On the first season of Top Chef, Harold Dieterle became the winner of the competition by serving up solid and delicious food, usually, it seemed, with a new American cuisine focus.
Because of what they saw on Top Chef, viewers might not been aware of Harold’s love of Asian cuisine. Since his win, though, he’s opened a restaurant called Perilla, named after an herb widely used across East Asia and India.
He’s also recently said that if he had to choose just one city to live in for the rest of his life, he would also look to the east: Bangkok, Thailand.
Why does the Top Chef winner have such an affection for Bangkok?
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“The food is some of the best I’ve ever eaten,” he said. “[They have] the greatest market I’ve ever experienced. Everything from produce that was harvested that day to livestock, fresh fish, and shellfish.”
It’s not just the raw ingredients that Harold finds so wonderful. He finds that even simply-prepared food seems to taste better there. He continued, “I could eat green papaya salad until I’m green in the face. Last time I was there, I ate a five-pound spiny-tail lobster by myself. It was the size of a small child. Served simply with some steamed veggies and chili, lime juice, and fish sauce.”
Harold also admires the culture, art, and architecture of the Thai city. He notes you can get a great deal on bespoke suits. There are some other, potentially less high-brow activities that the Top Chef champ gives the curious traveler some advice about.
“Kickboxing — ya got to go at least once…Deep tissue massage, ya need to get it from the older burly-looking women. The cute girls don’t give a real massage; they are just looking to give out the happy ending. Stay clear from that. [Also] stay away from the go-go bars if you’re not with a local.”
– Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff COlumnist
(Image courtesy of Bravo)