Page 1


Chris Craker and Colin Hastings “doing their bit” to help clean up Pattaya and its beaches

SOB Save Our Beaches “Do your bit” Plastic is the scourge of our seas and beaches. There’s no getting away from it. It’s an eye-sore, ugly and unnecessary. Marine life, and therefore the food chain, is under threat from this growing man-made menace. So too is the environment. Once-magnificent, pristine beaches have been spoiled. All of us are responsible for this sorry state of affairs. We use far too much plastic and have no interest in what happens to it later. This has to stop. At the BigChilli, we’re launching an initiative called Save Our Beaches (SOB) with the aim of hopefully highlighting the efforts of individuals or groups to collect plastic bags and other rubbish piling up on Thailand’s seashores. We’ll publish in the magazine and post on our social media photos of anyone willing to spend a few moments of their time cleaning a beach. Join the drive to Save Our Beaches. Don’t let others do the work. Do your bit. OFF THE RECORD A family of four thought they’d save money by driving their car from Bangkok to Chiang Mai instead of going by plane. And it was….until a few days after they returned home. Through the post came a flurry of speeding tickets, twelve in all, each with a 1,000 baht fine. Nobody told them that the road between Thailand’s two biggest cities is riddled with speed cameras. FOR pub lovers…… Recently closed Molly Malone’s isn’t going to re-open in new premises on Convent Road after all. The pub was not granted a license to operate, almost certainly because of its location opposite a major school. Its owners are now looking for

a new site in the same area. Meanwhile, Shenanigan’s on the corner of Patpong and Suriwongse roads was due to launch at the beginning of this month, to be followed shortly by the newly renovated Pintsman pub on Silom Road. Hiccups on the BTS Skytrain recently showed just how dependent Bangkok has become on the system. It also serves as a warning of what can happen when there is a fault, which is inevitable, and the misery that can ensue. And because the current network is inter-connected, all services are affected. Fortunately, the extensions planned for the city’s mass transit network work independently and will have learned from the BTS present problems. editorbigchilli

8

TheBigChilli

PUBLISHER Colin Hastings editorbigchilli@gmail.com EDITOR Nina Hastings ninabigchilli@gmail.com SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Rojjana Rungrattwatchai sendtorose@gmail.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Thana Pongsaskulchoti thanabigchilli@gmail.com ACCOUNTING MANAGER Janjira Silapapairson janbigchilli@gmail.com ACCOUNTING ASSISTENT Wijittra Yanghong ballbigchilli@gmail.com ART & PRODUCTION Arthawit Pundrikapa, Jaran Lakkanawat PHOTOGRAPHY JL & AP CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Drew McCreadie, Maxmilian Wechsler

TheBigChilliMag

thebigchillimagazine

No part of this magazine may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission from The BigChilli Co., Ltd. The opinions and views of the writers are not necessarily the views of the publishers. All details are deemed correct at the time of print, the publisher, the editor, employees and contributors can not be held responsible for any errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may occur. The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or amend any submitted artwork, photographs, illustrations and manuscripts. The BigChilli welcomes unsolicited contributions but assumes no responsibility for the safe-keeping or return of such materials damaged or lost in transit.

The BigChilli Co., Ltd. 8/2 FMA Group Building, 5th Floor, Room 501, Convent Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500. ☎ 02-635-5085, ☎ 081-358-1814 Fax: 02-635-5086 :thebigchillimagazine@gmail.com :thebigchilli.com


News

10

TheBigChilli


These beautiful grounds will disappear next year when the British Embassy closes

TheBigChilli

11


News

12

TheBigChilli


TheBigChilli

13


Travel

Hotel of the month

S

TEP back in time to a more leisurely era at Baan 2459, an architecturally striking and beautifully maintained guesthouse in Bangkok’s historic Chinatown. Built during the reign of King Rama 6 in 1916, Baan 2459 is widely acknowledged as a heritage site with many of the features of the original building still intact. It has been owned over the years by successive generations of the Vadanyakul family, who have ensured it remains a cultural masterpiece.   The guesthouse features four exquisite guestrooms named Two, Four, Five and Nine, plus a suite. Despite their deliberately created old-world look, each of these spacious rooms is equipped with all modern facilities such as Wireless Internet, Cable TV, air conditioning, complimentary toiletries and free minibar. Complimentary breakfast

