Growing up in Thailand, Annie Beck learned to cook by helping her grandparents in the kitchen. It became a passion she carried with her throughout her life and led to the opening of Anchan Thai, located at 1324 Dry Creek Dr. Ste. 106.
Beck grew up in a small farming community in Loei province in Thailand. At the age of seven, Beck joined her grandparents in the kitchen to learn the art of Thai cooking.
She said her grandmother never had a recipe and just made the food “the way people liked it,” by throwing the right amount of ingredients in a pot and cooking it.
Eating together was the most essential part and it was common to have large pots of food available for the entire family to share.
As Beck got older, she traveled to Shanghai and Japan, where she learned to cook from local people. She said she wished she had gone to culinary school, however, she learned a lot from various restaurants she worked in and from families willing to share their techniques with her.
She eventually found her way to Colorado and decided it was time to open her own restaurant.
She found the current location and knew that this was where she needed to be. The next step was deciding on a name.
She compiled a list of names, but none seemed to fit. She called her mother in Thailand for help. Her mother was sitting on the front porch staring at the anchan bushes adorning her yard and made the suggestion. Beck took the suggestion and adopted the use of the anchan flower in several dishes in her restaurant.
The anchan flower is sometimes referred to as the butterfly pea flower. It is a blue flower that is native to Asia. The flower grows wild in Thailand, according to Beck.
In order to use the flower in her restaurant, Beck’s mother collects all she can from the local market — which supports the people of Beck’s childhood village — and ships it to her each month.
Fresh and authentic ingredients are important to Beck who spends each Sunday traveling to various Asian markets in Colorado to make sure her food is as close to her grandmother’s as possible.
“I want people to know that the food is authentic. It is just like the food I make at home,” Beck said.
Beck also feels it is important that every person be invited to the table, no matter their dietary restrictions. For this, she has adapted her menu to include gluten-free and vegan options.
“I am part of a family who is vegan and we can come and eat together,” Beck said.