5 Hidden Facts About Uncle Boons Kitschy Thai Promo Video

By Brianna Wippman |

Thai dancing, 1970s TV references and old family albums converge in a quirky-cool short from New York’s fantastic Uncle Boons, and we have the first look.

A next-gen family restaurant, Boons is the brainchild of Ann Redding and Matt Danzer, the young husband-and-wife chefs (who met as cooks at Per Se), and features its own creative director, Ann’s sister May Redding. The couple serves super-tasty dishes like raw scallops with lemon nam prik, spicy roast chicken–banana blossom salad, and golden curry with homemade egg noodles, in the kitschy–casual subterranean space May helped design.

May masterminded the above video with directors Charles Billot and Britt Kubat. It tells the story of Thai parents who visit their son in college and are surprised by a special guest while dining out. Filmed in one day, the clip is packed with pop culture references and amusing cameos. Here, Ann shares some facts you should know. 

1. Family photos that set the scene are authentic. If you look closely, you might see some familiar faces. These are real photographs taken straight from family albums.

2. The mom and dad are amusing cameos. Ann and May’s mother, Ampai Redding, acts as the mother figure in the video. “She brought all her own traditional Thai clothing and was very excited to drive up from Maryland,” Ann says. The dad is Decha Lao, a friend and one of the restaurant’s beer reps. He works with Chang Beer.

3. Ann and May grew up like this, sort of. The decor at Uncle Boons features an eclectic assortment of tchotchkes and old Thai movie posters. “The space reflects how we grew up, surrounded by all of these objects, which we took from family members’ homes,” Ann says. “We really just wanted to express the vibe of the restaurant, which is fun, spirited and heavily inspired by the ’60s and ’70s.” 

4. There’s a real Thai actress. Pattaree Chanasak was visiting from Thailand and agreed to be in the film.

5. You might need to brush up on your ’60s and ’70s movie and TV trivia. The camera shots that zoom in and out are a tribute to Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 classic, Blow-Up, while the Thai dancer is a reference to the 1970s crime show It Takes a Thief. “We grew up watching a lot of kung fu films, and we wanted a similar cheeky feel,” Ann says.

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