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In 2004, Sasathorn Rudisell set out on a holiday abroad—from her home in Bangkok to her sister’s place in Greenwood. But thanks to an epic vacation detour, what was originally scheduled as a short visit evolved into a long-term stay, a marriage, and one of the inspirations behind three of Indy’s favorite restaurants—Siam Square, Black Market, and the newly opened Rook (pictured here), a banh mi love letter to Asian street food that reflects a passion she shares with her restaurateur husband, Ed Rudisell. The pair met in her sister’s Greenwood restaurant, Thai Spice, where Ed, then a manager at a BW3, was a frequent customer—and, apparently, a persuasive suitor. “I was only supposed to stay for two months,” she says. “I’ve been here for eight years.”
Before she came to the United States, Sasathorn owned a small boarding house with a snooker hall in Bangkok, where she was born the third of six children to parents of Chinese descent. Inspired by her ancestry and Thailand’s fanatical embrace of street food, Sasathorn dreamed of owning her own restaurant. She got her start in the business by making and selling food to the men in her snooker hall. Now, as then, her aim is the same: “I want people to eat the things I make and say they are delicious.”
Sasathorn Rudisell's Favorite Things
(1) Shopping: “Sometimes I just like to go to places like Saks and see what’s new.”
(2) Travel: “I love going to big cities.” (3) TV: “The Real Housewives of anything.”
(4) Running: “I’ve been doing it every day for about two years—four to six miles at 8 a.m. That’s my idea of relaxing.”
Photo by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the October 2013 issue.
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