Some of the Greatest Chefs in the World are found in Orange County, California.

What food is your guilty pleasure? Fast food  

Is there a food you can’t bring yourself to eat? No. At least I will try it once. 
Your favorite quick meal to prepare at home? Thai Omelet over rice…yum! 
Your worst kitchen nightmare?

When I just started the cooking career and had to prep food without proper tools. 
Best cooking tip for a novice? Be patient and focus on the quality of the food 
What’s your last meal on earth?  Authentic Thai Beef Noodle Soup 
Give us one reason why Orange County’s food scene rocks.

Because of the support from this group is unbelievable. 
What’s your favorite type of music to listen to when cooking? Classical music 
If you could cook for anyone who would it be? 

My chef friends…so they can try my food and give me their feedback. 
What’s the strangest request you’ve ever had from a customer? 

To make mango sticky rice without the mango! 
What’s the best part about being a chef? 

Feeling happy when the customer loves my food and the way I represent it.  
What’s the most challenging part of being a chef? 

Work under pressure to get the food out quick with high and consistent quality. 

Panang Beef
Khao Soi

What is your first food memory?

My first food memory is when I was 9 years old and attempted to cook Larb Chicken by myself from the vegetable I grew at home. I didn’t know how to cook anything. It was the first time I cooked ever. The taste came out terrible, but it was one of my greatest memories. 
Did you grow up in a cooking family?

Yes. I have a big family in Thailand and grew up among so many relatives at home. My mom cooked a lot of food for everyone. I remembered I used to help her around the kitchen and got to try the food while she was cooking. It was the best part of all. 
Who has influenced your cooking the most?

My mother, she was the best chef for me. 
Why did you become a chef?

I love cooking and making good and health food. Nowadays people have busy lifestyle and have no time to pay attention to what they eat. Thai food uses a lot of herbs for ingredient which provide great health benefits and I am proud to offer healthy Thai food. 
What did you want to be when you grew up?

 wanted to be a psychologist in child development.  
If I weren’t a chef, I’d be: Cooking instructor 
Who are your favorite chefs? My mom…of course 
Which seasonings don’t you respect?

None. Every ingredient is important and can be a secret weapon. 
Which spices are underrated?

Turmeric. I think it can be used to create so many unique dishes. 
Are there any culinary trends you like right now?

Tasty and healthy food which does not always come together. 

Any trends you consider overrated? Fusion food 
What do you think is the next worthwhile food/dining trend? Simple and fresh food  

Chef Pimtisa Arunmasrangsee

Restaurant: Issara Thai Cuisine |  Restaurant Website