With Chantana on her semi-annual trip to Thailand, Chantanthai will remain open over the holiday season with Karl serving as the chef. Normally, he cooks in the mobile trailer, which we call the Galloping Gourmet, when things get busy or when there is a catering assignment. In addition to the more popular Thai food items, Karl will be introducing some new international recipes which he has picked up on his travels throughout the world. Check our website for more on that starting next week.
The Saturday evening scene with KDR special guests
I can't exactly welcome myself back to ChantanaThai but nevertheless I can say that to all the Bucknell students and Lewisburg area customers who arrived at my new restaurant the day after I returned from a month in Thailand.
It was really nice to have a new kitchen ready to go. Cooking in a trailer can be pretty confining so I'm glad to be able to move around, from regrigerator to stove etc. without feeling like a prisoner.
So many friends came by over the weekend I could barely leave the kitchen, particuarly Saturday evening when members of the KDR fraternity stopped by. Sorry for the wait, guys...but I had 30 orders to get out at the same time. It's going to be a fun fall season with lots of great Thai food.
On a family July 4 party, I cooked Pad Thai...again!.
As many of my friends know, I try to return home twice a year to visit with family and restock my supplies of Thai herbs and sauces which I bring back in a suitcase during each trip. Family is very important to Thai people and I look forward to visiting with a brother, sisters and other relatives with whom I've been so close through the years.
I'll be leaving on the 13th of July and will return August 13, which will enable
the installation of kitchen equipment to be completed in our new location at 512 Market St.. in time for the return of Bucknell students during the last week in August. I Look forward to seeing all of you then.
The Ambassador, Chantana & Karl
Last Tuesday, we were invited to join Thailand’s Ambassador to the United Nations for a dinner at the beautiful UN Thai residency in New York which turned out to be an inspiring gastronomic delight. After meeting Ambassador Norachit Sinhaseni, Karl and I heard an interesting discussion on Thailand today which was followed by an amazing selection of Thai hors d’oeuvres. The Ambassador’s attractive wife, Ohm, was also present.
The Ambassador very cleverly discussed the problem of who will be the next Thai King after the present leader dies...he is now living in a hospital and has not been well for several years. Many people in Thailand think the King’s second daughter should inherit the throne. However, no woman has ever done this. It surely will not be long before the issue will be decided.
Chantana in front of her new "restaurant"?
This weekend, we moved to a permanent location in Lewisburg at 512 Market St. ....a nice, small place next to the Railroad tracks and across the street from the Hufnaugle Park where we spent so many Fridays during the past two years.
I have mixed feelings about settling down like this. It was so convenient to drive off with our food trailer and have nothing to worrry about after parking it near our home in MIfflinburg. I feel a little bit like a lone wolf suddenly placed in a cage. However, something had to be done about the long lines of c ustomers who had to appear for Thai food only on the days when i could park the ChantanThai kitchen somewhere in Lewisburg. Now we can be open every day and it isn't such a panic trying to serve dozens of customers in a few hours.
In any case, I'll soon be announcing our new hours and the menu for this summer which will include a Thai buffet every Sunday. Come and see our new....not really a restaurant...but our new location where you can enjoy your Thai food in a nice dining facility or take it home if you like.
The line at the Downtown 'Art Gallery Sunday evening.
This past weekend was a bitter-sweet time with the ChantantaThai Food trailer as it was time to say goodbye to so many good friends at Bucknell who will be graduating this month. From Friday through Sunday, it was a struggle to keep up with the long lines of students who were having their last Chantantan Thai meal for along time. I was so exhausted on both Friday and Saturday from cooking for so many wonderful people that we had to close the trailer door even when there were dozens more who wanted to place an order. My apologies to all of you who I had to turn away. On Sunday evening, the same thing happened at the Downtown Art Gallery where we tried our best to keep up and finally served the last person just as we ran out of food. Thanks to so many loyal and wonderful B.U. Students who came for a Thai dinner that evening. Many of you will be coming back in the fall, but for those who are graduating, I want to wish you a wonderful future...you are fabulous young men and women and I know that the world will be a better place because of your participation in whatever careers you choose. Goodbye & good luck! Chantana
Chantana sitting near her garden in Mifflinburg
In Thailand, the Buddhist monks have come back to their monasteries for the rainy season where they will seek liberation from the ways of this world. Now, in my new life in the United States, it 's time to go to work and do all of the necessary chores involved in participating in what the Tibetans call "Samasara" the endless cycle of living and dying.
What can be more rewarding,however, than participating in the endless cycle of maintaining a garden with all of its rewards, such as fresh cilentro, basil, onions, carrots etc. which I can then use for cooking Thai food. Sharing these wondrous miracles of nature with all the people who come to the ChantanaThai trailer is an experience which far exceeds the daily routine of samsara as most of us know it. This week, I finally dared to plant tomatoes near the onionls, now springing from the cool ground which began their journey several weeks ago. Soon, there will be basil and cilentro ready to pluck and mix with the carrots, cabbage and even beets which are on the way. I;ll be able to drop of all these ingredients into my wok, fire at high heat and then share with all those who come for Thai cooking this summer. Quelle chance que j'ai!
Reception At the Samek Art Gallery
It started out as a disaster. Last Thursday, April 18, we arrived at the Samek Art Gallery in downtown Lewisburg to cater a reception after Eliott Anderson's talk (which got rave reviews from those attending). After setting up the ChantanaThai trailer, I suddenly realized I had left all the shrimp in our cooler in Mifflinburg. Karl offered to race the nine mile to pick it up and I started cooking. By the time the reception started, everything was on schedule and Pam Campanaro who did a fabulous job of coordinating the event had no idea that we almost had a disaster on hand. Such is the nature of catering! Plasticity is a sine qua non of this particularly high risk form of entertainment.
We planned on maybe 25 to 30 people showing up, but 65 students, local residents and faculty came to the event at which everyone seemed to be having a good time. As usual, most of the orders were for Pad Thai so I was busy preparing these orders during the entire evening. All in all, it was a great evening and demonstrated, once again, the flexibility of our mobile dining kitchen. BTW we've just acquired the use of a new 20 x 40 white tent for parties which we hope to use a lot in the coming months.
House Party weekend.
House Party Weekend Was A Hit
"Cook till you drop" was my mantra at the Bucknell House Party weekend , March 23 and 24. Honestly, by 7 p.m. Saturday evening I was so tired I could barely stand up after cooking Thai food all day for hungry students who were attending this iconic weekend at Bucknell. We started Friday and amazingly, crowds of party goers had already begin to live it up although the formal festivites didn't start until Saturday.
Despite the constant pressure of long lines, I had a great time bantering with student customers who are among the most polite and thoughtful group of people I have ever met. One innebriated young man told me I was the best cook in the world and that I was also "gorgeous." I loved that except that, as I told him, he might change his mind the next day when he was sober.
"No never," he promised. In any case, I'm getting to an age when I'll take a compliment under any conditions whatsoever.