(funky electric guitar music) We are in the Thai temple
in Michigan in Detroit. It’s called Wat Buddha Vihara, Midwest. This is the first Thai temple in Michigan. – [Sheldon] During the summer,
you guys cook out here. We do have a lot of Thai people, or Asian people, to come around. Laos people come here and
cook food, selling food, like traditional food.
It’s called Food Fair. I work at a Thai restaurant, but I do, like do waitress serving. But I cook for like, community food fair. – [Sheldon] Offering Thai flavors and Asian flavors to the Detroit area. We’re gonna make, it’s called Pad Krapow and stir fried basil. That much, just gonna put that in there. (asian music) Where’d you learn to cook? I dunno I grew up, my family just like, they’ve been cooking. Like my mom, is good cook,
my mom’s like the best. Did you go to school? Yeah cooking school, culinary school in Thailand.
You did! – [Pat] I like to cook. Well I like to eat. (Pat laughs) The crushed garlic in. How spicy, you guy like? – [Sheldon] I like spicy. (Sheldon coughs) (Pat laughs) Definitely spicy. It’s gonna be delicious! I’m just gonna add the
oyster, and this is soy sauce. – [Sheldon] This is a mushroom soy sauce, so it has a lot of depth, a lot of flavor. – [Pat] And a little bit of sugar, cause we didn’t use MSG for it. And I add some string beans. This is the basil. – [Sheldon] Beautiful! – [Pat] I like strong flavor. Is this a dish that you grew up with? Yeah, in Bangkok.
In Bangkok. (funky jazz music) Alright that’s it for the pork. I’m gonna make another one with seafood. (rhythmic jazz music) – [Sheldon] Salty, sweet, and spicy. – [Pat] This basil, they
only grow out summertime. – [Sheldon] Well this is
perfect for today, you know. The holy basil here at
the Buddhist temple. How’d you make your journey to Detroit? I flew to Canada, and I just
got married, and I move here. My husband from Detroit.
Oh. You’re a waitress turned chef. Yeah, I’m a waitress. That’s like Superman, on the weekends you put on your chef cape. Yup, I transform. Lawan you are the person
that is responsible for a lot of this activity that’s going on here at the temple. Yes. Where in Thailand did you grow up? I’m from Bangkok. At 13 years old into the
national team for table tennis. Yeah, yeah, I was in the
World Champion in India that year and then they
invite us to come here. How was Detroit back then when you showed up 40 years ago in the city? You know, they were kinda
shocked when they saw me. (both laugh) Not many Thai–
Not many Asian. One Thai restaurant, then. But its people are very
friendly and welcoming. Asian is getting larger,
almost 10 thousand. Our abbot has named this temple as the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center. This mean for everyone, every Buddhist and even non-Buddhist. And how did you become
associated with the temple? The previous abbot
which is passed already, 10 years ago kept asking to
come and open a temple here in Detroit before we have the temple. At the beginning, the
temple in an apartment. Now we have three properties. – [Sheldon] People come here to meditate, Meditate, and mostly they come for the Buddhist religious ceremony, like today is our Queen’s birthday. So we known her as Mother’s Day. Ah, beautiful. I love that you guys are keeping all the dishes very authentic. People known about Thai food, and the Sunday market, we
have it only in summer. So people really look forward to it. – [Lawan] Yes. (funky guitar music) Kay I’m gonna go for the pork. The basil is amazing in it. Becomes like almost like
a vegetable in the dish, instead of just being an herb
because there’s so much of it. I’m gonna dig into– Squid and a shrimp. The squid and shrimp. I dunno how spicy you can take, – [Sheldon] Okay. But I like spicy. (Pat laughs) I’m burning up right now. In the 40 years you’ve
seen the city change? A whole lot. Go through a lot. I think it’s coming back a little bit, the last few year we
can see the different. When the economy went down is really bad. It was the worst time
ever since I came here. So a lot of people move out, a lot. Why stay in Detroit? I couldn’t leave here.
The temple is my home. (hip hop music) – [Sheldon] Hugo Ortega began his journey as a goat herder in Mexico, only to end up winning a southwest best
chef James Beard award. After he immigrated to
the U.S. at the age of 16, (guitar chord)