That’s the provocative title of an upcoming event at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) that I look forward to attending. It’s on Mon., Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. here in Bangkok.
You have only to ask a Frenchman for his thoughts on English cooking to realize that all over the world matters culinary provide an outstanding excuse for chauvinistic excess. Hotels and restaurants in Thailand are full of Thai chefs and cooks who produce wonderful and completely authentic Western fare every day — and nobody gives the matter a second thought. Local newspapers, magazines and books feature recipes and cooking tips for Thais who might want to roast the perfect leg of lamb, bake a black forest gateau, turn out a pizza or simmer a bouillabaisse. Yet when the occasional daring farang turns his or her ladle to a tom yam kung, or does something different with a green curry, a surprising number of Thais are left in slack- jawed astonishment. Their horror only deepens when more broadminded compatriots praise the results and laud some of the innovations. This culinary cross-pollination is more than a debate about carrots in the som tam or dairy milk in the soup. To read some recent comments about mischievous farangs in the Thai kitchen, a heresy is being uncovered that could threaten the end of Thai civilization as we know it. Could a plot be afoot here that is even more threatening than a nuclear-empowered Myanmar? Fortunately, the FCCT is no stranger to controversy, and only too pleased to release some steam from the kitchen. The club welcomes without reservation all great cooks and gourmets, including for this special programme.