Top Shelf: by Chef Tim MacDonald
Living life large, like Paul Gauguin, I have based myself in the Bing Lee 3 love shack on the tropical island of Koh Samui. Amid an array of local wildlife whizzing around on Honda Clicks, I have tasted many a Thai sweet-sour and salty dish at many of the night markets.
Every 30 days the Thai government encourages me to “get out,” which has the knock-on effect of creating several options. I can do a damn good impersonation of Martin Sheen’s Capt. Willard in Saigon, or fly to Singapore, Laos, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia or India.
Each trip allows me to immerse myself in the local delights. I have never understood the “cooking class” thingy that I often see requested on social media – preferring instead to saddle up with my own Teha’amana muse and experience the food culture straight up. Paul Gauguin really had the right idea.
Often bored myself now with the usual grilled, €50-a-kilogram offering – and micro hair cuts – I can thank my time living it large like Gauguin for introducing me to this hawker standard.
The combination of fish, coconut, Thai yellow curry paste and herbs, all wrapped up in a banana leaf like a Gucci handbag, has proven a winner when offered as the ubiquitous seafood fish dinner option.
A kin to Chilean sea bass in its forgiveness when there’s a 10-minute delay in getting it to the table, it makes a great alternative to the normal.
Teha’Amana Fish Pudding
Tim MacDonald (timothymacdonald.weebly.com) has more than 20 years experience as a chef. He was named Concours de Chefs winner for Yachts over 160 feet at the 2011 Antigua Charter Yacht Show. His recipes are designed for the owner and guests. Comments are welcome below.