Night 2 of the Hops ‘N Spice Dinner Series at Whist was a big hit. It was a packed dining room as the dishes started to hit the table and the aroma’s of Thailand filled the air. This time around, the menu was a collaboration between Whist Chef de Cuisine and Hops ‘N Spice crew member Chris Crary (@ChrisCrary) and the talented cook, author and Thai cuisine expert Kay Plunkett-Hogge (KayCooks.com). Kay was born and raised in Bangkok, and as a result, was immersed in two culinary traditions, those of Thailand when she was out and Western cuisine when at home eating with her family. Now residing in London, Kay joining us for Night 2 was indeed a pleasure. Night 1 featured dishes that Chris was inspired by during his time on the Hops ‘N Spice Tour. For Night 2 the menu featured favorites from Night 1, including the Whole Fried Snapper and Thai Style Crab Omelette, but the new dishes such as the Pad Krapow Hed Paa (Wok Fried Wild Mushroom, Long Bean, Thai Basil), Gaeng Hang Lay (Northern Pork Belly, Curry, Pickled Garlic, Coconut) and Gluay Buat Chee (Bananas Poached in Coconut Milk, Kay’s favorite dessert while growing up in Thailand) were recipes from Kay’s cookbook that she shared with Chris.
All the dishes were enthusiastically received and having two creative culinary minds in Chris and Kay working together was a benefit to everyone who attended. We’d like to thank Chris, Laura, Troy and the rest of the Viceroy Santa Monica staff for being so accommodating during the dinner series. Many thanks to Kay for sharing her culinary insights with us during Night 2. And we can’t forget Jo (MyLastBite.com) for her contributions to the Hops ‘N Spice Tour as well.