Three Ways Not to Anger a Thai Chef
To learn more about Thai food, we talked with Rangsan Sutcharit, owner of Chicago's Amarind’s Thai Restaurant. We came away with three key tips:
Learn to love the heat.
Thai food is spicy, especially if you order it that way. So don’t be too surprised when your dish’s heat slowly slaps sweat and tears from pores and glands you didn’t even know you had. But it’s important to note that not all Thai cuisine is spicy. “That’s the biggest misconception Americans have about Thai food,” Rangsan said. Many dishes are created with very few spices or can be made mild, so be sure to ask when ordering, and the chef can happily accommodate you.
Leave your knives at home.
And don’t ask the kitchen to bring you one. Most Thai meals are eaten with a spoon, fork, and chopsticks. The chef slices and dices dishes into bite-size pieces, so it’s insulting to request smaller cuts or a larger mouth.
The later the better.
Folks in Thailand eat dinner as late as 1 a.m. So if you’re at a Thai chef’s table at 5 p.m., you should probably expect lunch.