We had the good fortune of connecting with Anna Thatsanaphonh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anna, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’ve spent the last 10 or so years working in a corporate office setting so that’s all I knew. But ever since I was young, I knew my passion was in creative arts. I dabbled in writing, photography and painting but as I got older, my corporate job took up all of my time. During the pandemic, I realized that my soul was craving a creative outlet and I had all the time I needed to get back into it since I lost my job. I spent the time I had perfecting my dishes as I’ve always loved to cook and expressed myself artistically through my plating and recipes.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I specialize in Lao/Thai street food and elevate them by giving them the “gourmet/fine dining” touch. There are very few Lao/Thai catering companies that specialize in fine dining for events such as weddings and special events. I also just became a partner of a Lao/Thai restaurant in Huntington Beach, CA. We specialize in authentic Lao/Thai street food that is for take out only. I’ve learned that in the food industry, there will be a lot of trial and error and not everyone will love or even like your food which is okay. Starting off, you can’t help but take it personally but I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone and that is perfectly fine as long as you are confident and put your all in what you do!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This may seem a little biased, but I would recommend my restaurant, Banana Leaf Kitchen in Huntington Beach for food! And then hit up a flea market afterwards. Specifically, Rose Bowl Flea Market where my wife sells vintage clothing (Louella Basil Vintage) along with many other friends who are also vendors there!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Taking that leap of faith in starting my own catering company was not easy and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my wife. Starting any new business venture is scary and requires a lot of sacrifice and patience. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her support and encouragement.
Other: And for my restaurant that I am a partner of: bananaleafkitchen.com