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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…

By Angie Quaale, Well Seasoned Gourmet Food Store INGREDIENTS: Vegetable oil (2 teaspoons) Sliced mushrooms (1 cup) Chopped red bell pepper (½ cup) Minced peeled fresh ginger (4 teaspoons) Garlic cloves (4, minced) Lemongrass (1 3-inch stalk, halved lengthwise) Sambal oelek (2 teaspoons) Chicken stock (3 cups) Coconut milk (1 ¼ cups) Fish sauce (4 teaspoons) Sugar (1 tablespoon) Shredded cooked chicken breast (2 cups) Green onion strips (½ cup) Chopped fresh cilantro (3 tablespoons) Fresh lime juice (2 tablespoons) INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. 2. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. 3. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 4. Add chili paste; cook 1 minute. 5. Add Chicken Stock, coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar; bring to a simmer. 6. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 10 minutes. 7. Add chicken to pan; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly…

By Kristi Alexandra The River Market is thriving with multicultural cuisines, and really is a bon marché of sorts. From Hainanese poultry to European sweet treats, the River Market is a hot bed of gastronomic discovery, so you can live the life of a travelling gourmand without the pricey plane ticket. Bon appetite… or should we say bon voyage? Italian Aa a country built on its reputation for personal pleasure, it’s no secret Italians pride themselves on their indulgences. Those “indulgences” include fine cheeses, cured meats and, of course, gelato. Grab a made-to-order Italian sandwich at the La Grotta Del Formaggio’s deli counter inside Donald’s Market, along with some plum olives, and enjoy it as a picnic at the adjacent Pier Park. A scoop of Tre Galli Gelato’s homemade lemon gelato in a waffle cone will transport your tastebuds to Florence. Thai Fitting that traditional Thai coastal cuisine should be…

By Lenée Son Anyone who has been Thailand can tell you how significant food is to Thai culture. Particularly in Bangkok, food is a social affair and both locals and tourists alike can be found in the lively city enjoying and sharing food – and you can get a taste of the dishes they share in Surrey. From the crack of dawn to all hours of the night, the streets of Bangkok are constantly stirring with street vendors. Food is the social glue in Thai culture, and dishes are made to share with friends and family. Whether it’s a steaming pot of joke (Thai rice congee) for breakfast, fresh fruit for a mid-day snack, a bowl of Gang Dang (red curry) for lunch, or heaping plate of pad kee-mao (drunken hot and spicy noodles) after a night out, Thai dishes are a social occasion. In Surrey, many of these Bangkokian…