About the Author

Normand Laprise

Books by this Author


A Fresh Approach to Thai Cooking
More Info

From the Introduction

Maenam. The Thai word for “river.” Literally translates to “mother water.” In Buddhism, water is the strongest of all of the elements, representing an ever-replenishing flow.

Thai food. Why Thai food? It’s a question I’m often asked. Thai food came to me serendipitously, and it might have been the happiest accident I’ve ever had. This book is about Thai cooking—more specifically, a modern interpretation of classical Thai cuisine.

My wife and business partner, Kate, chose Maenam as the name of our restaurant, and it immediately felt right. Water is the strongest of all the elements in Buddhist culture, the predominant religion in Thailand, and Maenam represents its constant, ever-replenishing flow. Just as a river continues its course around boulders and obstacles, the name mirrors our willingness to persist in the face of adversity and change, and my ongoing evolution as a chef.


I’ve opened four more restaurants in the last 10 years, and the success of each one encourages me to be bolder still with Maenam. I’ve stopped being restricted by expectations of authenticity. Using advances in culinary techniques and technology to cook a dish differently how it was prepared 100 years ago doesn’t make it less authentic—it just makes it more modern. I’ve made my peace with that realization, and now build Maenam’s menu on a foundation of traditional Thai flavors and classic recipes, elevating them with finesse and the very best west coast ingredients we can find to strongly reflect our current sense of place.

Now in our 10th year, I feel the name Maenam—beyond the strict meaning of the word—represents a moment of change. It will forever connect me to the serendipitous hot sour soup moment at Nahm that shifted my perspective on cooking Thai food. Each of the five Thai-related restaurants we now own is a result of the life-changing day I walked into Nahm, a celebration of just how far we’ve come.

close this panel
close this panel

User Activity

more >
Contacting facebook
Please wait...