Reflections for our Passengers: Laura Grannan aka The Foodie!

When I told people that I had received the opportunity of a lifetime to go to Thailand, their reactions were mostly surprise as well as jealousy.  With a culinary degree and many years in the culinary industry, I knew that this was going to be a trip I’d never forget. Thailand is a mecca for foodies, and I was there to experience it in all of its wonder. There are blocks of fresh, open-air markets, street vendor after street vendor and more restaurants to choose from than one could ever possibly eat at.

On our first day in Thailand we headed out to take it all in…see the sights, meet the people and get a little “lost.”  Not only was the first day so amazing simply because I was in Thailand, but we were able to go on an adventure to find a NY Times reviewed restaurant called Chotechitr.  I had been told that it was a “must-visit,” and so with the crew in tow Kelly got us there.  It was amazing to sit in a place that is 100 years old, family-owned and where so many have sat before.  Thank you to Kelly for making that happen for me!

The Chatuchak weekend market is also definitely worth seeing and experiencing.  Imagine drinking coconut water out of a young coconut that is cut open in front of your eyes, eating pork belly that was freshly cooked just for you and fruits and vegetables that you only see on TV, as well as some of the freshest fish you’ll ever have.  The markets are teeming with people, clothing, crafts, art, food and drinks.  Anything you could possibly want was there!  These types of markets are everywhere in Thailand.  And they aren’t just weekend farmers markets; rather they are a part of the Thai culture and way of life.

After experiencing these grand markets in Bangkok, we had the chance to see a smaller version in Khao Lak.  The orphanage there took us under their culinary wing, invited us into their kitchen and home and taught us how to make some traditional Thai dishes.  You can’t get more personal than that!  When it comes to food, one thing I have learned is that there is no language barrier; we all speak the same language.  Great food comes from the heart and through love, and Thai people sure have a lot of both.  Love comes through in the time they take carefully preparing each item and in their appreciation for the food that nourishes them.  It was very humbling to see, and it was a day/memory that will forever be a favorite of mine.  Thank you to The Village Experience for giving me the opportunity to experience my culinary passion in a completely new way.  It truly was a life changing experience, and I would recommend a trip through TVE to anyone!