Thailand: Hot and Bold

Cooking and eating (and talking about cooking and eating) are choice pastimes in the Thai culture. You need look no further than to Thailand's prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, who is a celebrity chef, having written a book and hosted a cooking show called “Tasting, Grumbling.”

Like other Southeast Asian countries, Thailand derives its strongest culinary influences from India and China. And unlike surrounding Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, Thailand (about

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