Orathai aka “Chef NOI”

Where are you originally from?
Maha Sarakham, it’s a small province in the North East of Thailand”

What brought you to food?
“I used to work as a housekeeper for a family, and one of my duties was to cook for them, this is where I started to realise my enjoyment in cooking”

When did you start cooking full time as a profession?
“When I was 24 years old I started my own food stall and worked this full time”

What did your typical day sound like?
“My day would start extremely early, I would head to the food market for around 1am every morning so I could get first choice on the best of products. If you go any later you end up with the not so great vegetables. I will then start prepping for the day and start serving from 8am. My day would end about 4pm, then I would do the same day after day working 7 days a week”

When did you first come over to Scotland?
“I came to Scotland back in 2003. I went to classes to learn English my first 4 years then I joined a catering course full time”

What was your first job in Scotland?
“During my college study I worked at the Rogano in Glasgow and was there for 5 years. Then I joined Bar Soba for 3 years which took me back to cooking what I knew best. After this I ran a pop up restaurant in Proud Mary’s”

What food do you miss from home?
“Papaya Salad most definitely”

What is your Favourite Scottish food?
“Mince and Tatties, but I turn mine into a soup”

What is your most satisfying feeling when feeding someone?
“I want them to get an explosion of flavours which is why I love cooking Thai and Pan-Asian food!”

What is the weirdest reaction you’ve received from a customer eating your food?
“Often, they want to Marry me!”