Episode 10: Chef Yo of Pinto Garden + Thai Breakfast

In Feast Meets West’s first installment of a new “Asian Breakfast Series” (#FMWAsianBreakfast), Lynda and Iris discuss why Asian breakfast hasn’t quite yet taken off in the US. Chef Yo of seasonal Thai restaurant, Pinto Garden, joins them in the studio to shed some light on what breakfast looks like in Thailand, and to talk about Pinto Garden’s new Thai-inspired brunch menu.

Lynda and Iris briefly catch up on their respective struggles of Daylight Saving beginning (ahh!) and Winter Storm Stella (ahh!!!). They then discuss the why Asian breakfast isn't yet a thing in the West. Is it because Asian breakfast isn't fIashy enough? Are the ingredients too foreign? Are we too attached to our breakfast foods because it's a comfort meal? 

Lynda then asks Chef Yo about his background and how he went from studying theater to becoming a chef who runs two restaurants. She then asks him about Thai breakfast. Chef Yo talks about what he ate growing up, typical food and drinks eaten in the morning in Thailand, and how it's not counted as a full meal if there's no rice!

16:38 "One thing about Thai people--they eat rice in every meal--in every single meal. All my friends, when they go to eat at certain franchise restaurants or fast food, they don't consider it a meal. They're always like, 'oh, this is like a snack'. They'll have fried chicken and mashed potatoes and think, 'it's a snack'. At the end they have to go somewhere that provides rice. They have to eat rice to fulfill them. I think that's the key ingredient, even in the morning they need to eat rice."

Chef Yo then talks about his inspiration for Pinto Garden's new brunch menu and how he adapted some typical Thai breakfast foods for the NY audience. He also reminds us that we can't stereotype food or cuisines and to keep an open mind. Why does Thai food have to be spicy? It doesn't. Finally, we discuss the future of Asian breakfast in the West and whether or not it will take off in the US, as well as his goals for his restaurants.

We're on a mission to spread the word about Asian breakfast! Post a photo of your next Asian breakfast, use hashtag #FMWAsianBreakfast, and tag us on social media! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.