Sawadee ka from Thailand.
My current client invited me to come here for two months to cook, grow sprouts, and build an organic vegetable garden. Needless to say, I am thrilled to be here. To do the things that I love to do in such a magical place, so new and faraway from California, is an unexpected and beautiful dream come true.
This is my first time in Thailand, and only my second time in southeast Asia (I went to Bali in 2005). I am embracing Thai culture whole-heartedly. I love listening to the exotic sounds of the beautiful language, and I love the way the written words look like squiggly-snakes. I am in a small town in the north outside of Chiang Mai, with majestic mountain landscapes and a peaceful vibe. It reminds me that living in LA is just one reality, and the world is much bigger than that. Everyone here has been so very gracious, and I am honored to be a guest in this whole new world. I want to soak up every detail, and learn as much as I can.
I feel especially fortunate to cook and garden here. I am becoming acquainted with the local markets, the native produce and the different spices, and although the availability of ingredients is different than what I am used to in southern California, I am being pushed to work with new ingredients, creating new dishes in a new kitchen. At the end of the day, the food is packed with love, and I just hope my client can taste it in the food! The same goes for the garden- different soil, different seeds, but the land is beautiful, all the same. And I am fortunate to have a crew of wonderful men that are helping with the heavy work of building raised beds and hauling soil. We are almost done building the beds and enriching the soil with coconut husks, compost, and mulch, and I will plant seeds in the next day or two.
In addition to cooking and gardening, I am loving the cuisine here so much! I am excited to take some Thai cooking classes while I am here. There is so much to share in these coming weeks, so please stay tuned!
Love from Pai,