Chef Braden Wages of Malai Thai in the West Village is originally from upstate New York. He and his wife, Yasmine, who is from Weatherfod, met while in school at Cornell. Running a restaurant was a long-term dream for both of them. But the concept for that place was based on a what sounds like an epic three-month backpacking trip through Asia.
Braden and Jasmine Wages of Malai Thai
We spoke with them for our weekly series of chef interviews. We start with Braden.
How did you initially get into cooking?
I am one of five siblings and my parents worked a lot. So my mom devised a system where one of us had to cook each night of the week. We had to create a menu and she'd go buy all the ingredients for us and make the meal and clean up. We started at a young age. My younger brother would do nothing but omelets; I started with casseroles and then went on to other things. I guess my first job was in a kitchen -- my family business was in amusement parks and we all kind of had our own department, if you will. My brother was in entertainment, my sister did gates, another did games, I was always in food.