A Thai and South East Asian inspired food ‘truck’ has been included in a new Lonely Planet book.
ThaiAngle, based in Saltdean and currently located at Churchill Square, is one of 80 food businesses that have been included in Around the World in 80 Food Trucks.
Owner Nic Eadie started up his business in 2014, inspired by travelling around Thailand and living there for three years. In fact, he says he can remember the exact moment he fell in love with Thai food.
“I had never eaten Thai food before,” he said. “Now it is very well established and there are lots of Thai restaurants, but back then there really was not very much. It was still a specialist cuisine.
“I landed in Bangkok in the morning and headed down to the backpacking area Khao San Road. I had a green curry and pad Thai at just gone 8am and I immediately fell in love with it. I fell in love with the country and the food.”
Some 20 years later, these are now the most popular dishes at his vintage 1957 split-screen Citroën H food truck.
‘My food is better than this’
After living in Thailand, where he spent time working on the Burmese/Thai border helping refugees, Nic came back to Brighton to complete a Masters at the University of Sussex.
“I had been eating Thai food three meals a day so I decided to learn how to cook it properly,” the 43-year-old explains.
But then this newly found skill turned into something much more.
He said: “Whenever I went to a festival I could not find decent Thai food. And then I was going to Thai restaurants and thinking ‘my food is better than this’.
“I am a nightmare to go out with as I always think I could do a better job,” he laughs.
And so he started up his food business, basing it out of Saltdean where he now lives.
Finally, a few years ago, he left his full time job working for a charity at Gatwick helping people at the immigration centre and made ThaiAngle a full time entity.
Now he is busy not just with regular slots in Saltdean and Brighton but touring around festivals with Glastonbury and F1 British Grand Prix lined up this year among many others.
So how did he manage to be featured in the Lonely Planet book?
“They just got in touch a few months ago,” he said. “I was really chuffed, particularly as when I went travelling I had my Lonely Planet book with me.”
For the book he had to submit one recipe – and it was an easy decision for him to send the publishers his Pad Thai recipe.
“It is my most popular dish. If I had to name one dish this is probably my favourite Thai dish and I love cooking it.”
Alongside the festivals Nic offers bespoke Thai cooking classes and caters for weddings, offering a range of South East Asian food from his ‘favourite continent’.
Where you can find ThaiAngle
ThaiAngle is outside Churchill Square, Brighton, until the end of April.
You can also find him in Sussex at West Dean Arts and Crafts Festival, Chichester, between May 31 and June 2; Chilli Fiesta, Chichester, between August 9-11; Into the Wild Summer Festival, at Chiddinglye, West Hoathly, and Byline Festival, near Nutley, between August 23-26; and Goodwood Revival in September.
Around the World in 80 Food Trucks
The Lonely Planet Food book Around the World in 80 Food Trucks is out from tomorrow (March 13, 2019) and includes 80 fast, fresh and mouth-watering dishes — Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Peruvian and more — from the most exciting culinary minds on four wheels.
“In the past ten years, the culinary landscape of cities all over the world has been transformed by a new kind of street food purveyor: the gourmet food truck,” writes commissioning editor, Christina Webb, in her introduction to the book.
“Food trucks first rolled onto the scene in the US around the time of the last global financial crisis,” Christina says.
“It was an era when chefs were being laid off from traditional bricks-and-mortar restaurants, and, with no job but a lot of talent and ambition, decided to take matters into their own hands. Combined with a growing number of festivals and a trend for pop-up attractions, the market was ripe for entrepreneurial cooks to make their mark in nomadic kitchens.”
The book costs £14.99 and you can buy the book here.