Inspiring Galangal

Jang's Story

Galangal Executive Chef Jang’s Food History

Born Udon Thani in NE Thailand. 1980 Grew up in her Mum and Dads Restaurant (literally) often sleeping as a child in the Restaurant during the day and at night with the family all working together. Often they never went home and slept in a small room next to the Restaurant. The family farm was too far to go to after long days in the Restaurant. She worked from an early age helping her parents run the Restaurant and began cooking for customers at 10 years old. Her Mum’s sister was an excellent cook and a hard task master who taught Jang the discipline of work and cooking, and she honed her skills working with Aunty, Mum and the Cooks employed by the Restaurant. Her forebears were from Laos and this influence is a feature in all of Jangs cooking. 

Her Dad owned a Boxing School and he being a boxer trained the team which won National Competitions in Bangkok. He was a well-known trainer who took in young boys who he trained in Muay Thai and then employed them in the Restaurant as cooks. Jang grew up with this team and was often dragged out of the boxing ring by her Dad, who was determined she would not become a boxer. 

She ‘hits’ hard and has learned the quiet confidence of standing up to anyone attempting to bully her without reverting to physical ability. Her Dad had to move his boxing team to Bangkok eventually, so they opened a new Restaurant in Bangkok that catered for 300 lunch sittings per day. This is where Jang learned her skill of cooking and plating a dish in less than a minute. She attended University when she was 17 and studied Art which is her other passion.

This study and career change was interrupted when her Dad left his role in the Restaurant to spend more time travelling with his Boxing team. Jang ran the Restaurant until it closed due to a property and road redevelopment on their Restaurant site. She immigrated to Australia in 2005 to study Western Cookery in Perth and after Graduating she worked in a Perth Hotel as a full time chef. The hotel restaurant catered for 625 seated patrons which kept her busy in all facets of Western style cooking. The Hotel owner gave her one day a week to introduce her Thai dishes to the Smorgasbord and this became hugely popular.

In 2014 she opened a new Perth Restaurant that would feature high end Thai Cuisine and she introduced her unique style of cooking that married ‘Thai Royal Cuisine’ which dated back to Thai King No 4 Dynasty and her own ethnic NE Thai Cuisine. Her food became very popular and in a short time she employed 22 staff to help her cater for this popularity.

In 2019 she made the decision to follow her dream of owning a small Restaurant in the country similar to her roots in NE Thailand, so that she could return to cooking for each individual customer without the assistance of other staff and grow much of her own produce and source the rest from local producers and actually mostly her own customers who live in the area. She moved to Kalgan River near Albany in a country environment and supportive local Community. Purchasing a small piece of well-watered North facing land to grow her own Thai Vege for the Restaurant.

Having the time with a slower pace of life, she has been able to trial all her old recipes with her customers and experiment with the local produce. She is planting various Thai veggies and getting help from Local Farmers to develop the soil and conditions to grow everything required for her Restaurant.

Along with Vegetable supply, she has developed great relationships with the Local Fishermen who bring fresh fish from the Southern Ocean on a daily basis. Some fish like Southern Blue Groper and Harpuka have been developed into a version of the Thai street Food dishes that normally would use only freshwater farmed fish like Carp in Thailand. Her Version of West Australian Fish in her Thai dishes has been a big winner with the locals. She has developed a relationship with the local Wagyu Beef growers who are supplying different cuts of Wagyu steak to suit her Stir Fry dishes and her very special Massaman Curry (She is quite possibly the only Thai Restaurant in Australia using Wagyu steak for Massaman Curry!)

In Thailand all the produce is sourced from the local growers market that is stocked early every morning by local farmers and this is where Thai Cuisine excels. What is available on the day is blended and prepared to give what is known as ‘The Six senses’ you experience when eating a big hit. Processed food stock cannot achieve this experience and not every Chef can achieve this result in their food. Jang is committed to sourcing the right produce locally from Growers she knows are using good Sustainable and Healthy practices for her dishes and spends a lot of time researching and developing close relationships with her suppliers, who are also excited to see their product used this way.

Jangs 30 years of cooking experience shows in her food which is not just about great fresh ingredients or proportions in a Recipe. But more to do with an innate ability to smell, taste and feel the right result. Her understanding of the ’chemistry’ of cooking is something very few modern Chefs and cooks fully get.

Jang loves nothing more than cooking for people as if they are lifelong friends and she gets a buzz out of seeing people happy they enjoy her food and that they like to talk about their meal with her. She will often fine tune her dish for someone with specific need, without losing the essence of Thai food. She is very proud of her Thai culture and loves to show every customer this through her food dress and welcoming nature.

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