Talay Thai's Chef Charlie Soo: Interview, Part II
We're continuing our interview with Talay Thai Chef Charlie Soo. Part I of the interview can be found here.
Clean Plate Charlie: You've worked in a lot of different cities -- why did you open Talay Thai in Palm Beach Gardens?
Chef Charlie Soo: Miami may have the glitz, but if you're a professional from New York or Boston, Palm Beach Gardens is where you retire. I've never seen so many black cars. I want Talay Thai to be a community restaurant, a place where people come by word of mouth.
Food seems to be the new entertainment, and chefs are celebrities -- you're Mr. September in the South Florida Hot Chefs Calendar. What's your take on that?
I know that chefs are now pop culture. People love food. I love food. I'm personally not a big fan of the celebrity part of it, but If I can get more tips for my bartenders and my servers, I'll run in the street with my shirt off. And the calendar was nothing. I would have done it naked if they asked.
There's always the 2012 calendar...
OK. Not gonna happen.
What dish do you recommend at Talay Thai?
I would recommend talking to your server. There's a lot of time and effort that goes into the dishes, and my servers are all completely trained in the food. They know what's good. They spent time in the kitchen. They had pranks played on them by the kitchen staff. They paid the price.
Do you have any cooking tips for at-home chefs?
Where you buy your ingredients is the most important thing in the world. I know Publix is on every corner, but if you're going to cook a meat dish, buy at a meat market. If you want fish, go to a good fish market. I'm blessed. The best fish purveyor in South Florida is Cod & Caper, and it's only two miles from my restaurant. I really take pride in my seafood. I asked around and got the best source in the industry.
What food trends do you foresee?
Thai food, of course! And Palm Beach Gardens is going to be the epicenter of the trend!
Chef Charlie Soo will share one of his delicious recipes with Clean Plate Charlie readers, coming soon. Watch for it!
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.