— From the pages of Taysted issue #4
Chicken Gai Yang is a type of Thai barbecue street food. The chicken has been marinated in soy sauce, lots of garlic, earthy sesame oil, and spicy black pepper. It is then charcoal broiled by the Gypsy Kitchen’s master griller, Amoe Lian. A dipping sauce made of white vinegar, sugar, cilantro, scallions, and fresh Thai chili pairs nicely with the juicy, flavorful chicken. Served on the side is a fresh apple salad made of tart green apples, fish sauce, lemon juice, a little bit of sugar, and spicy chili flakes. Julienne carrots and red bell pepper are added for a colorful finish. Art director, Lhaow, creates stunning roses using the skin of an orange.
Owners of Gypsy Kitchen, Ed and Ellen Diller, met each other when Ed helped start another local favorite, Jethro’s Restaurant, back in 1978. He hired Ellen as his baker. After travelling to New York and working as a chef in a few restaurants at the same time, Ed journeyed back to the town he now calls home, Lancaster, to sell real estate.
Ed and Ellen began catering broker’s open houses and other events. And that’s how they found their current location. They catered a party at the Refectory and were asked if they knew anyone who would want to rent the kitchen. “I told them, ‘Me!’” says Ed. “That’s how we came up with the name Gypsy Kitchen, because we had always traveled around with no definitive kitchen up until that point.” Gypsy Kitchen allows the Dillers to be fully immersed in what they love to do.
Another love story blossomed behind the scenes. Ed’s other chef, Sui Din, and Amoe Lian met when Sui Din began working at Gypsy Kitchen two years ago. They fell in love, and are now married.
What you will experience at Gypsy Kitchen is friendliness and incredible, fresh food. The kitchen has just two refrigerators and a freezer, so ingredients are bought in small quantities from local markets to ensure absolute freshness on your plate.
Though Gypsy Kitchen is tucked away in the Refectory building at the Lancaster Theological Seminary, Taysted encourages you to find this hidden gem. You can make reservations, enjoy lunch, dinner, or even a wedding rehearsal dinner at this beautiful restaurant.
555 West James Street