“Twenty years ago, our customers used to link Thai food to Chinese food, and that used to really rile me up,” Atchana Capellini says. “Now they’re more sophisticated: They’ll eat the papaya salad at a Thai spice level; they know the difference between ginger and galangal. Everything has changed.” That green papaya salad, for which the unripened fruit is sliced into thin ribbons, is washed with musty, savory fish sauce whose oiliness is tempered with palm sugar, turning it into an oceanic caramel. Little dried shrimp throughout the knots of papaya add a savory, chewy hit to each bite as peanuts lend a sweet, earthy crunch. Read more about Atchana's Homegrown Thai.
Photography by CandaceWest.com