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    Nov 2005
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    Farang Pad Thai Vendor Charms Local Thais

    Farang Pad Thai Vendor Charms Local Thais

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    ANG THONG - A Swiss citizen has charmed many residents in Ang Thong province with his take on the national staple dish, pad thai.

    Tony Smith, 54, was busy cooking pad thai and hoi thot (deep fried mussels) for his numerous customers when our correspondent visited his food stall in front of Chai Yo District Municipal Office at lunch time today. He was assisted by his Thai wife, Siriporn Smith, who also cooks other dishes for the patrons.

    Many customers said they were impressed to see a farang (Caucasian) who is extremely capable of cooking pad thai, the fried noodle that has become one of the most iconic Thai dishes.

    "I have been eating here for years," said one of the customers, Pannarat Thanaratrungrueng, "I have to admit, I am amazed by Tony's cooking skill ... I have never seen any other foreigner with such talent."

    Although the stall, called Sor Nai Farang (Mr. S Farang), is widely praised for its pad thai, Mr. Smith said his proud dish is "sky hoi thot", which he cooks by lifting the pan and throwing the mussels into the air, then deftly receiving it with the pan.

    Speaking in fluent Thai, Mr. Smith said he used to work as an engineer for a water pump company in Switzerland, but eventually decided to move to Thailand "because I was bored".

    "I thought Thailand was a good place to live in, so I decided to come here," Mr. Smith said. He later met and married Ms. Siriporn, who owns a restaurant in Bangkok.

    According to Mr. Smith, he fell in love with Thai food as he dated Ms. Siriporn, thanks to her cooking, which inspired him to learn how to cook Thai cuisine from his wife. The Swiss man said he mastered the skill to cook pad thai three years ago and has been helping his wife earn a living by cooking the dish in their hometown ever since.

    Ms. Siriporn said her husband was a man who loves cooking at heart.

    "I think his skill is quite good," Ms. Siriporn told our correspondent, "These days all the customers who visit our stall only ask for Tony's cooking."


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