Visit France, Thailand at ‘Passport Around the World’ |

Visit France, Thailand at ‘Passport Around the World’

Submitted photo by Trina Kleist for Quail Ridge Senior Living


WHAT: Passport Around the World: A benefit for Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Cancer Center

WHEN: 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16

WHERE: Quail Ridge Senior Living, 150 Sutton Way, Grass Valley (corner of Dorsey Drive)

TICKETS: $25, available at Quail Ridge, KNCO, Greater Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce, Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation


Amy Cooke was oooh-la-la for her new metal, 2-foot-tall Eiffel Tower – the centerpiece for the Summer Thyme’s Bakery and Deli presentation at Thursday’s “Passport Around the World” fundraiser.

Owners of Thai Kitchen were equally excited about their favorite traditional dishes of rice noodles, vegetables in curry sauces, and papaya salad with lime dressing.

The event benefitting western Nevada County’s only center for cancer detection, treatment and patient support is set for 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday at Quail Ridge Senior Living, 150 Sutton Way, in Grass Valley. It’s co-sponsored by the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Summer Thyme’s and Thai Kitchen are among six local eateries participating in the effort to buy an oncology simulator – a device that would allow health professionals at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley to better treat men and women with breast cancer.

Summer Thyme’s Bakery: France

Cooke and Francophile employee Emilee Spencer can’t wait to don their black pants, striped shirts, berets and suspenders to serve almond and raspberry pastries, signature croissants, ham-and-cheese hors d’oeuvres from northern France and more goodies from Provence.

“It’s really fun to be able to play at being Julia Child,” Cooke said. “We’re honored to be part of it and excited to represent France.”

Cooke has more news: Business is so good that Cooke and company in October will move up the street to 233 Colfax Ave., near Prosperity Lanes.

“We’re bursting at the seams,” Cooke said of the space she has occupied since 2008. “We’re doing huge catering jobs, and we’re at the limit of what our little kitchen can do. The dining room is so full at breakfast and lunch.”

When Summer Thyme’s moves, Cooke also will expand her menu to include dinner, she said.

Until then, find Summer Thyme’s Bakery and Deli at 421 Colfax Ave., Grass Valley, or call (530) 273-2904.

Bon appetit!

Thai Kitchen: Thailand

Chatchaval “Tom” Poomsawai and Rungnapa “Golf” Nilpat, the husband-and-wife team owning Thai Kitchen in Grass Valley, will host your visit to Thailand.

“Passport” showcases the unique flavor combinations from this nation forming a culinary bridge between India and China. Mixed with the more well-known flavors of curry, chili and soy sauce are Southeast Asian staples of tamarind, lemon grass and galangal, a root similar to ginger.

At Thai Kitchen, Nilpat makes key sauces the traditional way: Pounding ingredients in a clay mortar. For her papaya salad, Nilpat mashes chunks of green papaya with garlic, chili, peanuts, green beans, tomatoes and plenty of lime juice. She drizzles the thin dressing over shredded carrot and crunchy, slightly tart green papaya.

“Healthy and delicious,” said Nilpat with a smile.

Staple pad Thai is rice noodle topped with a blend of tamarind, fish sauce and sugar. For “Passport,” it will be made with chicken and topped with bean sprouts and shredded carrot.

Yellow curry is a soupy dish of potatoes, carrots, onion and chicken best enjoyed over rice. The curry and coconut milk dominate, evoking the flavors of India. Red curry brings together zucchini, bell pepper, carrot and bamboo shoots in a Thai-style broth that emphasizes chili, garlic, red onion, lemon grass, lemon leaf and sweet basil, Nilpat said. For “Passport,” it will be vegetarian, she added.

Thai iced tea, sweet and creamy, is a great refreshment for this surprising and satisfying cuisine.

Try more Thai dishes at Thai Kitchen, 149 S. Auburn St., downtown Grass Valley.

Kŏr hâi jà-rern aa-hăan!

Grass Valley resident and freelance writer Trina Kleist can be reached at or (530) 575-6132.

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