Chef Noopy Aeerak sporting SAS Side Gore shoes, his favorite to wear at work.

Noopy prepares authentic Thai cuisine at his own restaurant, Malakor Thai in West Palm Beach, FL.

It’s not easy to find authentic Asian food in America. Maybe that’s why folks flock to Malakor Thai restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida, where chef Noopy Areerak is making a name for himself. To support him while he runs around the kitchen every day Noopy relies on his SAS shoes.

Noopy, born in the Yasothon province of Thailand (according to the Florida Weekly), learned to cook from his parents. He went on to a hospitality school in Bangkok and eventually worked at the Mandarin Oriental restaurant there.

In 2004, Noopy traveled around the states and eventually came to stay. “I like Florida better,” Noopy told the Weekly, “there are good opportunity here.” In hopes of finding an authentic Thai restaurant to start his career in the states, Noopy tells the Weekly he could only find “American Thai.” He worked at several of these establishments, but it just wasn’t cutting it. That’s when he decided to start his own business, the Malakor Thai.

With many fresh ingredients, including fresh herbs and spices, the restaurant has changed the minds of many American diners as they try authentic Thai. “They think Thai food is very spicy,” Noopy explains to the Weekly, “It’s not spicy we say ‘let them try first’ and then they love it.” Noopy also explains the fresh foods are very healthy, compared to American food which Noopy says is too bland for his taste most times.

Also important to Noopy is having comfortable feet while working. “I started wearing (SAS shoes) since 2008,” Noopy tells San Antonio Shoemakers. Noopy says a co-worker recommended the shoes. He sports the Side Gore style, and he says, “I’m still wearing them…they are very good and comfortable, and they don’t slip.”

Noopy says he’d like to teach cooking someday and maybe expand his restaurant to other locations. To read more about his journey, check out the full article in Florida Weekly.