On March 12, 2021, my gal and I were invited by the Thailand Tourism Authority to attend the launching of the Taste of Prachuap at the Ob-OOn Patisseries & Boulangerie in Hua Hin. The Taste of Prachuap is designed to boost gastronomy tourism to the Prachuap Khiri Khan province. Eight top Thailand chefs are supporting the campaign by creating their own tasting menu using provincial ingredients and hosting their own chef table event between March and December 2021.
This was our first time being invited to such a media event. Though I didn’t have anything to compare it to, I knew we were in for a treat. For one thing, eight is considered an auspicious number. It bodes well when eight top chefs create eight amazing dishes using eight tasty ingredients from eight different districts in the Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
Before the dinner began we had a chance to meander about and check out the chef stations and tables which showcased the various ingredients. These ingredients included the ‘Siam Gold (MD2) pineapple from Hua Hin district, oyster from Mueang district, sun-dried squid from Pran Buri district, lotus blossoms from Sam Roi Yot district, jackfruit from Kui Buri district, coconut from Thap Sakae district, the salted egg from Bang Saphan district, and salted mackerel from Bang Saphan Noi district.
An auspicious occasion…
The eight chefs participating in the Taste of Prachuap have appeared on the “Top Chef Thailand”, “Iron Chef Thailand”, and “Team Chef Thailand” television programs. These are chefs that are at the top of their game, and the dishes they created elevated these simple ingredients to fine-dining indulgence.
The dishes we were presented may not be on the menu for each future Taste of Prachuap chef table event. But seeing what dishes we had on this evening will give you an idea of the culinary skill and inventiveness of each chef. I think when you see these dishes you’re going to want to see what menu these chefs come up with for their own events!
Chef Huto – Lotus from Sam Roi Yot
Lotus blossoms are more than just garnishment. In this dish, Chef Huto demonstrated the versatility of lotus as an ingredient by making a crab and lotus milk jelly salad with a savory cracker made from lotus root. We were advised to try the salad first then pour the soup over it. The soup instantly transformed this creamy crab salad into a delicious crab chowder!
Chef Huto has sharpened his culinary skills on the Top Chef Thailand Season 1 and the Team Chef Thailand 2018.
The first in the series of the Taste of Prachuap chef table events was hosted by Chef Huto. It took place the next day on Saturday, March 13th at the Oceanside Beach Club and Restaurant. Take a look at the restaurant’s Facebook post to see the beautiful dishes and inventive menu this top chef presented to his guests.
Chef Ken – Salted Egg from Bang Saphan
One of the tastiest dishes of the evening was this incredible pasta dish from Chef Ken featuring salted eggs from Bang Saphan district.
I know that Salted egg and pasta sound like a strange mix but it actually works really well. The cannelloni pasta is filled with a mixture of mascarpone, salted egg mousse, and crab meat. A drop of lemon panda gel gives an extra burst of flavor. This was one of my favorite dishes.
Chef Ken will host his Taste of Prachuap chef’s table on Friday, April 23rd at S.Ken’s Bistro in Hua Hin. He has appeared on Iron Chef Thailand 2018 and has worldwide experience in the kitchens of five-star hotels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If you’re not able to attend this chef’s table you can still experience his amazing cooking at his namesake bistro!
Chef Tai – Jackfruit from Kui Buri
I’ve used jackfruit in my own kitchen to substitute for meat. I can make a mean BBQ “Pork” sandwich with some shredded young jackfruit. But this dish was upper-level cooking. Using jackfruit from Kui Buri district, Chef Tai prepared a special grilled wrapped young jackfruit which was blended with curry paste and mashed jackfruit seeds into a pâté consistency, topped with chili-jackfruit sauce and served on a fried jackfruit leaf.
If I could find a place in Bangkok that sold jackfruit pâté like this I’d be a repeat customer. It is seriously tasty.
Chef Tai will host her Taste of Prachuap chef’s table event Friday, May 21st at her restaurant, Tanya’s, in Hua Hin. But if you are unable to attend this event you can still enjoy her amazing cuisine by visiting her restaurant (by reservation only).
Chef James – Salted Mackerel from Bang Saphan Noi
I would never imagine salted mackerel being used as a taco filling. But Chef James blew me away with this dish. Using salted mackerel from Bang Saphan Noi district he created two special corn tortilla tacos.
One featured a mackerel ceviche topped with finger lime and the other was made with a salted mackerel chili paste mixture topped with sour cream. Mind blown!
Chef James will host his Taste of Prachuap on Friday, June 18th at the Oceanside Beach Club and Restaurant in Hua Hin. He has appeared on both the Top Chef Thailand Season 3 and the Team Chef Thailand 2018. If you miss this particular chef’s table and are in the Bangkok area, you can experience his fantastic cooking at Jamie’s Burgers. If you reach out to them he might even make you some salted mackerel tacos!
