A Journey from Lao-Isan to the Heart of Nashville
The name "Thai Esane" originates from the northeastern region of Thailand, traditionally known as Isan or Esane. This region is rich in cultural and culinary heritage, forming a significant part of Thailand's ethnolinguistic diversity. The majority of its population is of Lao descent, often identifying themselves as Thai Isan, distinguishing their identity from both the Lao of Laos and the Central Thai.
Now, shifting from the historical roots of Esane, let’s delve into a contemporary journey of culinary passion. The story of Thai Esane begins with Nina Singto, whose life from a young age was intertwined with a love for food. Arriving in America with her family from Laos in 1984, Nina's early ventures started with selling garden produce in her neighborhood, later escalating to door-to-door food sales. It was during one of these sales rounds that she met Tim, who not only became her life partner but also her comrade in founding Thai Esane.
Together, they launched their venture in 2014, channeling their shared love for Thai food and the distinct flavors of the Esane region into a restaurant. Now, Thai Esane stands as a testament to authentic Thai-Laotian cuisine in the heart of Nashville. Their approach to traditional cooking, akin to the methods of their grandmothers, resonated with the culinary ethos of Esane, earning Thai Esane a revered spot among the city’s food aficionados.