| 9.2°C Belfast

'I used to threaten to run away from home, but I always got waylaid by fried biscuits'

Thailand-born food writer Kay Plunkett-Hogge shares her recollections with Ella Walker

Close

Kay Plunkett-Hogge

Kay Plunkett-Hogge

PA

Chiang Mai Curried Noodles, from Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s new book

Chiang Mai Curried Noodles, from Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s new book

PA

A green chicken curry from Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s new book

A green chicken curry from Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s new book

PA

Kay Plunkett-Hogge

Food writer Kay Plunkett-Hogge has had a life so varied and full of food and wonder that she wrote a memoir, Adventures Of A Terrible Greedy Girl.

Her latest book, Baan, however focuses on the vibrant and fragrant home-cooked food of her homeland, Thailand.

On its release, we caught up with the martini-loving writer to mine her memories for nuggets of culinary gold...

Her earliest memory of food is...

Running away from home - I used to threaten it all the time and I'd pack a small bag that had a hairbrush in it and pants, and my pillow called 'baby' which got smaller and smaller until it got so small I had to stop using baby, and then I'd go to the gate of our house in Bangkok and I'd say, 'I'm going now', and mum would say, 'Off you go then' and I'd say, 'Really, I'm going this time'.

And then they'd always find me 500 yards down the road sitting at this coffee shop having a thing called tua tod, which is peanuts still in their skin, and then they're put in batter, and the spoon's lowered into hot fat and the whole batter studded with peanuts is deep fried.

They were about as big as my head, with a tiny bit of sugar and a little bit of salt, so you've got that slightly sweet but salty crunch.

I would never run always properly because I was always tempted by the biscuits being fried, I got waylaid.

Plunkett-Hogge's culinary high moment is...

Writing Baan has been an achievement, because for so long there were people saying, 'No one's going to let you write that because you don't have a restaurant, you're not Thai' - even though I spoke Thai before English! And partly, I think, because I'm a woman - honestly.

I also cooked for (restaurant critic) Fay Maschler the other night and she wrote about it in her ES column - that's quite cool.

She came to my house with Tom Parker-Bowles! And I've cooked for Stanley Tucci and Jennifer Lawrence, Thandie Newton, Heston Blumenthal - I've cooked for all these people, but it's just cooking for someone, I don't think you need to be uptight about it.

The worst disaster she's ever had in the kitchen is...

I haven't poisoned anyone. Nothing really dramatic.

I make this Thai sausage and it exploded when I was trying to cook for VIPs - but I'm trying to think of something sexier and exciting.

Baan: Recipes And Stories From My Thai Home by Kay Plunkett-Hogge, photography by Louise Hagger, is published by Pavilion Books, priced £20

Belfast Telegraph