At CultivatR, supporting 100% local is not simply branding for us - we truly believe it’s vital to redefining our food system. To us, creating a sustainable food supply chain means supporting not only local farms, but local food artisans as well. We want to bring awareness to the unique and tasty food that can be found here in Alberta - created by Albertans for Albertans. We want to take this opportunity to highlight a passionate vendor of ours. We were able to sit down with Talerngpong Charoenpan (TJ) from Gr8 Thai Sauce to hear their story. At Gr8 Thai Sauce, they hope to bring the flavours of Thailand from their kitchen to yours.
Who is Gr8 Thai Sauce
Gr8 Thai was started by TJ and his wife who run the entire business themselves - from creating the recipes to the packaging and marketing. After coming to Canada for their honeymoon, the couple quickly fell in love with Canada. This led TJ to leave his job as an environmental scientist in Thailand to pursue a new life here with his wife. He quickly accustomed himself to the local food scene by working in local restaurants and studying culinary arts at SAIT. However, he noticed there was an absence of the thai flavours he tasted back home. This quickly ignited his passion to deliver the flavours he grew up with to Calgary.
What’s Gr8Thai Doing
What began with only 2 sauces (red & green curry), TJ and his wife has grown Gr8 Thai’s to offer 11 different products within the past year (their Chiang Mai Sausage especially is a must try). As mentioned before, for Gr8 Thai, their biggest mission is to stay true to the heart of homestyle thai cuisine by authentically delivering the flavours of Thailand to the community. They do this by ensuring they’re providing people with the freshest and tastiest products - even if it means getting products from Thailand that cannot be found elsewhere. TJ emphasizes the greatest reward for them is when customers are able to relive memories of Thailand through the taste of their food.
Running their own business has brought them various rewards and difficulties, but TJ says no matter what barriers come up, he feels confident and passionate the moments he’s able to talk about his product with customers. The passion for what he’s doing can easily be heard in the way he talks about his food. On top of bringing thai food to Alberta, TJ hopes that it will draw people into learning more about thai culture through the food - he wants to show people there is tasty food from various cultures that can be found locally in Calgary. For him, supporting local businesses helps build a network of relationships:
"we cannot stand alone, we have to help each other - you help me, I help other people - [this] builds a large family network”.
GR8 Thai Sauce Recipes
After showcasing our feature Vendor TJ and his amazing local, hand crafted Thai sauces, we figured we should probably show you how to use them! This cannot get any simpler and you can have dinner for 4 on your plate in the same time it takes to cook rice. Even better, you can feed a family of 4-5ppl for between $6-8/per person. Last time I checked, you can’t even buy some fast food meals for that cheap! You also reap the benefits of buying and supporting local, using fresh produce, cooking all by yourself and enjoying amazing bright fresh flavors….delivered to your door and cooked in less time than any fast food delivery service.
- 1 pack Basmati Rice (Grainworks, White or Brown)
- 1 Chicken Breast (Lone Pine Colony) (450g is ideal for 4-5ppl)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (Galimax Produce)
- 1 Green Bell Pepper (Man’s Organics / Galimax)
- 1 Bunch Green Onions (Amiable Organics / Galimax)
- 1 Pack Thai Basil (Rafferty Farms / Galimax)
- Optional (1 fresh lime, bean sprouts, chopped roasted peanuts)
- Cook half the package of rice according to the directions on the package
- Slice the chicken breast into manageable strips, or you can dice it if you prefer
- Preheat a large saute pan on high, add canola oil (2Tbsp)
- Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper, the sauce is very flavorful and seasoned so don’t over do it. The rule with salt is you can always add more but can’t take it out.
- Sear the chicken breast until golden brown, flipping/stirring every couple of minutes. Saute for 5-6min.
- While the chicken is searing, slice your peppers and onions.
- Add your sliced peppers to the saute pan and continue to cook for 2min.
- Add your Thai Sauce and bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer for 6-7min
- Plate up your Dinner! Scoop rice onto your plate, spoon over the chicken/sauce/pepper medley. Garnish with torn thai basil and green onions. If you decided to use the other optional garnishes, garnish with the bean sprouts, chopped peanuts and a wedge of fresh lime.
Simple and quick, no muss, no fuss; just a gorgeous plate of food brought to you by our local suppliers and our Feature Vendor GR8 Thai Sauce!
With your support, we at CultivatR are able to continue supporting local artisans like Gr8 Thai to bring delicious food to Alberta. This is how we can all work together to redefine the food system!