“I lifted the curry and noodles to my mouth. Cue fireworks”

Digital producer Izzy Brimeau’s lightbulb food moment occurred while she was backpacking around Thailand and Malaysia…

“I lifted the curry and noodles to my mouth. Cue fireworks”

Food has always been threaded through my life, sometimes less present but always there. One of my first ever memories is from the age of two, sitting under a table in a restaurant my dad co-owned. But it wasn’t until my early 20s that I began to see food differently. Not only was it for there for the enjoyment of eating, but also the enjoyment of life.

My food lightbulb moment occurred when I was backpacking around Thailand and Malaysia. A close friend and I travelled, by a hellish overnight bus, to Chiang Mai. Here, in a small coffee shop, we met a Scottish expat who offered us countless food recommendations. Later that day we followed her instructions and found ourselves in the most magnificent market. We tasted Thai sausages, dumplings and freshly-made roti bread with Nutella and banana.

Izzy in Thailand

"The traditional Northern Thailand noodle curry caught my eye, and I’m so glad it did."

But it wasn’t until the next day that total food wonder hit. Our lovely expat friend had revealed her favourite restaurant in the city. What looked like a shabby roadside shack (where you might catch food poisoning) was actually a restaurant filled with locals, offering dishes worth their weight in gold.

The traditional Northern Thailand noodle curry caught my eye, and I’m so glad it did. Plump egg noodles swam in a thick, fragrant chicken curry topped with moreish crispy noodles. I’ll never forget that first bite. Sitting on a plastic chair at a wobbly, stained table I lifted the awkward combination of curry and noodles to my mouth. Cue fireworks. I closed my eyes and thought to myself, ‘This feeling of utter bliss, that’s what good food, and travel, is all about.’

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