RED HOOK — Less than a year after opening the critically acclaimed Kao Soy restaurant in Red Hook, the chef has departed and started her own Northern Thai cuisine pop-up less than a block away, following a he-said, she-said spat with her former business partner and boyfriend.
"Chiang Mai" opened July 5 and will occupy Home/Made's space at 293 Van Brunt St. for the next six months, Kanlaya Supachana told DNAinfo New York. Home/Made's brunch has moved to its sister event space, Atelier Roquette at 63 Commerce St., its owners said in an email.
Kao Soy, located at 283 Van Brunt St. was opened in August last year by Supachana and Carlos Padillo, her former partner and boyfriend. It received a positive one-star review from the New York Times in February while it was still being operated by the couple.
Padillo, who continues to run Kao Soy, told DNAinfo that Supachana quit one or two months ago after a dispute.
"Now she's taking my clientele from me," he said. "The restaurant was my idea. I was doing it for her because I loved her."
Supachana said she branched out on her own because of "different ideas" with Padillo. The entire staff at Chiang Mai used to work at Kao Soy, she said.
Supachana, who has worked in restaurants for 15 years, declined to comment on Padillo's accusations and said he could "go to ... court and talk with my lawyer" if he had anything further to say about her.
"I'm [a] professional. I'm the businesswoman," she said. "You cannot change a man."
Supachana describes her menu as "not regular Thai food" but as one filled with recipes she learned from her father, she said.
She's serving regular and summer dishes at the pop-up including "Moo Ping," grilled pork skewers with a central Thai spicy chili lime dipping sauce, "Tum Mamuang," which is green mango pounded with spices and pickled fish served in betel leaves and even "Khao Soi," a "rich Chiang Mai curry soup" with thick egg noodles that inspired the name of the previous eatery.
"Everyone knows me [for] Khao Soi," said Supachana, who opened the pop-up with her business partner Sirichai Sreparplarn.
Padillo continues to serve northern Thai cuisine at Kao Soy. While he has kept some dishes from Supachana's old menu, his new chef has added several other options, he said.
When Kao Soy opened, it was Red Hook's only Thai restaurant.
When asked about her family recipes that were still being served at Kao Soy, Supachana said only she knows her cooking techniques and they cannot be replicated.
She said she hopes Kao Soy remains successful.
Chiang Mai opens every day at noon and closes at 10 p.m. on Monday to Thursday and Sunday, and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It closes for a staff break from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. For dinnertime deliveries, call 646-858-5185.