Local Impact Zone Weekly Newsletter April 28, 2014 clone_ - Page 5

It’s 1:30 pm on a Wednesday afternoon in Boise, Idaho. Lunch in the area usually tapers off during this time, but not at Mai Thai. The restaurant still buzzes with business. Many executives and families take advantage of the all you can eat buffet and sushi bar well into the afternoon.

As I’m seated in the booth next to the bar, I can’t help but notice the soft, cool music playing in the background and the movement of people to and from the buffet. Then, Billy approaches the table and introduces himself. We sit and discuss his amazing journey from Bangkok to Boise over the course of 10 years and what he hopes to accomplish in the next five.

How long has Mai Thai been in Boise?

Billy: “I came to Idaho 10 years ago from Texas where I trained in Business Management. Before Texas I moved from Bangkok, Thailand at the age of 30 and decided I wanted to share my love for cooking of Thai food with others. When I moved to Boise, Idaho I had met with the owner of a Thai restaurant that happened to be in this same location. I was able to take over the place and make it my own.”

Within no time Billy was able to develop Mai Thai into one of the Treasure Valley’s favorite places to eat, including making the “Best of Boise” 10 years in a row.

Now, Mai Thai has a satellite café at the Boise State Student Union Building that is open from 11:00-2:30pm Monday through Friday as well as a wholesale market developed for Micron Technology and the local hospitals where food is prepped and delivered daily.

How do you stay up to date on food presentation, drinks and catering ideas for Mai Thai?

Billy: “Every year we partake in culinary training by attending events throughout the country. It’s important to us to stay on the cutting edge of food and drink technology and we want to be known in the Treasure Valley for the restaurant that brings the new and exciting items to the table first.”

In the next few weeks you will see some amazing new drinks hit the Mai Thai menu. Billy and his staff are introducing a new line of cocktails made with nitrogen that will give the drinks a flavored smoke and foam to delight guests.

What are your plans for the future and what would you like the people of the Treasure Valley to know about you?

Billy: “It’s important to me that we are always moving forward and looking to improve and learn. With

that, we look to expand to Meridian and Nampa within the next five years in hopes to make Mai Thai an Idaho brand name that people are proud of. It’s also important for people to know that Mai Thai wants to give back to the community and we are willing to help. We recently gave the Boys and Girls Club $7,500 to help our kids of the Treasure Valley, as well as gave The Women’s and Children's Alliance $10,000 towards their cause.”

We spend a few more minutes discussing Billy’s hopes for the future and then parted ways. If you ever get the chance to eat at Mai Thai, realize that not only are you supporting a great local restaurant, but you are also supporting your community. Thank you, Billy, for all your hard work and dedication to Idaho. I’m a fan for life.

By Calie Labit​

It’s been more than a decade since Mai Thai Boise first delighted and enriched the Treasure Valley with its astounding cuisine. Since the beginning, Billy Pothikamjorn, owner of Mai Thai Boise, has had a vision of providing cutting edge Thai food in an elegant atmosphere. His dream is to make Mai Thai an essential piece of the community for giving, growth and compassion to those living in the Treasure Valley.

In this article Billy reveals how he stays on the cutting edge of food and drinkology along with providing over the top donations to those in need.

Mai Thai gives back