BY Lisa Lindblad
June 18, 2013
Chef Ian Kittichai
Chef Pongtawat “Ian” Chalermkittichai is Thailand’s first international “celebrity chef”. An unlikely candidate, Ian came from humble roots pushing a food cart through his Bangkok neighborhood as a child. Fate guided him to a culinary school scholarship, a French fine-dining apprenticeship in Sydney’s legendary Claude’s, and then pushed him to become the first Thai national in the world to become the Executive Chef of a 5-star hotel, the legendary Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok.
With a weekly cooking television show since 2001, Chef Mue Thong (Golden Hand Chef), which can currently be seen in over 70 countries around the world, his audience is truly global. Chef Chalermkittichai created the celebrated NYC restaurant, Kittichai Restaurant, in 2004. In 2008 he left to form his global food & beverage management and consulting firm, Cuisine Concept Co., Ltd., through which he created Murmuri in Barcelona and currently advises an impressive roster of 5-star hotels, restaurants, and food company clients worldwide. In 2010 he opened Thailand’s first gastro pub – Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar – in Bangkok and then his third signature Thai restaurant – KOH by Ian Kittichai – at the Intercontinental Marine Drive Hotel in Mumbai, India. In 2011 he opened Ember Room in New York City and re-launched Spot Dessert Bar, both with Chase Restaurant Group. Chef Ian released his first cookbook for the Thai language market in 2011 and will release an English version in 2012.
Issaya is the ground floor dining outlet that includes both a dining room and large outdoor terrace. The menu features Chef Ian’s unique signature Thai cuisine of traditional ingredients and flavors with international and progressive cooking methods. Some of Chef’s best known dishes, such as Red Chili-Glazed Seabass (Pla Aob Prik) and Jasmine Flower Flan (Kanom Dok Mali), as well as an ever-changing market menu that highlights the seasonal specials of the day, direct from the market, is the heart of the menu. Issaya also features Chef’s garden where guests can see aromatic Thai herbs grown year-round. Chef Ian is a pioneer in farm-to-table dining in Thailand and aims to incorporate his purity and freshness beliefs into Issaya. Issaya also features a large private dining room and lounge area that can be reserved for larger parties.