Chabaa Thai Bistro

4371 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127

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Wok Chef Ya Charatsil
Curry Chef Benjamin Sandberg

Inspired by her upbringing in Bangkok, Chef-Artist Nongyao “Moon” Krapugthong grew up helping her father prepare exotic, robust dishes with fresh ingredients from the morning market. She learned at a young age, the value of preparing quality food from the most wholesome ingredients—the secret to her success as a chef.

Having absorbed her father’s dedication to providing nourishing meals to the workers on her family’s farm, she understands the power of food to express love and respect to people. And just as importantly, to make them feel welcome and cared for. This humble philosophy has dictated her culinary journey, enabling her to turn customers into friends—and vice versa.

A woman of numerous talents and interests, Moon originally studied business, earning a Bachelor’s in Economics from Thammasat University and an M.B.A. from North Park University. It was when she was working on an installation for her M.F.A. thesis in photography at R.I.T. that she discovered her true passion: cooking as an art form.

She found herself in Philadelphia and, with the support of her husband, family, and close friends, opened Chabaa Thai. At Chabaa, Moon’s lifelong dream of bringing something small but beautiful to the world finally came to fruition. Loved by food critics, community members, and visitors, Chabaa Thai was named Best of Philly in 2007 and was voted Best Thai in Philadelphia by Zagat in 2009.

Outside her restaurants, Moon has enjoyed substantial recognition as a chef, educator and tireless volunteer. In 2008, she was one of three winners in the Taste of Elegance Pennsylvania Chef Competition and in 2009, was inducted into the all-female culinary organization, Les Dames d’Escoffier International (LDEI). One of her highest honors came in April 2011, when she was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City.

Along with the business side of her culinary life, Chef Moon gives generously to area non-profits and fund-raising events. Her true philanthropic passion though, lies with E.A.T.S. (Eat Along the Street) a street festival and culinary competition supporting Wat Bodd Voraditth orphanage, which provides housing and day-to-day care for nearly 600 orphans whose parents have lost their lives to AIDS or simply couldn’t afford to keep their children. Chef Moon looks forward to meeting new challenges and constantly seeks opportunities to grow as a chef and an artist. She remains as passionate as ever as her dream continues to grow.

Wok Chef Ya Charatsil <br>Curry Chef Benjamin Sandberg

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