A Top Chicago Chef
Blue Crab and Chinese Celery
“I’ve cooked since I can remember. When my mother wasn’t there, I was the one who cooked.” — Andy Aroonsameruang
“One of Chicago’s very best chefs.” — Michael Nagrant
A leading food writer has said that Andy Aroonsameruang is one of the great chefs in Chicago, not just a great Thai chef.
Andy wasn’t trained as a chef. A native of Chachoengsao, a town in Central Thailand near Bangkok, he moved to Chicago in the mid-1990s to do graduate study. He earned an MBA from Dominican University in suburban Chicago.
To help with expenses, Andy worked at various side jobs, including cooking at a Thai restaurant. He had never studied cooking formally, but he did have experience cooking his parents’ and grandparents’ recipes. So that is what he did at the Thai restaurant.
Within a year, Andy was the leading chef at the restaurant.
Soon after, Andy became chef and partner at TAC Thai restaurant near Chicago’s Wrigley Field, which he made famous for his authentic and delicious Thai cooking.
Andy has now launched his own Thai eatery in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago’s Near North Side. He calls it Andy’s Thai Kitchen.
And he continues to serve such specialties as blue crab, “hacked into pieces and tossed with minced raw garlic, Chinese celery, cilantro and dried shrimp.”
Andy’s other signature dishes include:
- duck red curry with tiny tomatoes and grapes
- preserved duck eggs topped with minced chicken and fried basil leaves
- tofu and pork belly with star anise
- pork hock with Chinese broccoli and congealed pork blood
- steamed Hainan style Chicken with Cucumbers
- green curry omelet with Pork
His dessertof the day might be caramelized banana with sticky rice, cashews and custard.
In a word, this Thai chef serves authentic Thai food as you might find it in Bangkok. Or in Chachoengsao, as he continues to dish up his grandparents’ recipes for adventurous Americans.
For Further Information:
 Michael Nagrant, “Andy’s Thai Kitchen makes the case as one of Chicago’s best,” Chicago Sun-Times, October 10, 20-12 — http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/dining/15681648-642/andys-thai-kitchen-makes-the-case-as-one-of-chicagos-best.html
 Heather Shouse, “Andy Aroonsameruang of Andy’s Thai Kitchen,” Time Out Chicago, September 30, 2012.
 Mike Sula, “Andy’s Thai Kitchen: sweet, hot and funky,” Chicago Reader, October 24, 2012.