Pershore Patty meets Phai, owner and head chef at Phai’s Kitchen, Cheltenham to ask a few questions and for a general nose.
Tell me a little bit about how you came to own or work in your business.
I gave up my career in logistics as I didn’t find it fulfilling. And for years my friends said that I should do something with my passion for food and here is it. Doing what I love!
What achievements, awards or accolades are you proud of?
For me any positive reviews I receive is an indicator of my achievement. It makes me want to do better and make people happy and smile through food!
Any news announcements, or events that you’d like new and existing customers to be aware of?
I have many events coming up and they can be found on my website. The next event we have is a 5-course supper club in Cheltenham. It will be held in a lovely local café.
What makes your business unique?
Favourite restaurant to visit if you get a night off?:
East India Café or Petit Coco, both in Cheltenham. I think it is important to support local businesses.
Last thing you watched on TV?
Thai ghost hunting show on YouTube in my kitchen while I made spring rolls for a corporate event in Tewkesbury.
Which person in your life do you most admire and why?
I’m very blessed to be surrounded by many wonderful people who I admire and one of these people is my friend Daisy Brazil. She is a SUPER woman, wonderful mum to two gorgeous children, successful business woman and a wonderful and very supportive friend. She also makes awesome chicken and rice bake!
What was the last gift you gave someone?
A jar of homemade Seville orange marmalade with whiskey to my friend Jo. She loves it so much that I gave her my last jar! Didn’t think that through!
What’s your favourite smell in the whole world?
Thai iced tea, it reminds me of busy streets of Bangkok. I would carry a glass of iced tea while trying to avoid being run down by passing traffic but at the same time trying to see what street food vendors are selling. Tea and coffee vendors are everywhere in Thailand. Thai tea is made with red tea leaves and it has this fantastic caramel flavour but without the sugar which makes a great drink for hot Thai weather.
What’s your favourite kind of sandwich?
I’m not a big bread-eater so sandwich is never my first choice of any menu. But if I see chicken, spinach, bacon and avocado sandwich on the menu then I might give it a go as it is such a great combo!
Who would you want to cook your last meal on earth, and why?
My mother’s Thai green chicken curry is the best! It’s so spicy that it makes you cry but you just can’t help it but go back for more. She uses chicken wings in her curry and the bones impart greater depth to the curry that you don’t get from chicken breasts. I always eat it with cucumber which helps cool your mouth before you go back to the next bite!
What is the most annoying habit that other people have?
Road users who don’t indicate!
If you could eat only 3 foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Thai chicken rice, Caprese salad with balsamic vinegar and my mother’s Thai green chicken curry.
What’s your claim to fame?
I don’t think I’m famous yet so not sure what I can claim!
Which food & drink business (other than your own) do you wish you had created?
East India Café. They give Indian food a whole new image with their creativities, but at the same time staying true to the fantastic flavours of India.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Things happen for a reason!
If you could be anywhere else right now, where would it be?
Florence. I love all the buildings and trattoria!
What’s the best thing that happened to you last week?
Putting a new piece of artwork up in the living room!
Name a product or service you love so much that you’d happily be that company’s spokesperson.
Samsung! They are the best!!
As a child, what did you wish to become when you grew up?
A millionaire! I’m not there yet!
What is the perfect combination of pizza toppings?
I don’t eat bread much but I have this wonderful scallops pizza in a small town in France called Pouzauges and it’s the best pizza I’ve ever eaten!
What was the worst job you ever held and why?
I was 16 and I did one night of telesales in Cheltenham, selling kitchen units. I had to call people up in the evening asking if they would be interested in getting new kitchen. As you can imagine people were not very friendly. One even said he would personally sue me for calling him! I only lasted one night!!
Tragedy, an American metal band. Awesome, awesome and awesome!
What was the last thing you ate?
Japanese mochi with a latte
Favourite cut of steak?
Hereford rib-eye beef. We normally get them from V.W. Lane Butchers on The Bath Road in Cheltenham
What website do you visit most often?
SheSimmers, Thai food blogger. I like when she writes about history of dishes.
What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
I know how to change the back light in a SMART car!
What do you hope never changes?
My partner Ben. He is wonderful and very patient with me! But he could do with putting his morning coffee cup in the sink after he has finishes with it as he leaves it by his laptop every day!
Any finally a question from those who are married to you…When are you coming home?
I’m right where I need to be!