Little Bee Thai moves downtown, looks East
Itís a far cry from the interior of a gas station (but probably just as hot). Little Bee, easily the best Thai cuisine in Western North Carolina, has moved out of its former location in an Exxon Mobil station on Sweeten Creek Road and into the French Broad Food Co-op farmers market. On Wednesdays, in a small four-hour window (2-6 p.m.), seekers of authentic Thai can find the woman who goes by Took and her husband, Rick Corcoran.
Among vendors with heirloom tomatoes and eggplants, the duo sells penang, green curries and spring rolls, some made with North Carolina shrimp. There is no fryer, no open flame; Took does all her cooking in a commercial-grade kitchen and brings the food pre-packaged to the market.
"People can come here and go home and prepare a gourmet Thai meal in 20 minutes instead of having to make the sauces and curries," Took said.
But this setup wonít last long, she said. Little Bee Thai is looking to open a restaurant in East Asheville, "probably 10 to 12 tables, keep it small," according to Rick Corcoran. "And we'll take reservations. The type of food (Took) makes is really not good for takeout."
The FBFC is located at 76 Biltmore Ave.
Taught by her beloved parents, Took began cooking at home in Bangkok when she was just six years old. She subscribes to her father’s belief that painstaking preparation is the secret to great food.
“Everyone loves my dad’s cooking,” says Took, “and I learned from him that there are no shortcuts!” Continuing the family tradition, every dish—right down to the sauce—is made from scratch.
The Origin of Little Bee Thai
The story behind Little Bee Thai began several years ago in Bonita Springs, Florida. Took worked with a little Thai woman named Bee at the Thai Orchid Café Restaurant. For four years the two women developed a very close friendship. Took admired Bee and looked up to her like a mom.
After the owner passed away, the restaurant was sold and the two friends went their separate ways, but the friendship remained strong.
Eventually Took moved to Black Mountain, North Carolina and realized her dream of opening her own business. To honor her dear friend, Took named her restaurant Little Bee Thai.
Bee, for whom Little Bee Thai is named