(CNN) — As anyone who’s visited Thailand knows, food is a key part of the experience.

Whether you’re street side in Chiang Mai slurping back a bowl of khao soi noodles or enjoying a Michelin-starred Thai meal in a high-end Bangkok restaurant, the memories of those powerful, balanced flavors stay with you long after you’ve left the country.

Vilailuck “Pepper” Teigen knows this all too well. Mother of model, TV personality and entrepreneur Chrissy Teigen, Pepper emigrated to Utah from Thailand’s northeast Isaan region in the early 1980s.

For years, she says she tried to replicate the flavors of home,

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