World Gourmet Summit

Story by Juliie Mosley

Vichit Mukura
Vichit Mukura

I   loved to cook even as a young boy, and got my basic training from my mother. Once when I was 9, I learnt to make curry paste by pounding chilli with a pestle and mortar. The chilli was so hot that it stung my eyes, and my mother told me that I needed rainwater to remove the sting. When I was 16, I began my apprenticeship at a hotel in Pattaya, and worked for 8 years before I started my own restaurant. Now, I have 2 in Pattaya, and they are managed by my wife and father.

Herbed crispy vermicelli Teaching has always been a great passion of mine and I feel that it is important for me to share my knowledge on the traditions of Thai cuisine as the younger generation seems to prefer fast food from Pizza Hut or Kentucky Fried Chicken. I taught in Japan for 3 months, and currently in Bangkok, I am teaching traditional Thai cuisine in a local culinary school. Where I come from, every moment in life could be a possible learning experience. Old recipes never get discarded.

Rather, we read these recipes over and over again hoping to pick up something new each and every time. In fact, I have a book from the time of King Rama V, which is about 200 years old.

Green curry with prawns The experience I have gained from my 11 years at the Oriental Hotel is tremendous. I have learnt a lot from the various cross promotions overseas and through them, came into contact with many renowned chefs from places like Switzerland, Paris, London, Hotel de Crillon, Savoy and Dorchester. Observing them, as well as others who have come into the kitchen, has helped to influence my style of cooking and food presentation. I am constantly learning from everyone around me, as there are definitely no limits to one’s knowledge.

It is also important to maintain the high standards set by the Oriental. We conduct in-house training every week for the sous chefs and myself. In fact, we have a training manual for the kitchen, which covers all aspects of food preparation. There are 2 classes a week-one for the new staff and one for those at a higher level. We do not believe in resting on our laurels, as that cultivates complacency.

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