14

TheBigChilli

Baan 2459 – a masterpiece from another era

is served to all guests. The suite has a private entrance, high ceiling and tiled floor, which has been carefully preserved since early 1900’s. Baan 2459 is set in a richly diverse neighborhood, with numerous ubiquitous Chinese shops and merchants working alongside outlets owned by local Muslims. The area has many other interesting sites along Song Wad Road.   It’s only an eight-minute walk from MRT Hua Lamphong, and close Yaowarat shopping street, Wat Traimit and the Golden Buddha temple.

Baan 2459. 98 Phat Sai Road, Samphanthawong, Samphanthawong, Bangkok. 082 393 2459. www.baan2459.com


02

11 great things to see and do in Bangkok & beyond …

THE HOT LIST

By Morgan Thanarojpradit

16

TheBigChilli

01 01 Nine Inch Nails

14 August Moonstar Studio Nine Inch Nails were formed in 1988 by Trent Reznor and are known for their incendiary live experience, their intense and alienated lyrics to their controversial music videos. The band have released eight studio albums, won two Grammys, and sold more than 30 million records worldwide. www.ticketmelon.com

02 Bangkok Triathlon 2018

7 July and 8 July Rama VIII Bridge The Sahaviriya-Bangkok Triathlon 2018 is back! After a two-year hiatus, you will get a chance to once again Swim the River of Kings, Ride the Corridors of Marvels and Run the Streets of Smile in the heart of Bangkok. The two-day event will

05 take place on 7 and 8 July 2018 with three different race distances on offer. www.gotorace.com

03 Bangkok 20th International Festival of Dance and Music

12 Sept - 18 Oct Thailand Cultural Centre Celebrating two exciting decades with over a thousand artistes, the Festival opens with two great legends: the supremely talented Zubin Mehta and the world’s oldest opera theatre, San Carlo in Naples, Italy. Also including Moscow State Classical Ballet, Karlsruhe Theatre, Singapore Dance Company, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra, and many more. Eighteen scintillating events. Don’t miss them! www.bangkokfestivals.com

04 Celine Dion

23 July Impact Arena World-renowned singer Celine Dion arrives in Bangkok on her highly anticipated LIVE 2018 Tour for a show at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani on Monday 23 July. Performing here for the first time, fans can expect to hear many of their faves including My Heart Will Go On and Because You Loved Me. Tickets range from B2,000-B15,000. www.thaiticketmajor.com

05 Daughtry

15 July BCC, Central Plaza Ladprao With sales of over 8 million albums in America, DAUGHTRY is coming to Bangkok to rock the town and turn the stage into an awesome spectacle of non-stop chart-topping hit after hit action. Chart-toppers like “It’s Not Over”, “Home”, and “Over


10

07

04

03 06

08 You” are likely to be played to make the crowd roar at what will be a real party night. www.thaiticketmajor.com

06 Rooftop Jazz Night

Every Saturday Sofitel So Bangkok Sathorn Live jazz under the open night sky 29 floors above the city streets, where sultry jazz meets a sexy rooftop vibe. Jazz chanteuse Athalie de Koning and Jazziam jazz up your Saturday evenings with her soulful jazz repertoire. Every Saturday at Park Society Terrace, 8pm - 11pm.  +66 2624 0000

07 Jog&Joy Mini Marathon

22 July Suan Luang Rama 9 Park

Fun early morning mini marathon with some cash prizes and a trophy for some winners, but all runners get a jogging shirt, racenap, medal, goodie bag, insurance and food. And three minibus pick up points to bring you to the race start! www.jogandjoy.com

08 Pattaya Marathon 2018

15 July Pattaya Beach Road Come join in with a great crowd to achieve whichever distance suits you best: 3km, 10km, 21km, or 42km. The greater your achievement, the better you can reward yourself! https://www.facebook. com/PattayaMarathon-366422933378043

