Trader talks - Prad Thai

Wednesday, April 19th

'I started it with one of my best mates during lockdown. I bought a gazebo and some BBQs with my student loan and we sold my family recipe chicken satay skewers out of our front garden in Wollaton.'

We spoke to the Jamie from the legendary Prad Thai to find out their kitchen tips, favourite places to eat & how Prad Thai began.

How did Prad Thai start?

We run Prad Thai as a family, and all grew up living on top of our dad’s Thai restaurant. It became pretty normal for us to help out in the kitchen from a young age, so that’s where we learnt about Thai food and cooking. Although Prad Thai itself was a bit of an accident! I started it with one of my best mates during lockdown. I bought a gazebo and some BBQs with my student loan and we sold my family recipe chicken satay skewers out of our front garden in Wollaton. The response was good so after a few weekends, when restrictions began to relax, we started reaching out to some of our favourite venues and we ended up with a full calendar! My brother and sister quit their jobs to run it with me and now we’re here. It was like the perfect storm!

What's your favourite thing about your job?

Working with food comes with so many perks, there’s so much room to be creative, you literally never stop learning and there’s something very satisfying about using your hands to make something. I think what is so special about working as a trader at events like Bustler is how much we interact with our customers and other traders directly. Kitchen teams are notoriously tight knit anyway, but because we work in so many places with so many people I really feel like we’re part of such a lovely community. 

Where do you find inspiration from when adding new items to your menu?

We talk about menus/dishes non stop. We all moved back in together to run the business, so as you can imagine Prad Thai dominates most our conversations. To be honest, collectively we have a big knowledge of Thai food. So we have a huge list of dishes we want to cook. It’s more often about what dishes are suitable or even possible to cook at events in a gazebo where equipment is limited and facilities are always changing. Prad Thai has always been more about developing our knowledge and skills and hopefully over time we will work our way through all those dishes!

You guys are from notts, where's your favourite place to eat in the city?

I’m going to stay in my lane and stick to Asian spots, otherwise Nottingham has far too many good places to list and we’d all have different answers. We take a lot of inspiration from what the teams at Everyday People and Kushi Ya are doing with Asian food, I’m very grateful to have places as good as that on our doorstep. However, it’s become a bit of a habit to have meetings over lunch at Nosh in Beeston. It’s down an alleyway off the High Street. Expect a proper no frills but delicious Chinese food type of thing. 

What dish are you most proud of?

Khao Soi, firstly because it’s not the easiest dish to find outside of Thailand and a lot of people we serve it to are so excited to see it on our menu. Secondly, because it’s a dish we had to put a lot of work and research into to getting it right. It’s not from the region we are from in Thailand so we had to go without the privilege of having  a family recipe. We’re not usually too fussed about food being “traditional” or “authentic” but if you’ve been to Thailand you know this one doesn’t need changing, and I think we did a pretty good job! 

Top Tip/hack in the kitchen?

It’s not a hack, but it’s more reassurance that you can use your blender to make curry pastes! It’s entirely my opinion and I know a mortar and pestle will give a better result, but who has time for it? Often the labour and number of ingredients used in Thai cooking puts people off trying it. It’s a really rewarding thing to make your own curry paste so please give it a go and I promise it won’t need to take two hours and all your energy to make something taste good! I can hear my grandma turning in her grave!

You can catch Prad Thai this coming weekend April 20th - 23rd at Bustler Nottingham

Follow them @pradthai