Bangkok - Wearing her trademark ski goggles for protection from flying sparks, Thai cook Jay Fai hunches over two sizzling woks as tourists from around the world line up in three-hour-long queues at her modest streetside eatery.
The 72-year-old's crab-stuffed omelettes have always been popular among local gourmands, but her eponymous restaurant shot to global fame overnight after it was awarded a Michelin star this month at the launch of Bangkok's first guide.
While she is proud of the achievement, former dressmaker Jay Fai is still adjusting to the media frenzy that has seized her open-air kitchen in Bangkok's old quarter.
"There are advantages and disadvantages," she told AFP as she flung ingredients into a wok, explaining she did not have time for a formal interview.
"The downside is being exhausted ... Also, the government wants me to promote Thailand. I feel like I don't have a choice," she added.
She has been asked to appear at the seaside town of Hua Hin for an international tennis tournament this weekend, where she will teach top-ranked players to make her signature crab omelette and the Thai soup dish Tom Yum Kung.
"I will not be selling for two days," she said ruefully, adding that she would even consider handing back the coveted star if it meant returning to her normal routine.