09 Princess Scheherazade Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

6th & 7th July Mahidol University Taiwanese violinist Yu Chien Tseng in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No 2, perfectly paired in the second half where the violin weaves its sensuous melody as Scheherazade in Rimsky- Korsakov’s portrait of a sultan’s wife. www.thaiticketmajor.com

10 Sensation Rise

29 July BITEC Sensation is returning to Bangkok! At Rise, everyone will unite in white and synchronise their hearts to the rhythm of the music. Brought to life by world-class performers

Whoisjody, Dirty South, Mr White, KO:YU, Dannic, Sam Feldt Live, Dash Berlin, MC GEE with fantastic special effects, this adventure will be an uplifting and mind-blowing experience. www.sensationthailand.com

11 Transfigured Night Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra

13th & 14th July Mahidol University Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) stands as one of his most important early works. Taiwanese piano soloist Ting Chia Hsu joins a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 3. www.thaiticketmajor.com

TheBigChilli 17


Insight

MIKE ‘SPIKEY’ WATKINS profile

DESCRIBED AS ONE OF THE MOST COLOURFUL AND CONTROVERSIAL CHARACTERS IN WELSH RUGBY HISTORY, MIKE ‘SPIKEY’ WATKINS IS RETIRED FROM THE GAME HE LOVED WITH A PASSION AND NOW LIVES IN BANGKOK WITH HIS THAI WIFE. SPIKEY IS A GREAT SOCIALIZER AND ENJOYS NOTHING MORE THAN RECALLING HIS LIFE AND CAREER AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF RUGBY. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

18

NAME: MICHAEL JOHN WATKINS AGE: 60 PLUS BORN: ABERCARN, WALES NICKNAME: SPIKEY PERSONAL MOTTO: NICE TO BE IMPORTANT, BUT MORE IMPORTANT TO BE NICE COMPANY: RETIRED BUT WORK IN P.R. FOR RSM EDUCATION: CWM CARN HIGH SCHOOL, WALES FAMILY: TWO DAUGHTERS, FIVE GRANDSONS BACK IN WALES; THAI WIFE ‘K MAEW’ AND TWO ADOPTED CHILDREN HOW LONG IN THAILAND: 12 YEARS WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE: FIRST VISIT ON HOLIDAY 30 YEARS AGO AND THEN RETURNED TO PLAY GOLF AND SPORTS DESCRIBE YOURSELF: EX RUGBY PLAYER AND RACONTEUR SPECIAL TALENTS: HOOKER WHAT AGE DID YOU FIRST PLAY RUGBY: TWELVE WHO DID YOU PLAY FOR: AFTER SCHOOL, JOINED CARDIFF AGED 18, PLAYED FOR FIRST TEAM AT 21 AND AFTER ONLY SIX GAMES IN FIRST TEAM GOT INTO THE WELSH TEAM SQUAD. PLAYED FOR NEWPORT AND CAPTAINED THE TEAM 1981-87 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: ONLY PLAYER IN HISTORY OF WELSH RUGBY WHO CAPTAINED WALES ON HIS DEBUT AND WON (AGAINST IRELAND IN 1984). GOING ON TO WIN THREE MORE CAPS FOR WALES MAGIC MOMENTS: PLAYED FOR CARDIFF AGAINST NEW ZEALAND TWICE, ARGENTINA, ITALY, ROMANIA, JAPAN AND THE BARBARIANS (FOR NEWPORT). ALSO BEATING ENGLAND BY A RECORD SCORE AT TWICKENHAM. IT WAS PLAYED DURING THE MINERS’ STRIKE SO HAD SPECIAL SYMBOLISM

