By Kristi Alexandra
If Ali Wong’s character in Always Be My Maybe had been inspired by a real-life restaurateur, it would be Langley’s Parinya Loptson.
Known as “Chef Parinya” to those who watched her on Get Cooking With The Stars, Lopston is the owner, executive chef and manager of Ban Chok Dee, an award-winning Thai restaurant known for its authentic Thai flavours and its just-as-appetizing artistic presentation.
The restaurateur, who’s been at the helm of Ban Chok Dee since 2009, is part-chef, part artist, part business owner and part master teacher.
With two locations—one in Langley, and another in Maple Ridge—Parinya’s meals are served seven days a week in the Lower Mainland.
If you find yourself inside one of the 120-seat fine dining eateries, you won’t want to miss out on the restaurant’s specialties.
Try the Crying Tiger Salad, made with BBQ steak, sliced in Thai spicy sauce with a mix of fresh lime juice, tomato, onion, mint, cilantro, cucumber, celery and mixed greens; or the Tamarind Batons, which are Chicken sate with red & green bell pepper, carrot & onion in sweet & sour tamarind sauce, or—not least of all—the BBQ Duck Lychee Curry: boneless BBQ duck meat in red curry with lychee, sliced bamboo shoots, tomatoes, red & green bell pepper & fresh basil leaves.
And those who loved their dishes are also able to recreate them with the chef’s help.
Parinya is the Master Chef of BCD Culinary Academy, where she “loves sharing her gift and love of Thai food with her guests and students.” It is said that “in her classes, she shares stories of growing up as well as stories from her other chefs who can guide you towards using the right types of fresh herbs and spices to get to make all the flavours come to life.”
For example, if you devoured the Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) or the chicken cashew nut entree at Ban Chok Dee, you’d be able to recreate it during Loptson’s first cooking class of 2020 this Thursday, January 9 in Thai Cuisine Lesson A.
Were the delectable appetizers—including the spring rolls, lime leaves wrap and fresh garden rolls—more your speed? You’ll be able to snag a spot in her lesson for Thai appetizers later in January.
Whatever pleases your palate, Chef Parinya does it with style and mastery, and if you step foot inside Ban Chok Dee’s welcoming ambiance, you may just discern for yourself the reason the Thai restaurant has received multiple awards over the past decade.
Find them at 20563 Douglas Crescent, Langley or 20395 Lougheed Highway #400, Maple Ridge. The next cooking classes at BCD Culinary Academy (20542 Fraser Hwy #107, Langley) on January 9 & 10, and again on January 22 & 23. Check out their calendar of events here.