My Kitchen Rules in Plimmerton
A taste of Laos is being made in Plimmerton.
Best friends and former refugees Dai Phonevilay and Dal Philavong are creating traditional Southeast Asian sauces in the kitchen at Plimmerton Boating Club.
The pair are providing timepoor home cooks with authentic Asian pastes they are selling under the name A Taste of Lao.
Phonevilay said the pastes were available for people who didn’t have the time or know-how to get the right balance.
She said it could take a couple of hours just to source the 13 ingredients in the paste.
‘‘Just cooking these sauces can take someone half a day,’’ she said. ‘‘With our powers combined we have created something that takes just 10 minutes.’’
The sauces are already stocked in four locations, including Moore Wilson’s in Wellington. Now the women are planning for global domination.
They have two products available, a Tom Khem paste and a Larb paste. Phonevilay said she always made the Tom Khem paste for friends and families and realised other people would appreciate the product.
‘‘Not everyone knows how to cook from scratch.’’
She said larb, which means lucky, was a traditional Southeast Asian food dish often served at special events. The products have received a seal of approval from friends and family.
‘‘The fact that our parents will use our products says something about it. It’s very close to how you would make it traditionally.’’
The pair met as young Laos refugees growing up in Porirua and Wainui.
Philavong said she looked after the production side of things and her best friend took care of promotions and sales. ‘‘She talks and I don’t.’’ The women are well known for their stint on the Masterchef cooking show and hope their public profile will help their business succeed.
They do everything themselves from the cooking to the supermarket tastings.
Phonevilay said the products were designed for families and they have a third sauce coming out in September.
‘‘They aren’t spicy, people can add their own spice if they want.’’
Phonevilay said the experience of being a refugee had helped her strive for success. ‘‘I’m a single mum and I want to set an example for my daughter.’’
Dal Philavong, left, and Dai Phonevilay are creating a Taste of Lao in Porirua.