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.

Another preconception Dalad firmly debunks is that Thai food belongs only at the snack stall and is almost always a curry. The 33-year-old celebrates the cuisine of her home city, Bangkok, by melding her childhood memories with complex flavours. “If I started listing off my favourite dishes from then, we would be here for at least an hour,” she says with a smile. Maybe that’s why this gourmet genius instead combines all kinds of ingredients for her menus, fusing octopus with hot kaprao sauce, combining fjord trout, scallops and Thai herb dressing with a refreshing ceviche – and doing it with such skill and aplomb that she was awarded a Michelin star at the beginning of the year.