“Clean this. Cut that. Smash this,” Jib Roungchun recalls his mother saying in their native tongue as she directed his movement through the kitchen. “You are going to eat this. You are going to learn,” she said.
So instead of going out, the young Roungchun got to work, dutifully completing her traditional Thai dishes. He paid close attention to detail—attention to her vegetable selection, to the way she cleaned meat and produce and, possibly the most important element, to her chosen assortment of spices.
Today, those flavors of Bangkok are infused with more from Hong Kong, the Philippines and Chef Jib’s home of 35 years, California, where, alongside wife Noi Tanomkret, he has created some of south Orange County’s favorite—and most cleverly named—dishes.