Street chef in a city that loves its food

Street chef in a city that loves its food - International Herald Tribune, April 3, 2006
[Thanks to Danny for pointing this article out.]
Street stalls are the testing ground for Thai cooks, a Darwinian competition to win the hearts and sate the appetites of Bangkok's hungry - and often picky - 10 million or so residents...
Yet Sompong has achieved nowhere near the fame of the superstars of Bangkok street food. A 15-minute walk from Sompong's stall is a family that sells green papaya salad and grilled chicken, a food-stall-cum- restaurant known to most people in the neighborhood as the Soi Polo Som Tam.
Pongsi Sapketsobha, the matriarch, says the family owns one Mercedes, one BMW, one Volvo, and several other cars. She sent her children to private universities, and the family owns a rubber plantation in southern Thailand and "many houses" in the capital.
"Just say that I can buy anything I want," Pongsi said in an interview...
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