I plan to visit…
Chef Ton – Squid from Pran Buri
I’ve eaten some strange desserts in my life but this one takes the cake (pun intended). For this dessert dish, Chef Ton used sun-dried squid from the Pran Buri district to create a special squid ink coconut sorbet, sun-dried squid crumble, wasabi sprinkle, tentacle candy, and berries sabayon dessert.
Overall I actually enjoyed this dish with one exception, the squid roe sauce was a bit too fishy for me and probably the last thing I’d want to have with fresh berries. But the squid ink and coconut sorbet was really delicious (albeit teeth blackening). The caramelized tentacle candy was also a crunchy/chewy, sweet/salty treat.
During the 3 day/2 night tour that TAT put together, we had opportunities to visit some of the places that were producing the ingredients featured in the Taste of Prachuap menu. We visited the little fishing village in Pran Buri that processes the sun-dried squid for global distribution. Please take a look to see the industrious community in the above Facebook post.
Chef Ton will host his Taste of Prachuap chef’s table event on Saturday, July 10th at the Eureka Beach Café in Hua Hin. Judging by this dried squid dessert he’s sure to develop a menu that will take your tastebuds on an incredible adventure!
Chef Yord – Oysters from Mueang District
Chef Yord used fresh oysters from the Mueang district to create this delicious starter dish of oyster espuma and caviar sauce served in a hollowed eggshell perfect for dipping a slice of toasted brioche.
One of the goals of the Taste of Prachuap campaign was to demonstrate how simple local ingredients could be transformed into fine dining cuisine. Chef Yord did a fantastic job accomplishing this goal with this dish.
Chef Yord will host his Taste of Prachuap chef’s table menu on Saturday, August 14th at Duangkaew Cuisine in Hua Hin. He is the owner and chef of this establishment so if you’re not able to attend this event you can always visit to experience his expertise in contemporary French cuisine!
Chef Ploy – Pineapple from Hua Hin
To showcase the world-renowned fruit, Hua Hin’s Siam Gold (MD2) pineapple, Chef Ploy created this delicious dessert featuring pineapple choux au craquelin filled with pineapple cream served alongside a cottage cheese pineapple ice-cream topped with chunky nam pla whan sauce and crispy balsamic beetroot sponge cake.
Not only was it amazing just how many different things Chef Ploy could make with pineapple, but it was also incredible just how many flavors she could pull from such a simple fruit.
We had a chance to visit the Phet Rung Reung Pineapple Farm in Hua Hin which is the grower of the Siam Gold pineapples used in this dish. It was really interesting to see the massive fields of spiny fruit and to taste it freshly severed from the plant. Take a look at this Facebook post to see what these hard-working farmers are up to.
Chef Ploy will host her Taste of Prachuap chef’s table on Friday, September 17th at the Oceanside Beach Club and Restaurant in Hua Hin. A winner of numerous international cooking competitions, she is well known for her appearances in Top Chef Thailand Season 2.
Chef Pear – Coconut from Thap Sakae
For the final ingredient, Chef Pear introduced her amazing dessert dish using the Nok-Kum coconuts from Thap Sakae district. This dessert featured sautéed coconut and crab with Thai herbs in a crispy cup, topped with coconut mousse, alongside a coconut mousse-filled chocolate glaze coconut husk-looking shell, all served on a coconut crumble.
Though smaller than its counterparts, the Nok-Kum coconut packs a lot of flavors. In this dish Chef Pear expertly captures them all and presents them both beautifully and creatively.
During the TAT tour, we had the opportunity to visit the Thap Sakae Coconut Farm in the small town of Thap Sakae. The Nok-Kum coconut is considered a “mutant” varietal of the coconut tree. It is also called a “dwarf coconut” as it doesn’t grow very tall and produces large clusters of smaller coconuts that are able to be harvested at ground level. To see more about our experience check out this Facebook post.
Chef Pear will host her Taste of Prachuap chef’s table on Friday, December 10th at the Oceanside Beach Club and Restaurant in Hua Hin. She is well known for being the only female chef to represent on the Team Chef Thailand 2018.
I’m hungry. When and where?
The above picture shows a calendar of the Taste of Prachuap events, which chef is hosting it, and where it is being hosted. Each menu will be uniquely designed by the hosting chef but will include all of the ingredients noted so that you get a taste of what this province has to offer.
No matter which chef table event you choose you are sure to be in for a treat!
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to experience one or more of these Taste of Prachuap chef tables or visit any of the restaurants mentioned, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below, directly to me, or via message on either the Chow Traveller Facebook page or Chow Traveller Instagram (and feel free to like/follow these pages if you want to learn about more foodie gems). However you choose to reach out, I’d love to hear from you!