One Night in Bangkok

A chef and a stylist—both with a glitterati of A-list clients—combine forces for a memorable evening.

oinsettias and mistletoe may be the obvious choice for holiday décor, but what’s the fun in that? To celebrate the release of her new book, Everyday Thai Cooking, celebrity chef Katie Chin joined forces with TV personality Jeannie Mai (Style Network’s How Do I Look?).  

Together the longtime friends and Valley residents hosted a sit-down dinner that was anything but ordinary. One would expect the dynamic duo—who are quick to go from introductions to playful joking—to round up a league of exceptional guests. But their extraordinary entertaining skills didn’t end there. 

Teaming up with Nicole Hirsty from Cobalt Events, Katie and Jeannie set the dinner in Jeannie’s “animal room,” where taxidermy flourished (her husband is Freddy Harteis, host of The Sportsman Channel’s Hollywood Hunter). The dining table featured ornate, Thai-inspired china, candle votives wrapped in fresh tea leaves, and massive elephants figures—yes, elephants—as décor. 

 

Additional Asian-themed details enhanced each place setting. Napkins were lightly rolled, setting a relaxed, Zen-like mood. Black stones, reminiscent of Japanese gardens, anchored each menu. The result? A splendidly offbeat and festive table that complemented Katie’s Eastern-influenced menu. 

Ground chicken, spiked with fish sauce and lime, arrived nestled in a fan of butter lettuce.  Coconut soup, a vivid medley of fresh shrimp and button mushrooms, balanced the fragrance of kaffir leaves with red chili heat, while a delicately sweet duck curry was elevated with the bite of fresh pineapples.

atie couldn’t resist impressing the party with a finale of homemade basil ice cream—presented in halved coconut shells, which Katie’s husband sawed open earlier that day. While guests spooned mouthfuls of the cooling final course, Jeannie got her hands on a vegetable peeler and began shaving slivers of coconut from the core.

“What are you doing?” Katie asked, eyebrows raised. “I love coconut,” Jeannie exclaimed. “If you cover it in BBQ sauce, it tastes just like meat.”

The ladies burst into giggles, and in seconds the rest of the guests were laughing too. Revelry, after all, is ultimately what dinner parties should be about.

Kate-ini Anyone?

Cocktail hour featured a custom martini by Elixir G. The ginger notes in the drink beautifully complement the flavors of Thailand.  

1½ ounce Ultimat vodka
½ ounce Elixir G ginger mix
½ ounce Patron Citronge
(orange liqueur)
½ ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Shake ingredients with ice and serve in a sugar-rimmed martini glass.

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An actress on living in the Valley, her art and her next act.