Want a bit more spice? Check out this Q&A with June Williamson.
Fish sauce, coconut cream, curry paste
Cardinal sin of Thai food
Oily rice without any flavor
Most popular non-Thai dishes
My famous potato rolls or buttermilk sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting
Thai food in three words
Spicy, hot, sweet
Favorite Local Restaurant
Casa Salza in Spanish Fork. I love their chicken tacos with unique avocado salsa.
Best meal ever eaten
My Grandma Verburg took me freshwater fishing and we grilled our fresh catch right by the lake. Nothing has topped that!
Last meal on earth
I would love fresh grilled salmon served Laotian style with cilantro, mint, basil, bean sprouts and lettuce topped with spicy peanut sauce.
Trickiest style of cooking
I cannot grill! I always overcook my barbecue chicken.
Most difficult recipe made lately
Thai food can be intimidating to the home chef — but June Williamson is hoping to change that. The Mapleton culinary instructor and cookbook author was born in Thailand and grew up learning to cook at her mother’s side.
“She would go out to the garden, grab whatever was ripe and throw it in the wok,” June says.
When June became a mom of four, she did the same thing. She didn’t use recipes or measure ingredients — the self-proclaimed “messy cook” let her taste buds be her guide.
June’s family and friends encouraged her to write her recipes down, so she put together a simple collection of dishes currently being made into a cookbook through Cedar Fort Press. The book is set for release in August 2015.
In addition to sharing recipes, June shares her love of Thai food with students at Thanksgiving Point.
“People are so scared of Thai cooking, but once you get your basic ingredients, it’s so easy,” June says. “It’s just dumping and pouring!”
June’s courses range from an introduction to Thai soups and curries to a class all about feeding the masses — a skill she has learned from cooking for her children’s soccer teams.
“A lot of these kids think they don’t like Thai food because they’ve never had it,” June says. “I help them get over that.”
While fish sauce and curry powder are June’s pantry staples, she’s learned how to cook southern with the best of ‘em. Her husband is from Alabama and grew up on fried chicken, not fried rice.
“My husband is a total meat and potatoes guy,” June says. “He likes my food though, and my kids have all grown up on Thai food.”
June equates food with freshness.
“Growing up in Thailand, we didn’t have access to a lot of refrigeration so we had to use what was available right then and not let it go to waste,” June says. “The benefit is that your food tastes better when it’s made with fresh ingredients.”
She pairs fresh with no-fuss.
“There is nothing worse than a complicated recipe that doesn’t work when you try it at home!” June says. “I’m a believer in adapting recipes to whatever helps you get it on the table.”
Check out June’s adaptable recipes at happythaigirl.com.
Get June’s Red Thai Curry recipe here.