common to hear people come back from a vacation to Italy and then comment on how Italian food is nothing like American Italian food. The Royal Thai Government understands this, and by giving their seal of approval, they are trying to help ensure that Americans and other non-Thai patrons of "Thai" restaurants learn the difference between Thai style food, and authentic Thai dishes.

Our expansion continues, but because of all the delays in getting into the new space, we don't know yet when the new, larger True Thai Restaurant will open. All I know is that when it does, the food, hospitality and ambience will all reflect true Thai culture. I love my country of birth, and will always strive to make True Thai as authentic as possible.

Monday, November 5, 2007


A quick word about "authenticity." In Thai cooking, the emphasis is on fresh, tasty ingredients. When a chef goes to the market, it is always to find pi-sed (the best ingredients). As a result, Thai dishes prepared in America may use produce that wouldn't necessarily be used in Thailand. Carrots, for example.

The most common question I'm getting from customers lately is, "where do you get your red, yellow and white carrots?" Well, they come from our suppliers, and they're grown in California. They're crunchier than most carrots, which is why they're called "Rainbow Crunch Carrots." Rainbow is part of the name because these carrots come not just in orange, but also in white, yellow and red. Each day before our customers come in for lunch and dinner, our staff spends time carving flowers from these rainbow-hued carrots so we can make your entrée look more interesting and appetizing. (Parents know that True Thai works hard to trick children into eating vegetables, and we're finding that kids like red carrots better than orange ones!)

Do they use red carrots in Thailand? No, not yet. But Thai chefs are always looking for new ways to "improve" their presentations, and new, colorful vegetables quickly find their way into Thai dishes. Every time I fly back to Thailand my first question is, what's new?

At True Thai Restaurant, what's new is the carrots — they're not just orange anymore.