Women in Thai gastronomy
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Women in Thai gastronomy

Front runners in Thailand’s hotel kitchens

SOCIAL & LIFESTYLE
Women in Thai gastronomy

It's International Women's Day and what better way to celebrate it than to honour the women in an industry that was once a man's domain. Guru By Bangkok Post speaks to women who not only make a toque look good but have turned up the heat in hotel kitchens.

Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

Having earned a culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Australia, Front Room's Sarocha "Bua" Rajatanawin has worked her way up the career ladder from sous chef to chef de cuisine in the five years she's been at the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Cooking was the equivalent of play to me as a girl and what I’ve enjoyed doing most of all since — it’s now my career without feeling like 'work'. After university, I completed the School of the Oriental Hotel Apprenticeship Programme, then the Advanced Diploma of Professional Culinary Management at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute, in Australia. During the decade since, I’ve worked at standalone and hotel restaurants, including Le Normandie at Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, The House On Sathorn at W Bangkok, and Siwilai City Club. I joined Waldorf Astoria’s pre-opening team as the sous chef of Front Room.

When Front Room transformed its culinary concept, I had the opportunity to learn the authentic foundations of Thai cuisine from renowned gurus, as well as learnt Thai family recipes and cooking tips from my mother. Together with my background in classic international cuisine, it enabled me to take on the role of chef de cuisine when Front Room relaunched as a refined Thai restaurant.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

Team management is a challenge. I need to understand each individual on my team and their different perspectives, and adapt my supervisory style to better motivate and support them.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

A hotel provides more opportunities to build a strong foundation for the long-term. A hotel is also well structured with departments specialising in purchasing, costing and quality control, engineering, marketing, etc, and I learn from those specialists about other aspects of the business.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

A hotel is organisation with a structure for decision-making, procedures and regulations in place. On the other hand, chefs at independent restaurants are likely to be the owner, as well and able to make a final decision on the spot.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

There was a lasting perception up until 20 years ago that being a chef was hard labour only suited for men. These days, women are perceived to be more equal with men and some women, in fact, are not only stronger than men but also more attentive and hard-working.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai female chefs than before?

There is more inspiration around for Thai women to become chefs now with more opportunities and international recognition for them such as awards.


Waldorf Astoria Bangkok

Recently appointed chef de cuisine at Bull & Bear less than a year after joining the Waldorf Astoria, Hathairat "Jeiw" Urapanthamat has also worked her way up the ranks at various hotels and independent restaurants. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My destiny is being a chef. As a girl I loved being in the kitchen and my playground was the neighbourhood market. When my family vetoed my wish to study at the School of the Oriental Hotel Apprenticeship Programme — International Cuisine, I used all my savings to enrol and follow my dream.

Determination is one of my characteristics and it’s a reason why I am here today. The early part of my career was spent in restaurants both independent and in hotels, including Sirocco, Elements at The Okura Prestige, The House On Sathorn and Rosewood Bangkok. I joined the Bull & Bear team in 2022 as sous chef and have since been promoted to chef de cuisine.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

My first opportunity to work in a hot kitchen because it came early, when I least expected it. As a junior chef I doubted that I was ready, but found that I could handle it well. My following opportunities were always in the hot kitchen and on the grill.

Why did you choose to work in hotels over independent restaurants?

Hotels have an operational infrastructure, which lets me learn about other aspects of hospitality, and they operate systematically with standard operating procedures that means consistency.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

Hotels have their 'public faces', who handle promotional activity such as a general manager, executive chef or F&B director. On the other hand, independent restaurants focus on their chef who thus receives all the attention.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

It’s common thinking that being a chef is laborious work that includes lifting heavy pots in a literally hot kitchen, so in general people feel that it’s more suitable work for men however, that’s changing.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai female chefs than before?

Before, Thai women tended to be closely associated with home-cooking. But currently there’s more sex equality and also more recognition of Thai female chefs in the media.


