Diana Chauvin Gallé from La Thai
Diana Chauvin Gallé got her first taste of the restaurant business at the tender age of 6, mimicking her mother’s every move as she tended to the customers at Mai Tai, the city’s first authentic Thai restaurant, which Gallé’s mother opened in the late 1970s.
Gallé bussed tables and waited on guests at the restaurant before attending Loyola University and later charting a course for southern California, where she honed her plans for the restaurant that would become La Thai.
The restaurant is a bridge between the culinary traditions of Thailand and Gallé’s native New Orleans. She highlights the natural parallels between the cuisines of Southeast Asia and Southeast Louisiana, marrying the flavorful spices of Thailand and the bounty of Louisiana seafood.
Gallé now lives in Metairie with her husband Jay, a former meteorologist with WDSU, and their two children, Gage, 2, and Mila, 8 months.
Thai Basil Fried Rice with Chicken
2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. fish sauce (squid brand or red boat)
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 large pasteurized brown eggs
4 oz. chicken breast, sliced thin
2 oz. white onions, sliced thin
2 oz. carrots, sliced thin
1 cup jasmine rice or brown rice (we prefer brown)
1 oz. green onion, sliced thin/julienned
4 sprigs Thai Holy Basil
1/2 lime, cut into four wedges
8 sprigs Cilantro, to garnish
Whisk together oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and stir fry for a minute (do not burn garlic), then add egg and chicken. Stir fry together until chicken is halfway cooked. Add white onion and carrot, then rice and the sauce mixture. Stir fry together on medium-high heat until chicken is done. Add green onion and Thai Basil. Stir fry until onion and basil are mixed in. Rice should brown a bit. Serve on plates and garnish with lime wedge and cilantro.
For the adults, add Thai chili pepper to spice up the dish.
La Thai, 4938 Prytania St., New Orleans, 504.899.8886, lathaiuptown.com.