Founder & Managing Director, Cuisine Concept Co., Ltd.
Bangkok, Thailand http://cuisineconceptltd.com @iankittichai
Chef PONGTAWAT “IAN KITTICHAI” CHALERMKITTICHAI’s path to culinary success started from very humble beginnings in Bangkok accompanying his mother to the wet market at 3 a.m. to shop for her neighborhood grocery to studying in England and Australia to opening restaurants around the world. During his first career with the Four Seasons hotel group, Ian became in 1998 the first Thai national to become executive chef of a five-star hotel property. In 2004 he relocated to New York and created Kittichai Restaurant, which featured among Food & Wine’s Best New Asian Restaurants 2005 and Travel + Leisure’s Best New American Restaurants 2004, and appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, GQ, and the New York Times, among many others. In 2008 he left Kittichai Restaurant, formed his international food & beverage management and consulting firm, Cuisine Concept Co., Ltd., and opened the highly acclaimed Restaurant Murmuri in Barcelona, Spain. Currently his Cuisine Concept Co., Ltd. has some of the most recognizable international hotels, restaurants, and food companies on its client roster. In 2010, he opened Bangkok’s first gastro bar, Hyde & Seek, and the celebrated Koh by Ian Kittichai, his third signature Thai restaurant, in Mumbai, India. In 2011 he opened Ember Room, a progressive Thai comfort food restaurant, with Chace Restaurant Group, became a partner in and the culinary director of Spot Dessert Bar, both in New York City, and debuted his flagship Thai restaurant and lounge, Issaya Siamese Club, in Bangkok; it received the 21st position on the 2017 S. Pellegrino’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Also in 2012 he opened Smith, Bangkok’s first international “nose to tail” concept eatery, Asian bun eatery, Jum Mum, on St. Mark’s Place in New York City, and a second branch of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City. In 2014 Ian opened Issaya Cooking Studio in partnership with Sub-Zero & Wolf appliances, Issaya La Pâtisserie, and his Asian gastro bar, Namsaah Bottling Trust, in Bangkok. He is the author of Chef Ian’s Kitchen Revealed, a Thai-language cookbook that received the Gourmand Best Chef Cookbook: Thailand Award in 2011, of Issaya Siamese Club: Innovative Thai Cuisine by Chef Ian Kittichai, which placed third for the Best Cookbook of The Year 2014 by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and of La Pâtisserie Issaya Pastry Cookbook. In January 2012 Ian debuted to a 15,000,000 fan following as one of the permanent Iron Chefs on the Iron Chef Thailand television show. From 2001 to 2014 he hosted the weekly cooking show Chef Mue Tong (The Golden Hand Chef), which could be seen in over 70 countries. He can currently be seen as the lead judge on MasterChef Thailand. In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property, and the Agence Française de Développement honored Ian as the first Asia Geographical Indication Ambassador, and in 2015 he was awarded the designation of Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French Republic for his outstanding contributions to gastronomy and agriculture, the only Thai chef to have received this designation.