Mandarin Oriental Bangkok

Recently named one of 12 "Women Of The Year" in the annual Bangkok Post honourees for Women's Day 2023, Baan Phraya head chef  Patchara “Pom” Pirapak, has been with the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok since the recently shuttered Sala Rim Naam.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Yasothon province but brought up in Bangkok. At 13, I began cooking with my grandmother, who taught me a variety of Thai dishes and all about the ingredients. Ever since, cooking Thai food became my greatest passion. I dreamt of opening my restaurant someday and started working when I was 21 as a commis chef at a Thai restaurant, Siam Wisdom Cuisine. I was determined to work hard to improve my skills. After gaining a firm foundation, I joined Saneh Jaan restaurant as a sous chef. We were very successful and were recognised by Michelin in the inaugural Michelin Guide Thailand 2018 with a one star award.

Looking for opportunities to develop my skills, including leadership, I joined the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, in 2019 as chef de cuisine at Terrace Rim Naam. I brought knowledge from my grandmother to the authentic cuisine served here using traditional Thai cooking techniques. In 2022, I got a new assignment to lead the team and helm the kitchen of the hotel’s new restaurant — Baan Phraya.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

Everybody faces challenges on their career path, which make us stronger and wiser. I, too, have faced challenges, and one of them is equality. As a woman working in a kitchen where the majority are men, I have met the conventional mindset that women are inferior. Another challenge is preserving traditional Thai food culture amidst the emerging trends and new values of the new generation as society increasingly diversifies.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

Although working in a stand-alone restaurant did give me a sense of freedom, I felt that there was a lot I still had to learn for career development. However, working in a hotel restaurant gives me more significant opportunities to develop various skills, especially English communication skills. In addition, working with Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok is a game changer as the hotel is home to 12 restaurants and bars, which broadened my vision. I learn new things every day.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

Most hotels have many restaurants under one roof and in hotels with famous restaurants or Michelin-starred restaurants, the spotlight is often on those chefs. This is because the hotel’s executive chef takes the entire responsibility when it comes to the culinary side. This is different when we work at an independent restaurant; there, you are the face of the restaurant and take full charge.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

Working in the kitchen, especially in big restaurants or hotel restaurants, is quite a hard job and requires physical and mental strength, patience and long hours. It’s a lot of pressure and why men have a slight advantage over women. But what plays a more significant role is your desire to be successful. It takes high ambition and dedication to reach the top, and women have the ambition and commitment to achieve. Still, women are generally considered more suitable for caring for the family. So, when it comes to the point where you have to choose between following your dreams or taking care of your family, whether parents or children, women will decide to quit or change jobs to spend more time with the family than pursue their dreams.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs than previously?

The world is changing, and men and women are treated equally. Many careers that in the past were not considered suitable for women, such as engineers, pilots or soldiers, are open to women now. Society is now more open and supportive of women, and I am not surprised that we now have more Thai women chefs.


Capella Bangkok

Phra Nakhon chef de cuisine Kannika Jitsangworn joined the hotel after a career spanning more than two decades cooking Thai cuisines at hotel kitchens all around the world. Chef Kannika has worked with Aman resorts in Indonesia, Turkey and Bhutan, as well as The Datai in Langkawi and Como Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos. Before Capella, she helmed the Thai restaurant at Amanpuri in Phuket.  

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My journey to become a chef was an unexpected one. My field of study was political science, which is irrelevant to culinary, but I had a passion for cooking since I was young. My mother taught me how to cook by using local herbs grown in our home garden in Ratchaburi. I accumulated experience in cooking throughout my childhood. Then, I had the opportunity to work a hotel once I graduated. With that opportunity, it made me feel like I was on the right path and wanted to pursue this career.

