Every week our My Top 5 series highlights an enterprising Houstonian and reveals what they like to do in their downtime. This week, in honor of the annual Dining Out For Life fundraiser benefitting AIDS service organizations, we hear from executive chef/owner of Songkran Thai Kitchen and Songkran Thai Grill, Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan, who shares some of his favorite haunts in Houston. As a special restaurant treat, we’ve paired his list with Teresa Flores, co-owner of Red Ox Bar & Grill.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Chef Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan
- Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – This is one of my favorite annual events in Houston. For a guy who grew up in New York City, I only saw lots of buildings and yellow cabs. I haven’t experienced seeing the bull rides, all the animals, foods, the carnival and the cowboys. It’s something I want to be a part of every year.
- Fish Gallery Inc. – I’m a fish guy and have a tank at home, so I like to go to this aquarium in the Galleria to see new fish and relax my mind.
- Hong Kong Market in Bellaire – This is the place to be if you’re looking for Asian products. I could spend hours in here. I always make a trip to Hong Kong Market for Aroy-D coconut milk.
- Millie Bush Dog Park – I love to bring my golden retriever, TJ, to the Millie Bush dog park. She loves when we spend time here.
- Vietnamese Noodle Houses – Houston has so many great Vietnamese Noodle Houses, and I find the closest one to me when I’m planning a quick lunch with my wife. I always order the pho, which is one of my favorite noodle dishes. My ideal bowl of Pho has beef and I always add Thai basil, cilantro and hoisin sauce.
About Junnajet Hurapan
Junnajet “Jett” Hurapan is an award-winning chef whose bold dishes reflect strong ties to his culture. With a diverse culinary background that includes Thai, French Vietnamese, New American and Mediterranean, Hurapan brings an innovative approach to his role as Executive Chef of Songkran Thai Kitchen and Songkran Thai Grill. Known for his vivacious, approachable cooking style, the Bangkok-born chef moved to New York City with his family at the age of six and spent his formative years working in restaurants across the city. Hurapan moved to Houston in 2008 and served as the Executive Chef of Gigi’s Asian Bistro. His journey continued with Songkran Thai Kitchen, located in Uptown Park, and, most recently, Songkran Thai Grill in Sugar Land Town Square, where he works side-by-side with his wife and pastry chef Jira.