TheBigChilli

Spikey with his wife at his stepdaughter's recent wedding in Bangkok

• ANYTHING ELSE: I PLAYED DURING THE AMATEUR ERA – SO NO BIG MATCH FEES. LUCKILY MY FAMILY HAD A HAULAGE BUSINESS SO I COULD GET TIME OFF, BUT FELL OUT WITH MY DAD OVER PLAYING TOO OFTEN • ANYTHING MORE: I WAS ON THE BENCH DURING WALES’ GOLDEN ERA 17 TIMES BEFORE GETTING BANNED. AND I TOURED AUSTRALIA WITH WALES IN 1978 • BEST PLAYER YOU EVER FACED: TERRY HOLMES • BEST PLAYER TODAY: RICHIE MCCAW, THOUGH HE RETIRED RECENTLY • BEST EVER TEAM: NEW ZEALAND IN THE DAYS OF MURRAY MEXTED AND ANDY DALTON • DIRTIEST PLAYER: APART FROM ME? • WORST MOMENT: GETTING ARRESTED IN A CARDIFF NIGHTCLUB FOR BEING DRUNK AND DISORDERELY. IT WAS BEFORE AN UPCOMING INTERNATIONAL MATCH. I WAS BANNED UNOFFICIALLY BY THE WELSH RUGBY UNION FOR FIVE YEARS, SO HAD TO WAIT TO 1984 TO GET PICKED • BEFORE YOUR FIRST WELSH CAP: I NEVER LOST HEART ABOUT PLAYING FOR WALES. MEANWHILE I MADE SURE I WAS A NIGHTMARE FOR ANYBODY I PLAYED AGAINST • RUGBY IN YOUR DAY OR AS IT’S PLAYED TODAY: AS IT


Holding the ball for Wales against England at Twickenham

Spikey with Wales' top points scorer of all time, Neil Jenkins

WAS, BUT WITH TODAY’S PAY • WHEN ENGLAND PLAY SCOTLAND OR IRELAND OR EVEN FRANCE AND THE ALL BLACKS, WHO DO YOU CHEER: ENGLAND AGAINST SCOTLAND, IRELAND AGAINST ENGLAND; ENGLAND AGAINST FRANCE; ENGLAND AGAINST THE ALL BLACKS • WHO’S GOING TO WIN THE RUGBY WORLD CUP 2019: NEW ZEALAND • REGRETS IN RUGBY: WAS OFFERED A LOT OF MONEY TO PLAY RUGBY LEAGUE BUT TURNED IT DOWN BECAUSE I WANTED TO PLAY FOR WALES. HAD I BEEN ALREADY CAPPED, I WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER AND GONE OVER. • IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE: TALLER • MOST INTERESTING EXPERIENCE: LIVING IN THAILAND AND CHANGING MY LIFE • MOST SHOCKING EXPERIENCE: BANNED THREE TIMES FOR DRINK DRIVING • MOST INTERESTING PERSON YOU’VE MET IN THAILAND:

Ready to take on all-comers

GARETH HUGHES OF RSM • BIGGEST BORE: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE? • HIGH POINT IN LIFE / WHILE IN THAILAND: MARRYING MAEW, ALSO WALKING DOWN THE AISLE MY STEPDAUGHTER DURING HER RECENT MARRIAGE • LOW POINTS IN THAILAND: NONE • OTHER THAN THE TRAFFIC, WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE DIFFERENT IN BANGKOK: FEWER DOGS • BEST PLACE FOR HOLIDAY IN THAILAND: SO MANY TO CHOOSE FROM • BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED: NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM • WHERE DO YOU HANG OUT: MOLLY MALONE’S • MOST HATED THAI DISH EVER: PALAA • WHERE ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE: EL SALVADOR • FINALLY: WHILE LIVING IN THAILAND I’VE WRITTEN MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY ‘SPIKE 2 HARD TO HANDLE’ – WHICH I WOULDN’T HAVE DONE LIVING IN THE UK

TheBigChilli

19


BANGKOK’S LATEST ‘IT’ SPOT FEELS LIKE A SLICE OF BROOKLYN – THE CREATIVE DISTRICT By Rodd Chant

The city’s oldest quarter beside the Chao Phraya River is home to an engaging mix of fresh creative energy, modern laid-back dining and old-school Thai-Chinese enterprise TheBigChilli