Ever since, I continued working in several luxury hotel kitchens in Bangkok, Phuket, Japan, Bali, Indonesia, and Bhutan, cooking authentic Thai food. Eventually I found myself leading the kitchen at the Thai riverside restaurant Phra Nakhon at Capella Bangkok.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

It is nearly impossible to not encounter any challenges while working in this industry especially when you’re a woman. When I joined the industry, decades ago, there weren’t many women working in the kitchen. There were a few biases believing that women are inferior to men in terms of strength and skills, leaving them being mistreated and this mistreatment can be reflected by how female chefs are lower paid than male chefs.

Yet, I could say that I’m lucky I was surrounded by kind and helpful colleagues who treated me equally. Even when I moved back to Thailand, I met many good colleagues that treat everyone equally, regardless of their gender. I feel that I did not face many challenges as other women in this business to achieve a leading position in the kitchen. I think it’s because I have proven them with I have the skill and mentality.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

From my experience in working with hotel kitchens so far, I think working in a hotel provides me with a lot of valuable experiences. First, if you work in a hotel, at least at the ones I have worked in, you’ll be able to create your own concept of food according to your interest, unlike working in a restaurant that you have to follow the restaurant concept, which somewhat limits your creativity. The importance to hygiene is also different. Hotels have standardised hygiene protocols, for instance, HACCP, while hygiene standards in a restaurant vary due to different types of restaurants. Another significant distinction that I found is gaining more exposure to different cultures. From working in hotels in many countries, I had an opportunity to learn about local culinary culture and local ingredients, and applied it to my own dishes. It’s also interesting to find out how local people eat differently from Thai people. For example, when I was working in Bhutan, I discovered that people there usually consume cheese and chili and different types of meat, such as yak meat, which surprised me a lot. Or when I was in Bali, there were herbs that Thai people generally don’t eat but Balinese do. Along with learning about other countries’ cuisine cultures, I’m able to improve my cooking skills based on what I discovered in locals’ dishes, which I think I can't gain from working in an independent restaurant.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

The public perceives that hotel restaurants cater to tourists, which leads to the misperception that hotel chefs don’t cook authentic Thai cuisine. However, the trend of customers looking forward to experiencing authentic cuisine made with local ingredients has returned. So, hotels have started to embrace authentic Thai flavours, just like what we have done since the opening of Phra Nakhon.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

Women previously were likely to think cooking requires a lot of strength so there weren’t many women in culinary schools. But as time passed, I found that the traditional values regarding working in professional kitchens have shifted. I’ve seen a number of women carry heavy equipment and perform the same tasks as efficiently as men.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs that previously?

As I mentioned before, it’s because the focus on traditional values of men that they are more skilful has shifted over time. Women have more confidence than before; they also have the same capacity as men, which is seen as a good prospect for the culinary industry.


 The Sukhothai Bangkok

Celadon’s chef de cuisine Rosarin "Rin" Sriprathum was inspired to cook by her grandmothers, who were each a Thai chef and Thai pâtissier. She observed how they prepared and cooked food with homely recipes combined with a few secret techniques allowing her to have an advantage in her culinary repertoire.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I began my culinary journey at the age of 20 and worked for more than 10 years at The Regent Bangkok (currently The Four Seasons Bangkok). I also gained exclusive experience in presenting traditional Thai cuisine for many Thai food promotions in  various countries including Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan. I then moved to England as assistant head chef at the renowned Siam House Restaurant, before returning to Thailand to join the Millennium Hilton Bangkok.

I joined The Sukhothai Bangkok and became chef de cuisine of Celadon, where I’m trying to keep traditional recipes and maintain the standard of their original taste, which hardly found in other restaurants, even in Bangkok. 

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

In no particular order: People, professional recognition, art, mathematic, hygiene and raw materials.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

Because hotels have rules and regulations, such as standard, competition, knowledge, specific positions for specific duties.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

If the hotel chefs have more time and dedicated society, it will help all of us in the industry to get better recognition.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

The ones who work in the kitchen must be very strong and can work under pressure, long hours and be patient in the kitchen atmosphere. Sometimes it can get chaotic!

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs that previously?

In the past, generally speaking, I believe women cooked at home for their family more. Nowadays, women have the freedom to do whatever they want. Some of us chose to be professional chefs to showcase our talent and strengths.


