Last Word: Parichat Somsri-Kirby

Last Word: Parichat Somsri-Kirby

This month: Parichat Somsri-Kirby, Parichat at Sohe, Jesmond

What do you eat for breakfast?
Most of the time it will be a bowl of homemade granola with yoghurt and fruit. If I have more time then it would be a bacon sandwich.

And your go-to guilty pleasure?
Definitely chocolate! Or I would make a coconut and pandan agar agar.

What would you choose for your last meal on earth?
My Mother’s noodle soup with a lot of coriander, wild spinach and spring onions.

What can I find in your home fridge right now?
Garlic, spring onions, chillies and pak choi.

Which ingredient would you choose if you could only have one?
Rice. I definitely could not live without it.

You must have loads of recipe books, which is your favourite?
Lemongrass and Sweet Basil by Khamtane Signavong, I love that book and it’s one that I always go back to when I write a menu.

Out of all the things you make, what’s your favourite?
It’s a hard question as I love all the dishes I make, but if I must choose one it would be a green curry.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve cooked for?
There was a few during my time at Café 21, but two which really stand out are a spicy beef salad for Jamie Oliver, and steak for Brian Turner who turned up after we had closed on a Saturday night before the Great North Run one year.

What’s your most important bit of advice?
A recipe book is only a guide! Don’t rely too heavily on it, taste everything that you’re cooking. This is the only way you can get the right balance of flavours.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
A programmer, or teacher.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, what would you buy?
Rice noodles, minced pork, chillies, garlic, coriander and basil, and I would still have some change left!

Who gets your vote for greatest cook ever?
For me the greatest cook ever is my Mother. She inspired the early years of my career which I spent cooking for school children, running a mobile noodle soup stall in our village, and cooking huge feasts when we had festivals at our nearby temple. However I think the greatest chef ever is a man who I have huge admiration and respect for, Terry Laybourne.

Parichat Somsri-Kirby oversees the kitchen at Parichat at Sohe in Jesmond.
Parichat at Sohe, 97-103 Osborne Road, Jesmond, NE2 2TJ, tel 0191 281 8161,

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