20070129_ThaiMinister.jpgNewly-minted Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej may be notorious for his irreverent, whatcha-gonna-do-about-it personality—he’s been accused of malfeasance for signing two questionable contracts while Bangkok’s mayor, and is in the midst of a defamation conviction entailing a two-year prison sentence—but Samak still owns the hearts of many. Maybe because he’s basically a Thai Emeril or Mario. Well, sorta. The former host of the Thai cooking show "Tasting and Complaining” (Chimpai Bonpai) explored traditional Thai cuisine on air, always with a side of his fiery rants. When colleagues believed he was too busy in the kitchen instead of doing his real job—leading the people—he was forced to nix the show.

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