Banyan Tree

Renu Homsombat has spent most of her 20-year career in corporate kitchens and mostly at Banyan Tree resorts. She is the magic hands behind the culinary programmes at Saffron, Banyan Tree’s flagship restaurant Thai cuisine at 14 locations in eight different countries.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

The story of my love for food and cooking began as a childhood memory. Back in the day when I was around the age of 10, my mother ran a small local food stall. My grandmother also had pure talent for her skilled cooking. They would bring so much life and joy to their food and the family. The food was always simple but vibrant in colour and rich in taste. One bite and your palate will be dazzled with happiness, craving for more. There was no lavish seasoning but rather meticulously chosen ingredients from a backyard or just seasonal ones. The flavourful dish reflects your wholesome passion, and the right blend is called ‘flavoured love’.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path? 

The challenge that I, and anyone pursuing a career as a chef, must face is long working hours. Perfecting the recipe is never easy; it takes wholesome passion and hard work. For me, food is life, and kitchen is home. It is important that you know what your goals are and work your way towards achieving them.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?  

Back then, getting to work in a hotel was a privilege. It offers more stability, opportunity and growth. Hotel is a school; you could learn so much more than you could imagine. Especially in a big hotel chain, you get to explore different cooking methods, cuisine lines, and even banqueting. Life is a never-ending journey of learning.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

Where we work does not matter. It is your cooking and work discipline that will speak for you. More than anything else, your food should spark joy, and the service must be on point, making the guest feel welcome. So whether it is a restaurant or a hotel, the customer will always follow and return.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?  

In a kitchen, work is dynamic and tough but fun. It is a very demanding work environment, and perhaps the long hours could potentially have been a deterrent in the past but not anymore. Now both women and men perform equally well in a professional kitchen, and we see more and more women growing in this career and establishing themselves as strong and highly recognised culinary professionals.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs than previously?

To be honest, there are a lot of female chefs in professional kitchens. Gender equality has helped make female chefs more visible and recognisable. As a woman in the culinary industry, I can affirm that we are strong, independent, creative, and detail-oriented. There is nothing a woman cannot do. So you be you, be real, be an authentic woman.


The Slate Phuket

The second of four children, Anongrat “Piak” Meklai learnt how to cook at home while growing up. Before she knew it, she discovered she loved it and worked her way up to being the executive sous chef of Black Ginger at The Slate Phuket.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have been working at The Slate Phuket since 1987 when it was known as Pearl Village, Indigo Pearl and now The Slate. I am from Phuket and am the second of four children. My parents have always been a source of inspiration to me, teaching me the art of authentic cooking. At home, we only cooked cuisines of Phuket and Thailand. When I began cooking alone, I fell in love with it and realised I had discovered my true passion.

I started my culinary journey at Pearl Village, working as a commis chef responsible for breakfast and lunch. Since then, I have set my sights on my career path, working diligently and remaining patient in pursuing my goals.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?  

Every day, I have the pleasure of meeting numerous guests with unique dining preferences. This requires me to work diligently to create an unforgettable dining experience for each guest by incorporating my experience and passion into every dish I prepare. For instance, when a guest inquires about a particular menu item, I take pride in explaining how the dish is prepared or what ingredients I use.  

Despite being a female chef, I have not faced gender discrimination and have received unwavering support from my team. I have never considered this topic, as my passion for cooking drives me to focus only on positive experiences in my workplace.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?  

I am not particular about where I work as long as I can do what I love. Wherever I am, I strive to give my best effort.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

Some people may view hotel restaurants as less authentic than independent restaurants, which can disadvantage hotel chefs. Independent restaurants often have a unique identity and personality associated with their chef, while hotel restaurants may be perceived as more generic.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?  

In the past, women had limited representation and opportunities despite possessing great abilities. However, times have changed, and now we have more chances to showcase our capabilities. Even though my education level may not be high, I strongly believe in myself and my abilities. I am determined to keep working hard and demonstrate my excellence. 

