By Andrew Kambel
– Kitsanin Thankyakulsajja is busy. He explains that he doesn’t have a lot of time for this interview since he is playing volleyball in a few moments. This week, he has to serve food for eight people, wake up early in the morning to buy cooking supplies at Hanos, an international wholesale market, and make sure that he planned his school work properly. “I have a lot of stuff under control, but not as much as I’d like,” he said. “I always feel like I wanna do more.”
Food projects are not uncommon at AUC. From the Cuisine committee to Sharood and even small bake sales, students seem to realize that food brings people together. However, Kit, as he likes to be called, has more ambitious plans than simply bringing people together. With Ephemeral, the name for his food project, the 18 year-old student from Bangkok, Thailand transforms his own one-person apartment into a Japanese themed ‘omakase’-style restaurant; ‘omakase’ being a Japanese phrase which translates to “I’ll leave it up to you” – the chef’s choice. He provides up to four paying diners per night with a multi course meal, with the actual dishes being Kit’s personal choice.
Kit quickly mentions that omakase-style restaurants are still rare in Thailand, even though they are rapidly picking up steam. The quality of omakase-style restaurants is also higher in Thailand, he said. “This is nothing compared to Thai standards.” He interrupts himself as he sees the final logo design that he wants to use in his posters and on the Facebook page: “Oh my God, it looks so good!”
Kit never had a master to teach him cooking despite him using advanced cooking equipment and techniques. “Like every other thing in life, I don’t have coaches, I just go for it myself,” he confidently said while showing photos from a recent dinner. So far, he has had most of his four-person dinners fully booked ever since he started his project in October 2015, now with a five-star rating decorating his Facebook page.
The prospective humanities major is interested in studying in the Culture, Literature, and Communication tracks, and, like his academic plans, his personal interests are broad. So far, he has played badminton, tennis, table tennis and volleyball as well as having boxed earlier in his life. “In sports, you need that click. You need to situate yourself around the point where it’s gonna click, and when it clicks, it clicks,” he said. In terms of cooking, he has never had any trouble connecting with food, he explains: “it clicked ever since I was a kid,” Kit said. “Every mistake and every achievement just make sense.”
People around Kit were worried about his wide-ranging interests since growing up, as he wanted to do everything. “I started out playing table tennis, and then I thought ‘Hey, I wanna do badminton too, and then tennis,’ and people were like: ‘those don’t mix together’,” he said. Even his parents, although supportive of what he does, seem to struggle keep up with him. “They were sort of tolerant about everything that I do. They just fear that if I have to really commit to something in life, I can’t,” he said.
But Kit doesn’t let that discourage him and is rather positive about his choices. “If my goal, as far as sports go, is not to do it for a living, it makes sense for me to just have as much fun as possible.”
Doing everything at once is a dream for many but a reality for only a few, and Kit seems to be on the right track. “I still want to do many things in life, and for the time being, there’s cooking I can really commit to,” he said. Ephemeral might be just the start. “I don’t wanna be confined to one cuisine, I just do everything I want to do.”