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"When we stopped in Hokitika, we ended up staying here for five days instead of just a one-day trip. We both fell in love with Hokitika and the West Coast, so we decided to move here."
Korath Thai Cuisine
By Chakkapong Klaha
Korath is the nickname of our hometown, Nakhon Ratchasima, in Thailand, and Hokitika is now our home, so we wanted to connect these two places by presenting our food culture to Hokitika.
My family has been in the food industry since I was born.
Back in Thailand, we had a small restaurant, and I would always go to see how they worked in the kitchen.
Then when our family moved to Nelson, New Zealand, I started learning the basics and working part-time in the kitchen where my dad was a head chef.
At the same time, I took food class at Nelson Boys College with Quinton Gately. He selected me and another student to go for the National Secondary School Culinary Challenge and we came first in the competition.
This gave me the huge opportunity to work and train in the professional kitchen at Hopgood's restaurant. From there, I started gaining knowledge from Kevin Hopgoods and head chef, Aaron Ballantyne, two amazing mentors who taught me how to be a good chef.
After I left the job at Hopgood's, my partner, Nam, and I wanted to relocate and find a new challenge. We decided to do a road trip and see which town we both liked the most.
When we stopped in Hokitika, we ended up staying here for five days instead of just a one-day trip. We both fell in love with Hokitika and the West Coast, so we decided to move here.
Our favourite things about living here are the community, the lovely people, and how beautiful places are just around the backyard.
We always wanted to have our own little business, so we opened the 'TUK TUK' red food truck, serving Thai street food.
After we received amazing feedback from our local customers, we decided to move into a restaurant, Korath Thai Cuisine. We now have four staff members in our team.
Korath Thai Cuisine is a casual style dine-in and takeaway restaurant serving Thai street food. Our variety of food ranges from snacks, noodles, fried rice, stir fry, curry and all can be made from mild, medium, hot or even Thai hot!