Our Food Editor had an opportunity this week to sit down for a one on one interview with the culinary hands behind Lemongrass Bistro.
A Bangkok-native, Chef Saravudh "Tom" Sarrtsud took an unconventional path to Thai Cuisine.
Chef Tom is originally from Thailand, but arrived in the United States about 30 years ago, where he landed in New York City. Starting out in the bottom ranks of the restaurant industry, Tom quickly worked his way up the chain. If he went to get a job and a chef told him he didn’t have enough experience, he would learn in smaller restaurants and go back. He knew he wanted to learn every type of cuisine and he did everything from American foods to traditional Italian. During his time in New York, he took advantage of working with some of the top chefs in the country and rose to the top of the culinary world in 15 years from a dishwasher to a 4-year stint as the Executive Chef of the 4-Star InterContinental Hotel.
In 2001 Chef Tom moved to Warner Robins and opened his own Thai restaurant, A lot of Thai. His eatery did very well, however he closed the doors and partnered up with Gary Schechterle in 2009 to open Lemongrass in downtown Macon.
As we sat and spoke, I asked Chef Tom what his number one favorite food is? Without hesitation he replied, “Filet Mignon with Mushroom Gravy”. Now this is a man after my own heart! You would think that growing up in Thailand and being an Executive Chef he would love to cook Thai, but he said he loves to cook all types of food. One thing that Chef Tom wishes people would realize is that "not all Thai Food is hot and there are other things on the menu just as good as Pad Thai. My personal favorite is Red Curry which is kind of spicy but hardy and delicious."
When asked about what dish Chef Tom would consider his prize dish, without hesitation he said “Crispy Duck”. He also went on to say that his favorite tool in the kitchen is the meat grinder and he loved Chef Gordon Ramsey, which I found amusing because Chef Tom is so calm cool and collected, nothing like the boisterous Ramsey.
In true Gateway Macon Tradition we had to ask Chef Tom his Top 5 ingredients used most often, here they are:
5. Coconut Milk
It was such a pleasure to sit down and talk to Chef Tom, who is a super easy going and an all-around nice guy. If you are in the downtown area and really want to treat your palette to something different, give Lemongrass a try. They also have a phenomenal Sunday brunch that must be tried.
posted 05/01/2017 in