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs that previously?  

I firmly believe that all women possess unique strengths and talents, just as I have faith in my own abilities. We can surpass expectations and deliver exceptional results with opportunities given to us. 

Finally, I would like to encourage all women to believe in themselves. Follow your passions, remain patient and sincere, and work towards making your dreams a reality.


Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Chef de Cuisine at Koh Thai Kitchen Sumalee "Jeab" Khunpet has been at the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui for the last five years. She is one of the driving forces behind the menu at Koh Thai Kitchen and Bar, where she focuses on authentic dishes from the island and further afield, incorporating typical local ingredients that make the cuisine as flavourful and authentic as it can possibly be.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.   

I was grew up in Nakhon Si Thammarat province and have been involved in the food industry from a very young age. My family sold home-made doughnuts and coconut roll wafers for a living. After completing my secondary school education in Koh Samui, I joined a small hotel in Chaweng and worked there for 14 years before joining a local restaurant where I mastered French and Thai-fusion cuisine.

At the beginning of my career, my first boss at the small hotel on Chaweng beach was a big inspiration. She passed on her Thai and French recipes and cooking techniques to me. She also taught me to be proud of being a cook and helped me to gain confidence in the kitchen. From that point on, I put my heart into whatever dish I make and, believe it or not, the results seem to be amazing every time!

I also learned that a good chef needs to have a versatile set of skills. In the old days, we didn’t have a lot of expat chefs on the island so a Thai chef had to be able to cook both Western and local food to thrive in the business.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?  

People are more focused on healthy eating, while trends in nutrition and health consciousness are constantly evolving. Individuals are more interested in food, pickier about what they eat and more sensitive to certain meals. Another challenge is that social networking encourages us to always be prepared and come up with innovative concepts in order to keep up with our many competitors.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

I started my career in the hospitality industry. Hospitality is truly a people-oriented industry and I have the feeling that it is the journey that I wish to take. Imagine starting your career in a space where you can learn everything under one roof, it is a one-stop-shop to learn everything in one place. Working in a hotel will make you resilient, adaptable, witty. You will be able to think on your feet, be creative, independent and do your daily job with smile.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

It does not matter whether you are a restaurant chef or a hotel chef. It is about how a chef can make herself a brand — with an outstanding personality. Guests may have a perception that restaurant chefs are more creative than hotel chefs; having the ability to think out of the box and offer a variety of menus. But actually it is not always true, hotel chefs are also outstanding and can be creative. The hotel offers formal trainings and have plenty of equipment, which provide us with more opportunity to explore different cuisines.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?  

I disagree. It may be true in other countries but not in Thailand. Working in a kitchen is a hard work and people might think that men are stronger than women and can handle more pressure, but in Thailand, I think women and men can do equally well. There are a lot of woman chefs in the industry. I think it depends on the way of thinking, work organisation and passion for the profession. If we love it, anything can be done successfully.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs than previously?  

I believe that there is currently more Thai woman chef and they are excellent in their profession. Those chefs have brought in new energy to professional kitchens. Women possess various skills other than just being good at cooking, such as open-mindedness and the courage to try something new. I think there will be even more women chefs in the future.


137 Pillars Chiang Mai

Lakana "Mam" Suakeaw is the executive chef at 137 Pillars House and hails from Nakorn Sawan province, which is half way between Bangkok and Chiang Mai. She joined 137 Pillars House in 2016 as a junior sous chef and in six months was promoted to executive sous chef. In 2019, she was further promoted to the position of executive chef.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I love to eat Thai food, but was inspired by Western cuisine. My passion for food and cooking comes from my grandfather, who was a goldsmith by trade but de facto Chinese chef in his Thai community during all the Chinese holidays and for weddings and other special celebrations.

