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Under the Toque

Laura Heryadi ~ Indo Thai, Sushi & Hibachi
Laura Heryadi ~ Indo Thai, Sushi & Hibachi Photo by Scott Smallin

Laura Heryadi

Indo Thai, Sushi & Hibachi

Laura Heryadi has been a staple in Thai cuisine along the Grand Strand for years prior to opening Indo Thai. Laura, born in Indonesia, came to the United States in 1991 and brought with her a passion for cooking authentic Thai cuisine. These days, if you are looking for Laura, you need not look further than one of Indo Thai's two locations, in Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet, where she can be found seven days a week. She is certainly no stranger to the business, having worked in multiple sushi and hibachi restaurants before branching off to create her own culinary concept.

Laura prides herself on providing a diverse, authentic menu for her patrons. "Each time you eat at Indo, you will find a new favorite dish if you are willing to explore the menu." Citing her experience in the culinary world, she is adamant about her desire to try new things in the kitchen. The vast menu keeps patrons coming back for more, as Laura encourages guests to experience all that Thai cuisine has to offer.

As a mother of three, Laura's day typically starts at 6 a.m. to see her children off to school. After that, it is off to the kitchen in order to prepare Indo's authentic Thai sauces showcased on the menu at her Myrtle Beach location. Around midday, she heads south to the newest location in Pawleys Island to cook and converse with patrons. "Even though each day is long, I am thankful to be doing something I love," she says. "Everyday is a new experience, with overseeing both restaurants and meeting new people, there is never a dull moment."

Thai cuisine and sushi restaurants are popping up in large numbers along the Grand Strand, with Indo Thai leading the pack. She attributes the restaurant's success to "not only great food, but also the charm of the entire staff." Her talents extend far beyond her extraordinary cooking ability; her infectious smile and eager-to-please attitude have created a dedicated following and an outstanding reputation among locals and tourists alike. "My goal is to make people happy; their happiness is my joy and I believe that with happiness, everything else will fall into place."

Adam Kirby

Bistro 217

Adam Kirby, chef and co-owner of Bistro 217 in Pawleys Island, has successfully taken all of his culinary influences and created a diverse, Southern menu. "Growing up in Atlanta, I had the benefit of learning from two fantastic Southern cooks at a young age, my mother and grandmother." Chef Kirby later moved from Atlanta to Hawaii, where he fell in love with the cuisine on the islands and decided to pursue a career that mirrored his passion for cooking. Adam then moved to Portland, Ore., and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu of the Western Culinary Institute.

After his intense culinary training, Adam spent a number of years travelling the country while working for a number of renowned restaurants including Stars in San Francisco, Spice Canoe and the Terrace Hotel in Atlanta, and the Gasthaus Restaurant at the Widmer Brewery in Portland.

Today, Chef Kirby's menu at Bistro 217 exemplifies his culinary talents and wide-ranging influences. His style of cuisine is described as Southern and Pacific Rim by some, and described as delicious by all. Chef Kirby has been with the restaurant since it opened in 2004, and the menu has expanded quite a bit during the last six years. "I love to create new, exciting and flavorful dishes. I will often have a nightly special and will sometimes incorporate them into the menu permanently. I want to present a menu that has something for everyone, whether it is a lunch or dinner." In addition, Chef Kirby prides himself on utilizing consistently fresh ingredients and not cutting any corners. At Bistro 217, even the ice cream is homemade.

In his spare time, Chef Kirby enjoys a number of outdoor activities including fishing, golf and surfing. "When it is time to relax, I love to spend time just hanging out with my yellow lab, Jack," says Adam.

With the restaurant's increasing popularity, his free time may just be dwindling. In January, they will be adding more seating and expanding the inside bar so they can serve even more satisfied diners.