Kim Kaewkraikhot | Action Against Hunger

Thaikhun: A new partnership and inspirational story

We caught up with owner and chef Kim Kaewkraikhot to learn about her inspirational story and decision to support Action Against Hunger.

By Action Against Hunger

Nov 16 2015

We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Thaikun restaurants, part of the Chaophraya Thai Restaurant group. Thaikhun’s six locations across the UK will be adding a 50p donation on to their best-selling Massaman Curry. This dish not only tastes amazing, but will go far to help Action Against Hunger raise vital funds needed to provide nutritional treatment for malnourished children across the world.

Part of the reason behind Thaikhun’s decision to support Action Against Hunger comes from their owner and chef director Kim Kaewkraikhot who has personally experienced poverty and hunger so Action Against Hunger’s work felt like a very important cause for her restaurants to get behind.

Kim was born in Kirimart Village, Sukhothai Province of Thailand. She had a difficult upbringing after losing her father and brother at a young age, and only being able to access a limited education. At the age of 15, Kim left her village for the busy streets of Bangkok, where she set up her own garment factory.

Kim’s main passion however has always been food. And so in 1993 Kim set up her first small Phad Thai Cart. Through her dedication and hard work, Kim expanded to run several street food stalls, and won an award for the delicious flavours of her Phad Thai recipe. This very recipe is still used across Kim’s restaurants!

It was a chance meeting, whilst working on her street stall in Bangkok in 1997 this is when she met her now partner Martin. Kim says: “It was around 2 o’clock in the morning and this charming Englishman and his friends came to buy some food from my Street Stall. They were in Thailand on holiday. Martin was hungry but his friends were tired and wanted to go back to the hotel, he managed to convince them to come get some food…and that’s when we met.”

She finally moved to the UK in 1999 where she worked in a Japanese Restaurant as a waitress and Kitchen Porter then set up a new Thai restaurant with her twin sister in Leeds, this partnership soon came to an end.

So in 2004 Martin and Kim started their journey of bringing their vision and dream to reality – opening their first restaurant Chaophraya in Leeds, Martin's home town.

Today Kim jointly owns 13 restaurants across the UK and employs over 500 people. Kim does this alongside her partner Martin Steed. Kim and Martin both still love eating from the street food sellers in Bangkok when they visit Thailand, and bringing an authentic feel of this to the UK is a dream that they have achieved!

We are delighted to be working with Thaikhun and Kim Kaewkraikhot, as we believe it is by working with those who love food that we will be able to achieve our mission of ending child hunger. 

If you are lucky enough to live near a Thaikhun restaurant, be sure to check them out! Pronounced ‘tycoon’, the name celebrates the wonderful street food sellers of Thailand. Thaikhun do a fantastic job of bringing authentic Thai street food to the UK.

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