Interview Everyday Thai
HV: First of all, a bit about you, what is the backstory of Everyday Thai?
Pickky: I started here 7 years ago in 2014, before that we had a burger van dedicated to Thai cuisine and a rental in a pub where we traded and had really good feedback. In 2014 we opened this place in Fishponds and we’ve been here ever since!
HV: Where did you learn to cook?
I learnt all my cooking from cooking with my mum in Thailand, so I have brought that knowledge over here! I never dreamt I would come to England and be a chef in my own restaurant, but when I was with my husband, I cooked for him and his friend and they told me that my cooking was really good, and I should open a restaurant and that’s how we started! I have gradually got more staff and more positive customer feedback. I have improved so much since starting, cooking is my passion, I love doing it!
HV: That’s amazing! I saw on your website that during lockdown you made your own sauces. Do you use them in your dishes at Everyday Thai? Do you plan to make any more?
Pickky: We use all of them in our dishes, we never thought of creating bottles of the sauce we use but our customers and friends when they were leaving the restaurant after they’ve had my food said “Pickky could we have your sauce in a bottle to take home?” “I can’t cook very well so I need your sauce!”. So I decided to put it in a bottle and sell it. I wasn’t sure whether it would be too much work for me to start with but everyone said I could so after 4 years I decided to do it!
HV: That sounds great, and I suppose it kept you busy through lockdown! How did the COVID lock down affect your business?
Pickky: We had to completely close the business, obviously because of the lockdown but we decided to sell the sauce after lockdown ended. The sauce also has no additives and it's completely natural which is really great.
HV: Ah that’s brilliant! So what are the main ingredients used in your Thai dishes?
Pickky: There are two main dishes. The first is stir fry and the second is curry. So in stir fry it is traditionally oyster sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, sugar and fish sauce, but in our dishes we don’t use fish sauce. I tend to adapt the traditional Thai ingredients to suit the taste of my customers. The other part is curry, I use curry paste with coconut cream.
HV: What sets Thai food apart from other cuisines? What is the best thing about Thai food?
Pickky: I think the fresh ingredients. At Everyday Thai we only have the best quality fresh vegetables. The best thing about Thai food is that it is made to order, when it comes straight out of the wok it is really fresh. Also, the look and colours of Thai dishes, the presentation is key. I tend not to do many takeaways as I find the food, Thai food especially, loses its flavour. That’s why it's best when it is served straight away!
HV: That sounds really easy, I will have to get a bottle! On the subject of vegetarianism/veganism. I’m aware that pure vegetarian meals are rare in Thailand due to the fish sauce used in many dishes. Do you think this is changing? What is a good substitute for fish sauce?
Pickky: Traditionally they do have fish sauce but as I have mentioned we actually don’t use fish sauce. So most of our dishes are fully vegetarian anyway. I take note about what our customers want, many now are vegetarian and vegan, so I try to accommodate that. I choose the ingredients for our sauces and some of the brands we use are vegan. First, it’s not oily, second it doesn’t have prawn or shrimp taste and third it tastes amazing! Although we have a lot of vegetarian and vegan dishes, we try to accommodate our customers so if they want to make a dish vegetarian or vegan we can adapt it according to their wishes.