By Alyssa Sperrazza
Thai Orchid in eastern Canadian County, is under new ownership with a new menu, bringing authentic Thai food to the Yukon area.
Chef Gan Barrow, the new owner and head chef at Thai Orchid, told her husband she wanted to own her own restaurant after working at Casady Schools as a server for 12 years. Barrow said she soon noticed a listing on Craigslist as the previous owner put Thai Orchid up for sale.
Barrow and her husband decided it was the right time to make the move.
“We changed everything, everything is new,” Barrow said. “I created my own menu and I have a lot of words in Thai.”
Incorporating Thai into the menu to accompany English words was important to Barrow who strived to make authentic Thai food, stripping the menu of American influences.
“I don’t want to call it something else… I want to say it how it would be in Thailand, food they would understand in the country.”
Barrow moved from Thailand to the United States 13 years ago. Regardless of where she lived, cooking has always been a passion. Creating a menu from scrap takes a lot of time and effort, testing every recipe and ensuring customers will want to eat again and again.
Barrow said her family helped influence her as she incorporated old family recipes with some of her own creations.
“My aunt cooked a lot in Bangkok,” Barrow said. “She supported her children through college… I am inspired by her.”
Now with a kitchen of her own, Barrow is hoping loyal customers that enjoyed the old menu at Thai Orchid will come to love and appreciate the new menu, something she put a lot of herself into. Barrow owns the restaurant with her husband but she says he cooks at home but she’s the head chef at Thai Orchid.
Barrow said it’s been a slow transition, going from serving food to students in a lunch line to running her own place, but she has hopes that new and old customers will enjoy the authentic Thai food experience she’s offering.
“I want people to come in and feel like kin,” Barrow said. “They are family when they come to eat.”
Barrow took ownership of the restaurant December 24, 2018 and is looking forward to her first year as a restaurant owner and chef. Thai Orchid is located at 340 S. Mustang Road.