She’s Mercedes: Dalad Kambhu  

She’s Mercedes: Dalad Kambhu  

Clichés can be either a straitjacket or a hurdle on a racetrack: you can let them constrain you, or you can strive to rise above them. Dalad Kambhu has charted the latter course and is clearly setting out her stall. You won’t find any chopsticks at Kin Dee, her Thai restaurant in Berlin. Certainly not the ubiquitous Tom Ka Gai soup. Even the obligatory kitschy statues are nowhere to be seen. Instead, the restaurant has simple wooden furniture combined with timeless works of art.

Dalad is driven by the fact that men have achieved such a hold over gastronomy that they now dictate the rules. Women are still not equal to men in professional gastronomy, and Dalad has experienced some male employees who failed to respect her as a boss, dismissing her beautifully and delicately arranged dishes with clichéd sound bites. “Many of my colleagues, especially my female colleagues, are amazed that my kitchen is as calm as it is.” says Dalad. She wants to change the industry with her new approach to empower women. “We need to be nice to each other, talk to each other and address our grievances openly,” she says. That’s not to say there’s not place for anger, but this energy should be used to support each other.”