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From Pandemic Drive-Thru to James Beard Winner: Street To Kitchen’s Chef G Brings Unapologetic Thai Vibes to Houston

HOUSTON – Chef Benchawan Painter, also known as “Chef G,” and her husband Graham Painter started their business amid the pandemic in 2020. They rented a former fried chicken joint in Magnolia Park, attached to a gas station, because they had a self-service window. The Painters had always dreamed of bringing truly authentic Thai food, as prepared by Chef G’s grandmother, Pluentha in Thailand, to Houston.

And Houston showed up! In fact, they had so many orders on the first day that they had to close the next day to replenish stock for the week. As restrictions eased, painters began building the small dining room to accommodate guests. Very quickly, dine-in service surpassed takeout. Graham, a sommelier, added interesting wine pairings to the menu and the restaurant became a regular haunt on the East End.

After winning the James Beard Award for Best Chef in Texas last year, they moved to a larger space on Harrisburg Blvd and are bringing unapologetic Thai food and vibes to Houston. Chef G not only unapologetically cooks authentic Thai food, but he also plays Bangkok’s most popular hip-hop at the restaurant. Chef G doesn’t want you to visit a Thai place in the United States; She wants you to travel to the Kingdom when you walk through her doors.

Related: ‘Texas’ Best Chef’ Moves His James Beard Award-Winning Restaurant to Houston’s Second Ward

Houston Woman Hopes to Win James Beard Award for ‘Best Chef in Texas’

For more information about Street to Kitchen or to make a reservation, visit their website here.