Rising Star Chef Ann Redding of Uncle Boons - Biography

New York, NY

January 2015

Ann Redding was born in Thailand, but came to Thai cooking in a roundabout way. Redding’s first job was at her mother’s restaurant. She was 14, a waitress, and terrible at it.

A bad waitress, maybe, but Redding was sure she wanted to cook—just not Thai food, necessarily. Born in Ubon Ratchathani, Redding grew up in Thailand and the Philippines, eventually moving with her family to the United States. Redding studied at the Institute of Culinary Education before taking her first cooking jobs at places such as Amuse, Jewel Bako, La Esquina, and Per Se, which she joined several weeks after its opening.

Cooking at Per Se not only helped Redding pad out an already illustrious résumé, it introduced her to her future husband, Matt Danzer, who had also come on board for the restaurant’s opening. When the duo decided to open a restaurant, Redding still didn’t go in a Thai direction. Instead, they ran a store and café on Shelter Island. But that kind of seasonal work allowed Redding to take Danzer to Thailand during slow winters. These trips were the inspiration for Uncle Boons. Named for Redding’s uncle, the restaurant isn’t a region-specific or academically nuanced study in Thai cuisine. It’s Thai cooking the way Redding (and now Danzer) crave it—the way Redding, loaded with modern technique and fond food memories, recalls it. In 2015, Redding earned a StarChefs Rising Star Concept Chef Award for her work at Uncle Boons.