About Chef: Born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, Chakrit “Tom” Naumsuwan, grew up in the kitchen alongside his mother, who would make and sell freshly baked bread and homemade curry at local markets. As a teenager, Tom sought out some of Bangkok’s popular street vendors to teach him how to cook, and worked alongside them after school and on days off where he learned how to prepare Thai street food favorites. 10 years ago, Tom made the move from Thailand to New York in search of a better economic climate and opportunities, and has worked in various restaurants like his brother’s Japanese steakhouse in White Plains, and as head chef of Spicy Shallot, a Thai restaurant in Elmhurst, Queens. As the executive chef of Wayla, Tom’s menu is inspired by his childhood and cooking alongside his mother. His menu features fresh, spicy, homestyle Thai cuisine with a focus on seafood (he spent years fishing with his aunt and uncle in Thailand), and fresh herbs and produce from the market.
Proceeds benefit Heart of Dinner, an initiative started by restaurateur Moonlynn Tsai and actor Yin Chang to work against stigma and discrimination towards people of Asian descent with current efforts focused on providing food relief to the most vulnerable people in and near New York City’s Chinatown area.