Thai New Year is only a few days away and we have asked the head chef of Saba Baggot Street Yo to give us some insights on his Thai New Year memories and how he has celebrated this special occasion in the past.
What does Thai New Year Mean to you?
For me, Thai New Year is like Christmas which is the National holiday where the whole family tries to come home to reunite. This is a very special occasion where we all spend time talking about what we have been up to in life while eating a delicious meal together.
We also sprinkle water over the Buddha statues and to other family members and people around us too.
What is your earliest food memory?
Having a Seafood BBQ with my family.
What do you cook with your family for your Thai New Year celebrations?
Our favorite food for our family gatherings would be BBQ types of food because we can all eat together while each person gets a chance to BBQ our own plates of food.
Are there any traditions you do with your families throughout Songkran?
We would wake up quite early to cook an array of dishes and at about 7 am we would offer them to the monks for blessing. This is a tradition and it is a good start to the new year.
What is your favourite memory from Songkran over the years?
Visiting your grandparents to receive blessings is my favorite memory, it’s not easy to get everyone to come home all at the same time, and especially seeing the smile on their faces really is the best thing about being there with them.
What is your favourite ingredient to use?
Lemongrass chili, kaffir lime leaves, and coriander are my favourite and I use them all regularly.
What kitchen tool can you not live without?
My three knives. They are three different sizes – large, medium, and small.
Who/ What are your biggest influences?
My Father because he is the one who thought me about life, and not just what you learn in textbooks and in the classroom.
How do you celebrate Thai New Year in Ireland?
If we can’t go back to Thailand for Thai New Year I would cook a meal for my small family and will call/video call family in Thailand and receive a blessing from them.