From a dishwasher . . . to a Thai restaurant chef
. . . If I were to talk about Chef Naphop Poonnapiwat, you probably wouldn't know who that is, but if I mentioned Chef Tee the grandson of Chalaem, New Yorkers would probably know him well. However, does anyone really know what he has been through and how the grandson of Mrs.Chalaem came to be a chef?
. . . In a house by the river in Bang Ya Praek Thailand, there is hidden a delicious dish created by a chef at a famous restaurant in Bangkok eighty years ago. With a balanced flavor coming not from MSG, but rather from only the finest local ingredients, Chalaem fed her grandchildren this dish every day. This experience growing up taught Chef Tee how to choose the right ingredients and techniques for his own cooking. On his own he could make any dish, even without being taught or having ever tasted it before. It was as if the skills of his chef ancestors had all been passed on to him.
. . . Becoming the head chef didn't happen by chance. He had to overcome the doubters who said he wasn't fit for this position. He earned the title "Chef Tee" when he was a lowly dishwasher in the state of Florida as a joke from the cooks when he gave them the food he made to taste. He knew then that the grandson of Chalaem must prove himself to be better than those who laughed at him. By the time he left Florida he had risen to the position of Sous Chef before moving to New York to further hone his skills. Before long he reached the level of Executive Chef and started his own business.
. . . From the jokes and doubt from those around him he found the strength and drive to rise above the insults and laughter until they all recognized his skill. This is the origin of "Chef Tee" the grandson of Mrs.Chalaem.
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