Q&A with Regan Suzuki
We speak to Regan Suzuki, one of the people behind Birds in a Row and find out the ethics and challenges behind serving whole foods cuisine in a delivery model.
What is your background?
I do have a day job dealing mostly with forestry and climate change issues. I see Birds in a Row as part of a bigger picture of respecting our environment and the rural communities we depend not only for much of our food, but maintaining a lot of basic ecological services.
Why not a restaurant?
Well, opening early next month there will be a restaurant, Seven Spoons in the Lan Luang area (near the UN). It will be separate from Birds in a Row, with a different menu, but they will obviously be complementary and the delivery business will be based out of the restaurant.
Is Bangkok ready for this concept?
The organic and locally produced industry in Thailand is growing rapidly and I think we have been able to attract a number of people who are keen to support local Thai farmers.
What are the biggest challenges in managing Birds in a Row?
The ingredients we use are very much seasonal and can be difficult to keep on hand all of the time. Also, obviously economies of scale don’t necessarily work in favor of small business owners if needing to buy specialized ingredients in small quantities.
How do you come up with your changing menu?
Joke [the owner and cook] has a great collection of cookbooks and magazines which he draws ideas from and I also spend quite a bit of time checking out various international blogs. I do think food provides us with a wonderful opportunity to explore not only tastes and textures, but to gain insights into different cultures and worldviews. Adventure without leaving your home, I guess.