about the restaurant

from dream to table

Since his early days of washing dishes at an Italian restaurant in Greensboro, Marshall Thompson knew that food was his passion. Today, as the head chef and owner of Donabe Asian Kitchen, that calling has become a dream realized; one that he continues to share with the local people and visitors of Taos, NM.

Marshall’s culinary education began back in Rhode Island working his way up the ranks to a couple of internships, studying under many chefs including Julia Child and Ming Tsai.

Thompson attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales, and has been cooking professionally for over 26 years – from Rhode Island to London, New York to Colorado, and a few more spots in between.

Oddly perhaps, it was a mixture of both his passion for cooking and that for snowboarding that brought Marshall to the Southwest. Looking for a place where he could enjoy doing both, he found a balance in 2004 in Taos.  

Moving in, he began to notice that his new home was missing a certain culinary… flavor. One that he’d come to deeply appreciate years before at a Thai restaurant in London. When the opportunity for a noodle cart became available, Marshall seized the chance and the Great Noodles food cart became a reality. Read more about the Sweet and Spicy in the Taos News.

The aptly named food cart located downtown in the John Dunn Shops was wildly popular, allowing Marshall to experiment with recipes and create dishes that he still serves to this day. For 10 years, he served up his own brand of inspired Asian-fusion cuisine. When opportunity knocked again, it came in the form of an inside restaurant space in the center of Taos. Marshall felt it was time to level up and leave the noodle cart behind. And so Donabe was born.

‘Donabe’, a Japanese word translating to “clay pot”, is representative of an even newer type of fusion: that of Asian clay pot cooking, and local Taos Pueblo pot cooking; an idea that excited both Marshall and Donabe co-owners James Gerkin and Chris Fogden. This new direction allows for a very different style of noodle house, using local ingredients and Asian-style cooking, alongside an infusion of regional culinary tradition.

Donabe Asian Kitchen is a dream long in the making; the manifestation as delicious as it is creative. Do yourself a favor and swing by the old Manby House at 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte in Taos. Your taste buds will thank you.