Festival dishes help farmers with every bite

Chaithep Pattarapornpaisarn, better known as 'Mr Lee', created culinary magic at last Sunday's 'Make a Dish ... Make a Wish' event, using ingredients from local growers under Her Majesty's initiative

With only a Matthayom 4 education, Chaithep Pattarapornpaisarn has come a long way in establishing himself as one of Thailand's most successful restaurateurs. For many years "Mr Lee", as he's usually known, worked in top-flight hotels such as the Oriental and Dusit Thani, before setting up his own restaurant and later building his own hotel, Lee Place, in Bangkok. Much to the delight of his many culinary admirers, he also started up a restaurant chain, Lee Cafe, with successful branches throughout the city.

Asked his recipe for success, Mr Lee said: "You must have discipline, clear objectives and determination, and you must keep abreast with the fast-changing world. Mr Lee also espouses a philanthropic attitude.

"My guiding principle is 'Don't just take from others.' It means don't be greedy, dishonest or make trouble. If you are self-reliant and care of others, you can live happily."

In line with this philosophy, Mr Lee took part last Sunday in "Make a Dish...Make a Wish", a unique food festival commemorating Her Majesty the Queen's 80th Birthday Anniversary. The festival also promoted the Model Farms project set up by the Queen following the 1997 economic crisis to generate income for rural communities around the country.

During the culinary fest, all dishes made by participating restaurants used fresh, quality ingredients from the project's demonstration farms nationwide, such as trout, Jinhua pork and Yiliang duck, vegetables and fruit. Mr Lee used trout as the main ingredient for his special dish, rendered in an East-meets-West style. Ingredients from Model Farms can be purchased at all Royal Project shops.

TROUT IN HOT PAN

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

1. Put 3 tbsp cooking oil in the frying pan. When the pan is hot add the garlic, cook until light brown, add the coriander leaves and chilli and continue heating till it is aromatic.

2. Add soup stock and other seasonings and stir well.

3. Pour the sauce over the fish and heat the pan.

4. To serve, put sliced red chilli and coriander leaves over the fish. Serve with carrot, cucumber and boiled Chinese radish on two sides of the pan.

PEPPER AND GARLIC JINHUA PORK

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

1. Put pan on stove and add cooking oil when heated. Add shallots, followed by chopped garlic and Thai chilli, and stir well together.

2. Add the pork. Mix well in low temperature.

3. Add all seasonings, stir till liquid absorbed. Be careful not to overcook until the sauce dries up.

4. To cook the string beans, cook in high heat in cooking oil for 10 seconds. Let stand then continue cooking with one tablespoon cooking oil, adding a little stock. Add salt andw seasonings.

5. To serve, place the pork on one side and string beans on the other and garnish with coriander and sliced red chilli.

ROAST DUCK LARB

INGREDIENTS

METHOD

1. Put duck meat in frying pan and add soup stock (being careful not to let it overboil).

2. Season with fish sauce, MSG, lime juice, ground Thai dried chilli and ground roasted rice. Stir well, then add the shallot.

3. Add cilantro, stir till well mixed.

4. Garnish with 4-5 fried dried chillis and mint leaves on two sides of plate and fresh red chilli (finely diced).