A Yellowknife food truck operator says it was a ‘huge deal’ for her to compete on a cooking show that will be televised nationally this fall.
Sousanh Chanthalangsy, owner/operator of Yellowknife’s One of a Thai, will appear on an episode of Chopped Canada on Oct. 15.
The popular Food Network series pits four chefs against one another using a surprise selection of ingredients.
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Chanthalangsy isn’t the first local food truck owner to make an appearance on the show. Back in 2014, Wiseguy Foods’ Robin Wasicuna reached the final round of competition before being eliminated.
While Chanthalangsy can’t disclose the results of her episode, she did admit to being quite nervous.
“It was nerve-racking obviously because you’re making these dishes when you don’t even know what’s in the mystery basket,” she said.
“It was crazy seeing [the celebrity judges] and knowing that they’re watching you while you’re trying to make these meals in 20 or 30 minutes.
“I was like, ‘don’t screw up, don’t screw up.’ That’s all I kept saying.”
Chanthalangsy also couldn’t tell us much about her competitors, but she did say they were all male food truck owners – something that gave her extra motivation.
“Being a female in a small community and owning my own food truck, getting that exposure on national TV is a huge deal for me,” she said.
Chanthalangsy started selling authentic Thai food to Yellowknife residents five years ago.
What started out as a vendor table at Folk on the Rocks turned into a catering gig before One of a Thai as it’s known today was born.
Throughout the summer, it’s not uncommon to see her bright red food truck parked along Franklin Avenue selling homemade food to many of her returning customers.
Chanthalangsy also experimented with a physical restaurant space inside the city’s curling club, but moved out of the building in December 2015 to focus on her true passion – her food truck.
Since word of her upcoming appearance on Chopped Canada has got around, Chanthalangsy says she’s been overwhelmed by the amount of support she’s received from the community.
She also provided a spoiler for anyone planning to watch the episode in October: don’t expect her to break away from her Thai roots.
“When I got to the show, right away I told myself I’d stick to my roots and not try anything fancy or get out of my comfort zone,” she said.
“So pretty much anything I got in the mystery basket I actually did stick to my roots.”