The festival has taken place in Los Angeles, London and Singapore and is coming to San Francisco for the first time this year. It’s taking place on Saturday May 27th 2017 from noon until 10 pm at Fort Mason Center’s Festival Pavilion.
But even if you won't be able to make it to the festival, I think you will find it interesting to learn a little bit more about Thai food from Chef Duangporn Songvisava, or ‘Bo’ as she’s more commonly known. She was chosen Asia’s Best Female Chef 2013 and runs the Bangkok restaurant Bo.Lan with her husband Chef Dylan Jones (it's ranked 19 on the list of Asia's 50 Best Restaurants 2017). Chef Bo along with Chef Dylan helped to curate the food for the festival from local Thai restaurants.
How do you see Thai food evolving in Bangkok and outside of Thailand?
In a promising way, there are more and more restaurant outside Thailand that try to cook Thai properly. This brings more awareness to the cuisine of Thailand.
What are your recommendations for diners looking to discover the real flavors of Thailand?
Be brave and take on spiciness. If you can eat spicy, then your real Thai flavors will just shine.
What do you want people to know about Thai cuisine that they probably don’t know?
That it is not cheap, sweet or full of peanuts. Don’t use chopsticks when eating Pad Thai; instead, use a fork and spoon.
What’s your goal of the Chang Sensory Trails festival?
To share our passion of Thai food and showcase dishes that are less known.
What are the main reasons people should attend?
There will be lots of Thai food to taste, try and eat and plenty of Chang Beer for people to cool off from the heat and Thai spices.
What dishes do Thai restaurants get right and which do they get wrong, outside of Thailand?
I think it is not about the dishes but it is about the ingredients; like fresh coconut cream is the better option over processed coconut cream. Homemade curry paste is always better than a highly-processed curry paste. (Note from Amy: If you want to try curries made from curry pastes made from scratch, I highly recommend you visit Kin Khao, San Francisco's only Michelin star Thai restaurant)
Thanks Chef Bo! Curious about the dishes you’ll get a chance to try? Here’s the list:
Baan Thai House & Wine Bar: Steam Dumplings
Tamarind Hall: Classic Pad Thai Shrimp
Saap Ver: Som Tum
Ben Thai Café: Khao Soi
Tycoon Thai Restaurant: Sai Ua
Lao Table: Larb Duck Pakxe
Lers Ros: Beef Noodle Soup
House Of Thai: Kao Mun Gai
To learn more about the festival head to Chang Sensory Trails. See you there!