Company: Chef Danhi & Co / Mortar & Press
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Working with individuals or companies to simplify the Cuisines of Asia so they can incorporate these dynamic cuisines into their companies' offerings. Seeing items that were inspired by my work on restaurant menus, on the shelves of retailers or incorporated into their personal culinary repertoire is very rewarding. It really is about education-being a full time instructor for 7 years changed the way I conduct myself personally and professionally. I am always trying to learn from, educate, and inspire those I come into contact with.
What's your biggest accomplishment?
Publishing Southeast Asian Flavors
and being awarded the "Best Asian Cuisine Book in the USA & "2nd Best Asian Cuisine Book in the World" at the 2009 Gourmand Awards.
What's your favorite combination of ingredients?
The salads of Thailand that combine lime juice, lemon grass, chilies, fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves, palm sugar and toasted sticky rice powder is on my mind a lot now.
What's the best piece of advice you received about cooking or the industry?
When you meet someone, think about how you can help them achieve their goals in life...your rewards will come later... three fold.
What's your favorite restaurant in South East Asia?
Favorite - no such thing, but here are a few worth noting.
Thailand: The Oh Tor Koh market food stalls in Bangkok - right by the crazy Chatuchuck Market this market is filled with killer food. The Kahnom Krok
is not to be missed.
Vietnam: I really like going to Pho Thin
- the 325 year old stall in Hanoi, so much history, really simple Pho - in Northern Style - no herbs in sight. But before I get up north, while in Hanoii the best Bahn Mi on the planet resides at a stall right in front of the central market, get this, she toast the baguette to order in a wooden box that has a bowl of hot coals in the bottom, slathering the bread with some chili sauce, layering soy-spice simmer pork, slabs of Viet sausages, some fresh herbs and cucumber...oh, life is good.
Singapore: I cannot miss eating Kaya Toast at Yakun Kaya, their Far East Square location. Charcoal grilled toast, slathered with a coconut-pandan custard, and made into a sandwich with slabs of butter. Munch on these with coddled eggs, drizzled with dark soy sauce and a heavy dusting of white pepper. Oh yeah, don't forget the jet black coffee with some spoons of condensed milk. The best morning after a nigh out breakfast there is!
Malaysia: In Malacca there is the Newton Hawker Center - the Ikan Bakar - Grilled Skate in Banana leaves with chili sambal, and the golden chicken wings..MUST HAVE every-time I am there.
Indonesia: Easy one here - Ibu Oka for the Babi Guling - whole roasted pig - basted with coconut water the last few hours, its crackling skin makes me cry.