Thai Charm Eatery, located in Airdrie, is a first time presenter on the Kitchen Theatre stage. Owner Pung Nya and Executive Chef, Steve Thibodeau will be on stage Sunday July 5 at 1PM in the BMO Marketplace Hall A preparing their delicious swimming rama chicken. Thai cuisine is designed to stimulate and excite the five senses: sour, hot, sweet, salty and neutral so it will be an amazing experience to watch them cook and sample their dish. For a full list of presenters on the Calgary Co-op Kitchen Theatre stage please visit the Western Showcase website.
Calgary Stampede (CS): Briefly tell us about yourself and what your typical day looks like.
Pung: I’m from Thailand and was born in a family who love to cook and always cook. I do love to eat and like all kind of food. I graduated in Hospitality Management and I am a person with service mind. I have been in hospitality business for almost 12 years now. I started my career with Northwest Airlines and then moved to Ireland to pursue my career in a hotel. I moved to Canada in June 2002 and have been in restaurant business since then.
I start my day with, of course, getting the kids ready for school. Then I head to work getting all the sauce and prep ready for daily use. Our sauces are home-made and our food is cook to order so we don’t cook a big batch but just enough to use daily so it’s quite bit of work. I take off in the afternoon to pick up the kids from school and head back to work and be there till around 9 pm.
CS: When did you know you wanted to be involved in the food industry?
Pung: I’m from a family whose parents love to cook and are good cooks. Our parents cooked for us every meal which included varieties of food. My mom is from North of Thailand and my dad who is half Thai-Chinese is from Central so the food they cooked is a bit different. My dad cooks both Thai and Chinese and as a big family of 4 siblings, we normally cook quite a lot of foods at a time. When I got to Canada, I missed my parents’ food therefore learnt to cook my own meal. I afterward got an idea of cooking our home recipes to people.
CS: What do you love about your job?
Pung: I do love my job a lot as it’s a place where I feel like home. I can cook our home food, which is fresh and authentic, to customers. I’m also a people person and I love communicate and interact with people. I have made a lot of friends at my job and I feel great to receive a lot of supports from them.
CS: Do you have a favourite memory of the Calgary Stampede or Kitchen Theatre?
Pung: Unfortunately I haven’t yet had an experience with Kitchen Theatre but I am positive I’m going to have a great one! I’m happy to share our recipe to people who are interested and to see that Thai cuisine has become well-known. I go to Stampede every year and have seen a bit of change, in a good way. I have seen some new midway foods lately and heard that this year will be interesting! There will be a lot more new foods like Lobster Corn Dog, Red Curry Poutine, Peanut Butter Kabob and Jurassic Pork Mac and Cheese, coming and I’m already excited to try them. The Grandstand Show has always been great.
CS: Do you have a recipe you would share with our readers?
Thai Mango Salad (6 servings)
Pung: This salad was created by our Executive Chef, Steve Thibodeau, of Thai Charm Eatery. It’s a sweet and tangy fruit bases salad dressing with just a hint of peppery heat that goes beautifully with any type of lettuce based salad. Try it with a mixture of baby greens, spinach, carrot, pepper, bean sprout, cucumber and a few slices of tomato.
250 gram fresh or frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup red pepper, cut into strips
1/2 cup green pepper, cut into strips
70 ml frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/2 small jalapeno stemmed and sliced
2 1/2 tbs honey
2 1/2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs ginger, peeled and julienne
1 tsp kaffir lime leaves, julienne
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbs green onion, chopped
1 tbs cilantro, chopped
2 tbs canola oil or other vegetable oil
1. Put aside 50 grams of mangos
2. Add all ingredients to food processor or blender and blend till desired consistency
3. Dice remaining mangos and stir in
Yield: 21 1/4 ounces
Nutrition Facts Serving size: 1/6 of a recipe (3.5 ounces).
Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet. Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients. 2 of the recipe’s ingredients were not linked. These ingredients are not included in the recipe nutrition data.
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat (35%) 42.42
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.81g 7%
Saturated Fat 0.39g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 293.3mg 12%
Potassium 227.11mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 20.79g 7%
Fiber 1.27g 5%
Protein 0.97g 2%