In the kitchen with Ugly Duck. Physics graduate / 23 year old Alex Thornton started a banh mi street food business this year but has real dreams of starting a supperclub (ugly supper club) hopefully this January. Galavanting from galangal to krachai-cuddled beef cheeks, he knows his basils better than his black holes - and here's a taster of what he'd whip up in Jan.
Roots: No, he wasn't influenced by family. Nor was he influenced by travels in Thailand. "I haven't got a culture to connect to" but that doesn't make it any less valid. If you love something but aren't from that country why should you not be able to express yourself and who knows where they're turly from anyway - the meaning laced into his brand about not knowing where or how to fit in.
Routes: Alex was born and raised in Leicester - went to Birmingham uni to study physics then moved to London after graduating to follow his food passions. He always loved food but felt he couldn't express his self at school without getting bullied so hid his love for it; now let's watch him unleash. "When I was 8 I'd start humming subconsciously when eating because i was so happy around food", and when you try his signature 'tasty paste' you'll be humming too.
Fruits: "I enjoy street food but cant be creative as I want to on the streets which is why I want to start supperclubs and have a pop up somewhere, ideally doing fun drunk thai food. A place where people can have fun and enjoy themselves and not get too wrapped up in thinking about the meanings and serious side and just be happy"
On the menu: raw beef laab with yellow curry paste and toasted ground rice flakes; Thai basil chicken with Tasty Paste; hot green papaya salad; Northern beef cheek curry with galangal turmeric yellow paste, sweet pickled garlic and krachai; and thai mushroom salad with lemongrass and shroom soy sauce.