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Asian Mint’s Nikky Phinyawatana on feeding people's souls during hard times.

Asian Mint’s Nikky Phinyawatana on how restaurant meal kits can feed people’s souls during coronavirus closures

Packaging ingredients to cook at home offer joy and connection for cooped up customers, says the chef-owner of the Texas-based brand

As part of our Stories from the Front Lines series, Restaurant Hospitality reached out to restaurateurs to share their experiences during the coronavirus crisis. Here, Nikky Phinyawatana, chef-owner of Asian Mint in Dallas and Ricahrdson, Texas, shares her story.

During these unprecedented times, we came up with a creative way to continue to feed souls in the best way possible. We believe that our community has their souls fed through beautiful, healthy hot meals and, in turn, they can contribute to the world in the way that they were meant to.

We created a kit with ingredients to cook four meals for two to four people. We kept it simple and created meal packs that would take less than 15 minutes to complete. We decided to pack each ingredient where they would stay together, and you can see through the packaging easily, as we want customers to see the ingredient freshness and inspire them to cook.

We’ve been hosting cooking classes for more than 10 years with Asian and Thai cuisine, so we’ve learned what people are willing and not willing to do in the kitchen, and what keeps it fun while creating soul-comforting dishes.

nikky.jpgWe are grateful for the response to our meal kits. We thought we would sell around 10 to 20 kits to start, but we sold 47 kits on this first round. For the inaugural kit, we included how to make crispy dumplings, pad Thai, tom yum soup and jasmine rice. Dessert kits of our chocolate flourless cake or mango and sticky rice are also available. In addition, we offer alcoholic drinks including wine, sake and beer. Our pad Thai sauce, fried rice, pad kee mow, sweet and sour and hot sauce are available for purchase. Each is a base sauce that can be used to marinate as well as make more than 10 dishes from.

I will demonstrate how to use these sauces and meal kits through my YouTube channel and other social media outlets at @Nikkyfeedingsouls.

These kits have brought joy and connection to our Mintfanatics and they have been sharing their creations online, which fills me and my team with happiness and keeps us going during these uncertain times as we continue to work for the purpose of feeding souls.

This is part of our Stories from the Front Lines series.

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