Hunting for a Chicago Style Hot Dog in Thailand

Life in Thailand has been a roller coaster of emotions, sights, tastes, smells and feelings.  I’ve been exploring every corner of the city and trying to make the most of every free moment I have and try to go somewhere new every weekend.

Photo by Brian Brindza

Photo by Brian Brindza

But everyone needs a break now and again, and this week was shaping up to be exactly that. Work has been very busy and the Thai team is trying to utilize me as much as they can while I’m available. One great thing to come out of all this is our upcoming chance to do a Kitchencounters presentation with one of our customers in Thailand. With the help of our marketing team and Brian McKinney in Memphis we will be presenting “Global Chicken Cuisine”.  This is the focus of our Kitchencounters program. We want to bring our global reach in trends and knowledge to our clients worldwide.

Brian McKinney will be on camera doing a cooking demo from the Memphis kitchen, demonstrating how to make Southern Fried Chicken, Blackened Cajun Chicken, and Whole Smoked Chicken, while the clients here in Thailand will be able to interact with him in real time. Asking questions and getting the most possible out of the presentation, versus just watching a pre-made video session. At the end of the video conference I will serve all the food that Brian has just shown, so the client will be able to taste as well as see the food we are offering. After working with the team back home and getting to interface directly with them so easily I began thinking about home and mostly my love of my native Chicago foods. Of course I also thought of my girlfriend, family, and friends….but mostly the food. So with this in mind I decided to see if Bangkok can provide some Chicago style foods.

Photo by Brian Brindza

Photo by Brian Brindza

I thought this was going to be the hardest thing I’ve done so far in Thailand. After hitting all of the sports pubs and asking around I was sent to a pub that had Chicago Style Hot Dogs. I was shocked, excited and fearful. This could change the way I feel about Thailand. Would they destroy a food that I grew up loving and that represents my home town or would they do just an ok job? It’s common knowledge that if it’s not made in Chicago it’s not a Chicago dog.

I ordered it with an imported Miller Lite bottle…yes they had that! It’s kinda odd, right? To think of Miller Lite as an import, but that’s what it is here. It showed up and I was skeptical at first but it looked like they had the idea of what it should be. I closed my eyes and took a bite and to my surprise it was extremely good! It even had celery salt and the peppers they used tasted just like sport peppers. Sport peppers are a small, whole, hot, pickled pepper traditionally served on Chicago Hot Dogs. It looks like finding food from home wasn’t that hard after all.

My next mission is to find a deep dish pizza and an Italian beef. I’ll keep you all posted on that.  Luckily I will have a visitor from home to keep me company for a few weeks. My girlfriend is coming here to join me on my adventures in Thailand. Maybe I should ask here to bring me a beef and some deep dish pizza…

Posted in: Chef Brian Culinary Exchange

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