Kelly and I arrived in Bangkok for the first time at eleven in the evening after a sixteen-hour flight. Slightly disoriented and attempting to re-orient ourselves, we sought advice on where to eat. “Chicken and rice, across the street” was the response without any alternative suggestions. I remember my first bite of Pad Gra Pow more clearly (and more fondly) than my first kiss. Rich, sweet, salty, laced with Thai basil and topped with a fried egg, and then that slow creeping heat that will hook anyone. I remember it romantically, the way we shoved it into our mouths and immediately asked for another was probably closer to vulgarity. I’ve been chasing that dragon for the last ten years.
Our many trips through Southeast Asia have opened our eyes and our hearts to some of the most effortlessly brilliant food, the kindest people and the most beautiful sights the world has to offer. It’s one of the few places in the world I miss in my bones when I’m not there; we hope to pay it the proper tribute here. Tiger Mama is our respite for the heartsick, and a primer, through our eyes, to this extraordinary area of the planet for those wanting to experience its brilliance in flavor and kindness in hospitality.