Ngam's Hong Thaimee: "Giving Up Is Not My Choice"
Angel's Share -- sometimes we work long hours, and it's a hidden spot, so you can't go wrong. I order the Serenity. It's lychee-flavored and so good.
Best Thai restaurant that's not this one:
Depends on the dish I go for. I love kuay tiew, which is pretty much Thai ramen. I really like it at Sri Pra Phai. Ayada has this papaya salad with fermented crab. I like Somtum Der for spicy soup.
Favorite special occasion restaurant:
I love Blue Hill. Ah!
Favorite neighborhood restaurant:
I live in Dumbo, and I really like Vinegar Hill House.
Best neighborhood in the city for food:
The East Village is amazing and also Chinatown.
Who would you most like to cook for?
Rafael Nadal. Oh my god! I've been saying this with every interview. I hope it will get to him soon! I'm a tennis fan, and he plays so well. I would love to cook and have a chat with him.
Who would you most like to cook for you?
Michael Voltaggio. In LA. Oh my God, my heart is beating so fast. This is so personal.
Dish you could eat forever:
Growing up in Thailand, we ate paste -- shrimp paste, chili paste (nam prik). For me, rice, boiled eggs, nam prik, and vegetables -- I can eat it every day.
Something you love about NYC restaurants:
You can never get enough of them. It's amazing and inspirational.
Something you think is weird:
Why do people have to be so pretentious when it comes to restaurants? I guess we all have to be pretentious once in awhile.
Person that doesn't get enough credit:
Dishwashers and delivery boys. On rainy days and snowy days, delivery boys still show up and deliver our food to our customers.
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten:
Oh come on, I grew up in Thailand. I eat quite Thai. Foods that are shrimpy and fishy. Sour green mango dipped in fermented shrimp paste. I'm salivating. It's so good.
Anything in your story that's been overlooked?
When I started, the media would say, "Oh she's a model chef, a fashion chef, this and that." It was wonderful, but the true turning point was when I was on Iron Chef. Then they said, "Oh, she can cook!"
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