For a moment, I was worried I wouldn’t make it back from Hua Hin.
COVID-19 was no longer something limited to China and Italy, and flights were being cancelled and rerouted. I made it home just before Melbourne went into lockdown. The stimulation from that culinary adventure in early 2020, the sheer amount of food consumed, has kept me sated and will continue to do so until I can travel overseas again.
I explored Thailand with Palisa Anderson, second-generation restaurateur of Chat Thai in Sydney, proprietor of Boon Luck Farm (which supplies produce to the state’s top restaurants) and proud daughter of Amy Chanta, whose farm we were there to visit. It’s kind of cruel talking about our day on Palisa Farm in Hua Hin, south of Bangkok, when the experience can’t be replicated for the public.
The purpose was to showcase produce readily available from the region, including the farm’s organics, to visiting chefs. Although you might not see Aussie chef Lennox Hastie from Firedoor (as featured in Netflix Chef’s Table: BBQ) roasting whole pigs on makeshift bamboo stands, or Andy Ricker from Pok Pok (USA, RIP) lighting mini bonfires to prepare beer can chicken, you can visit the same Hua Hin markets and eat at the restaurant on Palisa Farm.
Although Hua Hin carries a reputation for being a touristic resort town (it’s been popular since the 1920s when the Thai royal family built their summer palaces here) there are so many ways to immerse yourself in local life. You can so readily encounter the colour that lives between the shiny hotels and water parks. Wake early enough and you can still see glimpses of the sleepy fishing town that once was.
Unsurprisingly, the best way to experience Hua Hin is to taste it.