As part of our Thailand trip, we set out to interview some of the people we met. We we’re lucky to be accorded an interview with the Chef de cuisine Jimmy (Chamlong Pewthaisong), flamboyant master of Thai cuisine. He was eager to tell us all about Thai cuisine, he didn’t have to convince us, we are already in love with tasty Thailand…
- When and why did you know you wanted to become a chef?
Our family has had a restaurant in Khon Kaen, in northeastern Thailand, for as long as I can remember. My grandmother and mother served their Thai home cooking to our guests. As I grew up working in our restaurant, they taught me their original recipes and imbibed me with the love for Thai cuisine.
- What is your favourite childhood dish?
Fried rice and vegetables, it might be simple but it needs ingredients of excellent quality to make it a tasty dish.
- Is there anything you don’t like to eat?
I very rarely eat junk food because it lacks taste and discipline for preparation.
- What in your opinion are qualities a good chef absolutely needs?
First of all, the products and ingredients have to be of fine quality, so you need good contacts and suppliers to find those. I have worked as a Thai chef in the Middle East for a few years and I found it difficult to find the right products to create my menu. Now that I work here in Bangkok, I have direct access to great seafood, the markets like Chattuchak and Or Tor Kor and our fresh produce that comes from the Royal Project Foundation in Chiang Mai.
- What dish people come for in your restaurant?
People come to our restaurant to taste refined authentic Thai food. We have an excellent Thai menu that I have mastered through my years of experience. When I first came to The Sukhothai for my job interview I was impressed by the building and attention to the guests needs here. I feel it is my duty to provide the same attention to detail and put the guest experience central in my restaurant.
- Bangkok is famous for its fresh produce, but where does the meat you buy come from?
Our chicken and seafood comes right here from Bangkok, but to find the best ingredients, sometimes we have to import certain products like lobster from Maine, fish from Hokkaido and lamb from New Zealand.
- Do you have a tip to see, taste or experience in Bangkok?
You have to experience China Town at least once, it is the most lively part of Bangkok, but if you want to try the street food on offer, make sure you know how long some of the products have been cooking.
Thank you very much, Jimmy, for your time. We hope to see you again soon!