While traveling through Thailand for several weeks, a Thai-Italian inspired spicy Thai peanut pizza, pasta and quinoa bowl was created and are now some of Picazzo’s most requested menu items.
Rick Freedman, Founder of Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen and Nancy visited his son, Joey, in Thailand. Joey was teaching a beautiful group of Thai kindergartener’s English at a private academy. Joey was already immersed in the culture by several months before they visited. He had explored most Thai dishes and had his favorites from his local street carts in his neighborhood to the different regions he had already explored on his weekends off.
They spent a week together in Bangkok before they traveled south to Krabi, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, Malaysia, Bali and Lombok, Indonesia before returning to Thailand and then traveled to Chiang Mai for Songkran festival. Then they ventured into Laos before returning to Bangkok. They ate authentic, local food for several weeks and never once missed an American breakfast or burger, well maybe a burger towards the end of the trip, but we never had one.
While in Chiang Mai they registered for a full day cooking school offered at the Thai Farm Cooking School on their private farm. They traveled in an open truck with a family from Korea, a model for Old Navy, and a few other young adults. What they all had in common besides this adventure was a desire to learn how to cook Thai food. What were the secrets to this fabulous food they loved so much? Keep reading.
Prior to being taken to the farm, they stopped at an open air market and toured the rows of vegetables, spices and meats to familiarize themselves with what they would be cooking with since they didn’t grow everything on their farm. Rick and Nancy love the markets to discover so many products they would never know about. They are known to sample their way through as many vendors as time permits in any location.
The school was very organized, clean and modern. They each were assigned a propane gas cooking station and were provided the ingredients to prepare the dishes they selected from the choices. Rick and Nancy chose different items, so they could double their experience with the new recipes. You can find some of the recipes in English at the following website.
They cooked and ate green curry with chicken, Tom Yam with shrimp, bananas in coconut milk, red curry chicken, papaya salad, mango with sticky rice and more. They pounded the raw curry and prepared everything from fresh, local scratch – the best! These are the secret ingredients; fresh, local, clean ingredients. They were so full and elated with the flavors and food and knowledge of how to achieve the flavor profiles they both love.
When they returned back to the U.S., Rick was inspired to create some dishes that tied in with his Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchens. Utilizing the pizza, pasta and salad theme, he cooked and practiced until he was ready to roll out these dishes to his guests. Thai Peanut Chicken Pizza, Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta, and most recently the Spicy Thai Peanut Quinoa Bowl. Thai-talian Lasagne (which is no longer on the menu. Perhaps a little ahead of it’s time.) Rick’s staff jokes with him that he can’t travel abroad any more as the “Italian” Kitchen keeps expanding internationally.
Check out the #1 voted BEST gluten-free restaurant in Phoenix by the Best Of New Times or find the nearest Picazzo’s Organic Italian Kitchen location to you at www.picazzos.com. Ciao!
Thai Thank you = spoken by man = kob kun krab; spoken by woman = kob kun kaa
#PicazzosOrganicItalianKitchen currently has 5 locations in Arizona; Flagstaff, Sedona, Scottsdale Promenade Mall, Paradise Valley and Tempe.