Chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam in New York City's East Village.
Chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam in New York City's East Village.
Photo by Narin Nirundarangkul

Thai Pop-Up Dinner in Houston by New York Chef Hong Thaimee

There are pop-up dinners and then there are must-not-miss pop-up dinners, and this coming Sunday and Monday, Paper Co. is going to be playing host to two must-not-miss pop-up dinners that will showcase the cuisine of visiting chef Hong Thaimee of Ngam Thai Restaurant in New York City's East Village.

Thaimee, whose restaurant, Ngam, was named Best Thai Restaurant in New York City by The Village Voice in 2013, is acclaimed for her scratch-made modern Thai cuisine utilizing fresh, locally sourced, sustainable products. She has competed on Iron Chef America against Bobby Flay. She has been a guest chef at the James Beard House. Her cuisine and restaurant have received numerous accolades in the press, where she has been featured in Saveur, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker and more.

Ngam's Sai Oor Thai Burger
Ngam's Sai Oor Thai Burger
Photo by Noah Fecks

Asked what prompted her to hold these pop-ups, Thaimee credits a recent trip to Houston during which she "fell in love with the rich resources in Houston and the people's generosity, not to mention the beautiful weather." On her way to a meal at Gilhooley's, a stop at a local fish market for some Louisiana shrimp reminded her of the flavors of Thailand.

"While I was in Houston, the owner of Paper Co. reached out to me and insisted that I meet with them at their location. When I went, I fell in love with the beautiful warehouse, and asked them what I could do for them. They have a goal to serve the community which really resonated with me as my cooking has always been about giving back and sharing good food with people. We talked about me cooking Thai cuisine for a Houston audience, and it made sense as the city has such an abundance of fresh ingredients and herbs that are prominent in Thai cooking."

The menus for both nights will be entirely different from each other. Sunday's menu is entitled "The Land," and will focus on meat dishes, including a braised pork belly and pork neck and baby ribs Thai style. Monday's menu is entitled "The Sea," and will feature dishes such as Thai ceviche and pad thai grilled shrimp.

"I call my cooking style modern Thai comfort food, rich on flavors from my childhood that are reinterpreted in new forms," Thaimee, who is originally from Chiang Mai, says. "For instance, you will find my signature Thai-style burger, based on the flavors of Chiang Mai sausage, mixed with Sai Oor curry paste and topped with house-made cilantro-lime mayonnaise, and green papaya kraut, served with Chiang Mai fries."

"The dinners are meant to be shared family-style, and we will have a ten-course feast for guests to enjoy each night. You will find a few of my favorite dishes from my restaurant in New York, as well as dishes that will be exclusively served at Paper Co."

Event Information:

Where: Paper Co. Houston, 1100 Elder Street, Houston, Texas 77007 When: Sunday, March 8, or Monday, March 9, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $45 per person (not including tax and gratuity) Reservations: Required. Please make them at https://squareup.com/market/papercohouston Additional information: www.papercohouston.com/events

MENU Sunday, March 8

THE LAND Hand washing ceremony

Happy tiger | Coffee Crusted Steak with Spicy Jiaw Dipping Sauce Hunglay | Braised Pork Belly and Pork Neck (as seen on Iron chef America) Baby Ribs | Thai Style BBQ Thai Burger | Ngam's Famous burger Brother Chai's Chicken Wings

Side Dishes: Papaya Salad Watermelon Slaw Chiang Mai Fries Sticky Rice

Dessert: Thai Ices Tea Semifreddo

Monday, March 9

THE SEA Hand washing ceremony

Fresh Oysters with Thai mignonette Thai Ceviche Pad Thai Grilled Gulf Shrimp (as seen on Iron chef America) Fried Whole Fish + Laab Dressing Grilled Seafood Platters Dancing Calamari

Side Dishes: TomYum Seafood with Thai Chili Jam Pineapple and Crab Salad Pomelo Salad

Desserts: Jasmine Coconut Jelly

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