It began quite hectic. I unfortunately had another event in Oslo on the 12th, so arrived 20 minutes before stage time in Bangkok on the 3rd day of Sustainable Brands Bangkok. Later the same day I had a workshop about how to communicate your good efforts creatively, but what I experience impressed me and people were very engaged. Job, well done. But it didn’t stop there, because Nui (The Sustainable Brands host) and her team had prepared a couple of amazing days for me. Anyone who knows me just a little bit, is not in doubt about how big a foodie I am and the Thai kitchen I experienced blew me away.

Nordic design, contemporary Thai 

Beginning with the super sleek and almost Nordic minimalist space The Never Ending Summer by designer Duangrit Bunnag in Bangkok, who serve up classic well-tasting Thai dishes like I’ve never tasted. On Saturday morning we flew up to Chiang Mai and stayed at a designer lodge by the river packed with art and curious design an amalgam of Thailand’s great creative minds from architects to artists. That evening we went on a culinary fusion experiment at a cool place, Cuisine de Garden, dotted with Tom Dixon lamps and with food that match the artsy place we were staying beginning with an appetizer prepared at the table in minus 200 degrees nitrogen and followed by a series of challenging, but great tasting dishes like egg in a nest.

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The Thai food movement – empowering a food revolution 

The following day we had a late brunch at one of the places changing the local food scene: Barefoot café. The passionate owner prepared the food in front of us while she shared her mission to educate the community about the value of local & seasonal food. Her weapon was simple because as she said “a meal three times a day offers an educational opportunity”. We had a variety of the dishes from the menu – many of them Italian with a local Thai touch from tofu to a forest pizza prepared with whatever the local farmers had that week. The rest of the day was spent discovering the many interesting art and designer shops in the area until we worked up enough appetite for another truly inspiring meal. Again a very intimate chef table experience at Blackitch where chef Phanuphon Bulsuwan is on a mission to change the Thai’s eating habits – and calling Phanuphon a chef would not serve him right. He’s more of an educator as he spends the majority of his time educating the local community and farmers about the value of local food and how to live within the boundaries of the season’s. His weapon is creativity and he’s applying every trick in the book to keep food waste at a minimum from fermentation to smoke. The food was outstanding and Phanuphon biggest wish in his own words are to inspire – and I can only say: mission accomplished.

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A smile that sticks

After Chiang Mai I got to experience Bangkok and one day at Koh Samet and some of the surrounding islands serving up some great tasting seafood. What sticks with me the most after 5 fantastic days in Thailand: the people. The Thai’s who with creativity and courageous optimism believe in and fight for a better future. Thanks for putting a smile on my face, that’ll last for a long time after the plane touches down in Denmark. Again thanks Nui and the SB Team!

 

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Thomas Kolster © 2017
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