So I'm back in Syracuse just in time for the arctic weather. It is winter in Thailand right now too. They also were experiencing extremely cold temperatures. The whole time I was there it didn't get over 93 degrees! And the cold 75 degree nights were frigid for most of the Thais. Ha ha I can't believe it everyone over there was wearing sweaters and complaining about how cold it was. It was nice to thaw out for a while!

The morning we arrived in Thailand I went out to breakfast with my brothers and nephews to Mongkol Chai. My dad used to take us there when we were young. We had Chicken Rice and Morning Duck Soup, a basic Thai dish that was inherited from Cantonese. I remember the dish from my childhood it was one of my favorite places to eat. The meal was just okay but the memories with my dad are priceless.

This was not just an eating trip. The real reason we went was for a funeral in Pook's family. The ceremony began the first day we arrived. After breakfast I walked around the morning market before the services began at 10:30. We sent her parents' ashes out to sea during a great ceremony performed by our Royal Thai Navy.

 Ant Egg Soup with seasonal local vegetables. You can see all the white eggs over the spoon!

Ant Egg Soup with seasonal local vegetables. You can see all the white eggs over the spoon!

For the first two days during the ceremony we explored the local North and Northeastern style food. After the services we went out to lunch where we ate Ant Egg Soup. I've never been one to eat bugs or try anything too weird but what the heck, why not? So I jumped on the bug band wagon and I actually enjoyed it! The restaurant catered to the locals and the near by university. Their portions were small but very inexpensive.

 Tom Sap or Northern style spicy chicken soup.

Tom Sap or Northern style spicy chicken soup.

The ant egg soup was just a warm up for the rest of the meal. We also enjoyed their papaya salad with salted egg yolks, roasted pork (moo yang) with sticky rice, marinated whole fish fried in fish sauce with a green mango salsa, hot and spicy chicken soup (tom sap), a couple of curries, rice, a few beers, some sodas, and dessert. For ten people it cost less than $10 US per person!

When I was walking around the morning market I came across a whole in the wall Kah Num Kruk stand that has been there for almost eighty years! They open up at 5am and run out of food by 1pm. This is where I got my inspiration for our new coconut risotto cups I put on the menu last month!

Thailand even has fried dough. Its a little different than our Italian fried dough that you'd find at the NY State Fair or the farmer's market. It has less yeast, is softer and is more inviting. Plus its only ten for $1

I took so many pictures over there. These are just a few from the first day. I will blog more about my trip this week.

Your Chef,