Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Hanel moved to Montgomery with her first husband.
In 2009, a friend informed Hanel about a job opening at the restaurant.
Hanel said cooking has always been her passion, so she quickly acted on the tip and was fortunate to receive the position.
“Kannika is amazing,” said Robert Pocase, freshman in computer science. “She’s really nice…She even gave me a free bowl of pasta once. They were just closing down on a free refills day, so she said it was ‘on the house.’”
Pocase’s praise comes from the interaction he has had with Hanel each time he chooses to eat at Chef’s Table.
Hanel works as the front serving supervisor at Chef’s Table. It is her responsibility to keep the line flowing, the platters stocked with the day’s menu items and the other employees working in an orderly fashion.
“A lot of my friends were talking about how nice a woman who works at Chef’s Table is. I figured, why not check it out?” said Amy Gomez, freshman in biomedical science. “To my surprise, the food and the service were superb. Kannika was extremely friendly. I’ve been going back ever since.”
Hanel’s personality is immediately apparent through her excellent service and friendly demeanor. However, a trip through the line is also characterized by what Hanel said she prides herself most on: her work ethic.
“I come to the restaurant and work hard every day,” Hanel said. “I do my best.”
Chef’s Table opens each morning at 7, and barring unforeseen circumstances, Hanel is there for every one of them.
Regardless of the early hour, Hanel does not let the moods of her morning customers affect her day.
“Sometimes people just get up on the wrong side of the bed,” Hanel said. “I just smile at them and tell them to have a good day.”
Hanel said she sees her positive attitude through until the restaurant closes at 3 p.m.
As Hanel continues to impress the patrons of Chef’s Table, her friendly presence in the line is becoming as much a part of the restaurant as the dishes she serves.