Kae Alexander opened Thai Catering of Vermont at the end of July 2012, and it wasn’t long before demand outgrew her Shelburne home kitchen. That problem was solved on May 10 when she opened a new 50-seat restaurant in Milton, Vermont Thai Restaurant.
Alexander, who recently moved to Milton with her husband and de facto translator, Bill, now cooks Tuesdays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the building that once held TNLs Restaurant.
According to Bill Alexander, fans of the catering business have kept the new place so busy that the couple, along with general manager Kwang Bolm, is already hunting for additional waitstaff. What convinces diners to make the trip? “She cooks everything fresh from scratch. That’s kind of what her trademark is that differentiates her from everyone else,” Alexander says of his wife.
Formerly the owner of three restaurants in Thailand, Kae Alexander says she’s reluctant to hire much kitchen help lest the food become Americanized. Instead, she hopes to import family members to help prepare her authentic fare.
Though curries, pad Thai and satay are all on the menu, Alexander also serves dishes rarely seen in Vermont, including pad nor mai woon sen — a sweet stir-fry of chicken, noodles and bamboo shoots — and deep-fried eggs in tamarind sauce, called kai look keuy.
The chef has made one concession to local tastes: her husband says her half-duck in maple sauce is one of his favorite dishes on the menu.
The original print version of this article was headlined "Getting Hotter"