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time 4 thai | profile

y daughter graduated from college this year and moved back to Thailand to live with her father,” Tasanabriboon said. “Before, I would open restaurants in places where my daughter was going to school, but this one is only for me. It is the last one and I want it to be the best.” Tasanabriboon, 52, learned most of the recipes she prepares at Time 4 Thai while working in a Thailand restaurant operated by her mother and grandmother. After having a daughter of her own, Tasanabriboon moved to America to give her child better educational opportunities. They settled in New York City. For a short time, Tasanabriboon attended beauty school, hoping to develop some new skills to support them. When that didn’t work out she fell back on what she knew – cooking. Tasanabriboon moved her daughter, Ponpawan, to West Palm Beach for elementary school. By the time Ponpawan graduated from middle school, she knew two things: She wanted to attend college in Boston and she wanted to get a little space from her mother. In fact, Ponpawan forbade her mother from moving to Boston. Tasanabriboon compromised by setting up shop in New Jersey, where she was close enough to be in Boston in a few hours in case of an emergency but far enough away for Ponpawan to have her own life. In May, 23-year-old Ponpawan graduated from Brandeis University and moved back to Thailand. Tasanabriboon found herself adrift and alone. That changed after she came to Kentucky


to visit a cousin who owned a Thai restaurant on Preston Highway. Her family eventually moved to Elizabethtown, where they operate 2B Thai, but Tasanabriboon decided to stay in Louisville and strike out on her own. “I had no idea where to go,” she remembered. “I just know only this street (Frankfort Avenue). I saw this place and I liked it. I signed the lease without thinking so much.”

A location rich in culinary history Unwittingly, Tasanabriboon picked a location, 2206 Frankfort Ave., with a rich culinary history. It was the first home of Lynn’s Paradise Café. The site also housed Chef Allan Rosenberg’s Danielle’s and A Little Bit of Seoul, among other rather short-lived eateries. The landlord gave Tasanabriboon six weeks rent free to get the restaurant ready for customers. With a deadline and a limited pool of money, she set out to create her dream restaurant. “I had no idea where to get all the stuff,” she said. “I went back to New Jersey to buy some of it; the rest is mix and match from Goodwill or antique stores. I didn’t know where to get the banquettes redone, so I Googled how to do it. My cousin showed me where to order the fabric.” Time 4 Thai officially opened in July. Tasanabriboon does have a staff of about eight people but she prefers to do as much as she can herself until she is satisfied they are working up to her standards. Tasanabriboon cooks everything in her small kitchen Winter 2016 35

Winter 2016 (Vol. 54)  

Nov - Dec - Jan 2016/17