Keo’s Thai CuisineDigest Kitchen Insider
November 18, 2012
Story By: Dining Out Team | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to make sure Hawaii’s diners have a top-notch dining experience.
This week, Dining Out gets the inside scoops from Keo’s Thai Cuisine executive chef Urai Gamiao, who gives us a little taste of Keo’s and shares just what fuels his culinary drive.
Name: Urai Camiao
Title: Executive Chef at Keo’s Thai Cuisine
Training/Education: Oriental Hotel Bangkok
Years at Restaurant: 35 years. I started working with owner Keo Sananikone since 1977 and have been with the restaurant ever since.
Who or what inspires you as a chef/manager/owner? I really love to taste different cuisines. It allows me to try and experiment with different ideas because the world of cooking is always changing. What I really like about cooking Thai food is that it has a lot of taste and more importantly, it is healthy.
What’s your most popular dish? Our most popular dish is our Evil Jungle Prince and all of our curries. The evil jungle Prince combines our fresh basil, coconut milk, and red chili that is served on a bed of chopped cabbage. You can have this dish with chicken or even make it a vegetarian dish.
Our curries are delicious and full of taste, and cater to anybody and everybody. I would tell you about all of them, but it is best for you to come in and choose your preference.
Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? Our special dish that is not on the menu is our Crispy Catfish with Basil and Chili. Having fish with a little spiciness is always a good bet, especially in Hawaii.
What is the biggest compliment you’ve ever received as a chef/manager/owner? The biggest compliment I’ve ever received was when President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalyn came to eat at our restaurant. I have to be honest, It was a little nerve racking and exciting, but the best part is, they loved it!
If you could serve food to a celebrity, who would it be and why? What dish would you serve? If I could serve one person, it would be the King of Thailand because first of all he is the King and secondly he hasn’t left the country in 14 years. I would serve him one of my curries because the spices and herbs are fresh from our farm and it is one of the best in town. I know he would enjoy it because in the past, the Prime Minister and the Princesses of Thailand have eaten my food and said that it tasted just like home.
Keo’s Thai Cuisine
2028 Kuhio Ave., Honolulu