Location: New York City
Why She's Amazing: Because she and her co-chef, Matt Danzer, are alumni of Per Se channeling their cooking chops into scrumptious Thai pub food.
Culinary School: Institute of Culinary Education (New York City)
Background: Per Se, La Esquina, Jewel Bako, Amuse (New York City)
Quintessential Dish: Yum kai hua pli (spicy roasted chicken and banana blossom salad)
East Meets West: Redding was born in Udon, Thailand, and grew up there, in the Philippines and in the US. Danzer was born and raised on the North Fork of Long Island, New York.
What Led Them to Open Uncle Boons: For five years, the husband-and-wife team ran a seasonal store and café on Shelter Island (between the north and south forks of Long Island). They traveled to Thailand during the winters, staying with Redding's family, and Danzer fell in love with the food.
The Name: Redding has an uncle named Boon who would take her and Danzer on day-long bar-food-and-beer excursions in Thailand. "My family just goes nuts there. We drive to lunch and leave lunch to go [for a] second lunch, and have a snack on the way to second lunch."
The Dining Room's Vibe: Bangkok flea market. "I was hoarding for that last three years. I raided my mom's house. I also brought back stuff from Thailand. It's tchotchke heaven."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.