Naam Pruitt

Thai food expert and cookbook author Naam Pruitt describes her new hometown in one word: delicious.

“My family and I were so excited to move here,” says Pruitt. “We heard great things about the quality and diversity of the St. Louis restaurant scene and residents’ keen interest in good food.”

The Pruitt family gave rave reviews to classic St. Louis fare like toasted ravioli, Ted Drewes concretes and barbecued pork steaks, but the family’s taste-testing has also expanded to include some of the region’s international dining options.

“We’ve had delectable meals from cultures around the globe,” she says. “There’s an Albanian restaurant we want to try, a Korean place and we all enjoy Indian food.”

One thing she says she doesn’t joke about is the use of fresh local foods in her recipes.

“Freshness is key in bringing out the delicate flavors of Thai food,” says Pruitt. “It’s been a joy to shop at the farmers markets in Kirkwood, Maplewood, Clayton and, of course, the gigantic Soulard Farmers Market downtown.”

Seeking an ingredient for one of Naam’s recipes from her “Lemongrass and Limes” cookbook? International shops brimming with exotic spices and produce are found all around town in vibrant multi-ethnic neighborhoods, including South Grand, Bevo, and The Loop.