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Meet Dewy Sepsirisook of Nakorn in Evanston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dewy Sepsirisook.

Dewy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started by earning a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management back in Thailand. I, then decided to come to the States to kick off my culinary career at Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort and Spa in Colorado. 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill was the first fine-dining restaurant that I worked for. It was basically where my love and passion for the art of food presentation was ignited. I got to learn many different ways and techniques that I could make my food more appealing and by making it more appealing, in turn, increase its value. It was an exciting stage of my career in that I encountered various kinds of American cuisine, meat and vegetables I had never laid eye on before, regardless of the food plating techniques I came to learn on the job. Later on, I made another big decision to relocate to Chicago, where I have worked at Nakorn. It has been fascinating experience as now I get to apply all those techniques I have accumulated over the years with my national Thai cuisine. I kind of tweak it up, adding more beauty to Thai food, in the way that American diners have never experienced before.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Honestly, I would say I was off to a little bit of a rough start, trying to make my culinary career happen. As I had little to no experience or skill in working in a fine-dining restaurant before, I had to push myself really hard. I literally took in every word the chef taught me and had to be constantly ready to prove that I was up to the task. One thing I have found as quite a challenge is that people come to Nakorn already having preconceived notions of what Thai food is supposed to be or look like. But, Nakorn is different in that we do not do Americanized Thai food. When we think about Thai food, it does not have to always be Pad Thai or Pad See Ew. Indeed, Thai cuisine is incredibly rich and never dull. That is why we would like people to come to Nakorn and try many many other great dishes Thai cuisine proudly has on offer.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
So, Nakorn is an authentic Thai restaurant in downtown Evanston. We proudly serve authentic Thai food with artistic flair, selecting only the best-quality meats and vegetables so that, our customers can be certain that they have come here for nothing but the best. To support local business, as we ourselves are a part of the local business scene here, we have some of the ingredients delivered to us from the farmers’ market. As a Chef de Cuisine at Nakorn, I have to always catch up with all the trends and the new plating techniques in order to make sure that the food we serve is always colorful and interesting while still retaining that 100% taste of authentic Thai. Every dish served here has a story behind it. For example, the watermelon with cured powdered salmon is a unique aristocratic dish which was served at the inauguration of the highly-revered Emerald Buddha back in the year 1808. It is not easy to find it even on the streets of Bangkok nowadays. Therefore, in order for any dish to be featured on our menu, it has to have been through much thought and great attentiveness to detail. We really put much emphasis on being precise in every step of our food preparation.

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