Nominee Anny Sooksri of Tea Rose Diner, Chabaar Beyond Thai & Fav Bistro
In 2006 Anny Sooksri opened Tea Rose Diner in a still, she admits, hard-to-find location in Murray. She says she set out to make the food she grew up with helping her grandmother and aunts cook at home.
“When I came to Utah, I felt like many ethnic restaurants set out to make food for Americans,” she says. “That’s not what I like. I’m stubborn, so I make food I like for those who like it too.”
The result is three restaurants, including Chabaar Beyond Thai and Fav Bistro. Everything is made from scratch, the way she learned as a child helping her grandmother.
“We don’t take any shortcuts,” she says. “Everything is cooked fresh. I come from a country where everything is fresh. When I first came here, I saw broccoli in the freezer and I thought, ‘what is that?’”
“I used to work at the post office. I worked hard but there was no appreciation. Now, I still work hard but I am a part of a family. My customers and staff are my family. When people eat my food and love it, that is worth more than anything you can pay me.”
Dishes not to miss
“We make our pad thai in an upscale Thai way and fold the noodles into the egg. It’s kind of like an omelet, very pretty. It’s very hard to do. You have to make it fast enough so it doesn’t stick to the pan but not too fast or it gets too hot and crumbles.”
One cool thing
“We are the hottest Thai food in Utah,” she says. “No joke. I tell people to order the mild spice (level) if you’re not used to very spicy Thai food.”
Nominated by: Lavanya Mahate of Saffron Valley
‘Why I love Fav Bistro/Chabaar Beyond Thai/Tea Rose Diner’
“Just imagine you are thousands of miles away from your home and decide to make this home yours and then share your home with the people who live here. I can relate to that and I recognize Anny for her work in educating local taste. Every time I eat at one of her restaurants, the food is delicious and you can see that it’s made with pride. (The chicken rice is the best!) She has a good way of introducing new foods to Utah. She showcases Thai cuisine in a way that is not intimidating and I understand what a challenge that is.”
Why does Anny Sooksri deserve to be recognized in the 2022 Dining Awards?
“She cooks from her heart and years of experience. She is constantly working and looking for creative ideas to keep everything fresh and innovative. She takes good care of her staff and demonstrates mutual love and respect for everyone.” — Lavanya Mahate of Saffron Valley