My cooking journey began at Le Meridien, Baan Taling Ngam and was honed with Six Senses in Hua Hin, Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives, followed by Dusit Maldives before I joined 137 Pillars House Chiang Mai. I am greatly influenced by European and Australian chefs who inspired me to focus on fresh, season ingredients prepared in with a Mediterranean influence.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

The various needs from consumers and the limitation of how people consume these days are my challenges. However, those challenges drive me to create new dishes that meet the needs and consumer trends while I also keep high standards of ingredient selections, as well as taste.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

Because I believe in the organisation and the high standard of food and beverage, as well as hygiene in hospitality business especially in luxury hotels. Moreover, hotels also offer high standard of service which is an important part to complete a memorable dining journey.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get the same attention as chefs from independent restaurants?

In the food and beverages business, the independent restaurants promote their chefs more than the overall restaurant concept while the hotels mostly promote the overall dining experience, which include the restaurant atmosphere, foods, chef and service.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

I think that we mostly see more and more men like to cook, they also have creativity and high endurance. The kitchen work is hard work and also long-hour especially when it comes to banquet event. So that’s why we often see men more than women in the professional kitchens.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs that previously?

Because nowadays, women become as strong as men. Women have high endurance and well disciplines. 


W Koh Samui

Executive sous chef Supaporn "Bee" Chanvijit has been with W Koh Samui from it's inception, though she spent nine years abroad, savouring the aromas, flavours and techniques of some of the world’s most exciting cuisines.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in Trang province. My mother was my source of passion for culinary: her delicious home cooking inspired me to become a professional chef. After finishing high school, I completed a bachelor's degree in home economics (food and nutrition programme) at Rajabhat Institute of Technology, Bangkok. I began my hospitality her career working as F&B service attendant at a local beach resort on Koh Samui. From there I continued to serve in various food service roles in other hotels.

Eventually I gave in and followed my passion starting as a kitchen helper at the island’s golf course and worked my way up to chef de partie in another locally-operated resort. I joined W Koh Samui’s pre-opening team in 2011 as executive sous chef. The skills I developed over the years have enabled me to travel around the world promoting Thai cuisine as guest chef for many properties, including W Mexico city, W Taipei, W Guangzhou, Keraton At The Plaza in Jakarta, W Guangzhou, W Amman, St Regis Bali and W Xian.

What are the challenges that you faced on your career path?

The early stages of anyone’s career is usually difficult until one gains enough experience, skills and reputation for consistent quality. I went through similar struggles but I was always eager to learn and strived to be the best. I believe my passion pulled me through the struggles and made it easier. Being a leader now my main goal is to recruit talented young chefs, train and develop them to succeed in their own craft.

Why did you choose to work in a hotel over an independent restaurant?

Work at hotels is more structured and gives an opportunity to work in multiple venues that are versatile. These places like restaurants, in-room dining and banquet services trains us to be always switched on creating special menus, brunches, seasonal and festive offers etc. Compared to restaurant service in hotel operations you will always have to be more flexible in accommodating special request and preferences, which is challenging but as well fun at the same time if you are passionate and take your work seriously. Working with bigger brands lends exposure and connectivity, working alongside other departments such as rooms division and reservations teams to create unforgettable experience for our in-house guests is something you wouldn’t experience in a restaurant line.

Why do you think that hotel chefs do not get noticed as much as chefs from independent restaurants?

It depends. I get enough attention and recognition from our guests and as well our leaders to keep me motivated. But definitely independent restaurant chefs gets more limelight as the restaurant business is mostly associated with their fame.

Why do you think there are more men than women in most professional kitchens?

When I started my career, there were still a good ratio of female to male chefs in the kitchen, in the past many female chefs chose family over career. But times are changing as we see more and more women choosing the culinary line. In our property we have a 50/50 percentage of female and male chefs, all internship candidates we currently have are females.

Why do you think there are currently more Thai woman chefs than previously?

Women are willing to take more challenging jobs, as well with the growth of social media we getting inspiration from successful female chefs to follow their footsteps. This is a passion-driven job so obviously our interest in cooking drives us.


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