21


Cover Story

22

TheBigChilli


T

HE oldest road in Bangkok, Charoenkrung Road, has given birth to an entirely new area - the Creative District. Scattered throughout a myriad of sois and nestled amongst aging shophouses, food carts, and mechanic workshops you'll find a new breed of creative makers and doers, a mix of local and expat creative entrepreneurs, all bringing a new kind of energy to an old neighbourhood. The creative groundswell started to take hold in 2012 with the opening of the eclectically named Speedy Grandma (the name is a nod to a local legend about an elderly woman rumored to haunt the streets at night). The brainchild of Thomas Menard, who hails from France, and local artist Unchalee Anantawat, the space on Charoenkrung Soi 28 is home to an art gallery and bar and it has been known to hold some pretty lively events. Little may they both have known at the time but they were at the forefront of igniting a new creative energy in the area.

Thomas Menard Q: Did you immediately see the potential of the area? A: “Yes, I saw the potential immediately because the area is so well located (Chinatown, Silom, Chao Phraya River) and Charoenkrung is the first road in Bangkok, so there are many old buildings, and very lively sois. It’s a rare part of the city where you can actually walk around

and observe artisans, mechanics, metal shops, retail shops of all kind of motor engineering workshops, small fresh markets, small Chinese temples, historical Chinese settler’s houses, converted warehouses, art galleries... I loved Talad Noi for all those reasons. The Creative District is now emphasizing and developing this community into a interesting destination and blend of

upcoming creative businesses and old craftsmanship together.” Thomas Menard - Speedy Grandma, Soy Sauce Factory, Soulbar. But even prior to the arrival of Speedy Grandma two Belgians fell in love with the charm of the neighbourhood. Pieter Compernol and Stephanie Grusenmeyer, founders of the sleek and desirable furniture design company P. Tendercool, settled in 12 years ago.

TheBigChilli

23


Cover Story Peter Compernol & Stephanie Grusenmeyer Founders & Design Directors, P. Tendercool Q: What attracted you both to this area? A: “Stephanie and I used to be dealers in Oriental art, we have been visiting for 25 years now and always stayed in this area as it is the Oldest part of town, near always exciting Chao

mahased, Jua, Maison Close, Tropic City,… not to mention what happens a bit further at Soi Nana in Chinatown. Warehouse 30 runs regular exhibitions, we are converting our warehouse into exhibition-space, Atty relentlessly puts her shoulders under the increasingly popular Gallery Hopping nights. This is just the start.”

Great minds think alike

Phraya River. We’ve always found this a very authentic part of the city and love the small shops in Talad Noi leading up to Chinatown. We loved it so much that 12 years ago we renovated three shophouses, now known as Speedy Grandma. When our current gallery became available for rent we did not hesitate one second: an art deco gem in not exactly high street. We figured that if we were good enough, people would find us. They did.” Q: Do you think the district will continue to evolve? A: “We are convinced it will. Just check the numbers of bars, restaurants, galleries which have popped up in recent years: 80/20 restaurant, Black pig Tattoo, 100

24

TheBigChilli

A collective of like-minded individuals are focused on continuing to spearhead the development of the Creative District; and so far it seems to be working. One of the key groups championing the area is The Creative District Foundation, a registered non-profit driven by local private active citizens and permanent residents, working voluntarily to improve livability and livelihood for those living and working in the area while developing it into a creative hub of the capital. The foundation is but one of a few organizations working to realise the potential of the Creative District. It places the preservation and protection of current local way of life and businesses above all else while encouraging new developments, particularly responsible and creative ones. Its vision is to have a district that is economically robust and diverse, with new innovative and creative products and services standing side by side with traditional ones that were there first.

Some luxury hotels in the area have seen the benefit of the Creative District as an added experience for their guests. “For the Peninsula Bangkok the Creative District is the perfect representation of Thai creativity, entrepreneurialism, heritage, harmony, discovery & surprise. I have yet to meet a guest not captivated by the sensory overload an exploratory walk offers. We are using it to differentiate a stay by the river and demonstrate clearly why this is indeed the centre of Bangkok once again.” Geoffrey Webb, Director of Marketing, Peninsula Hotel, Bangkok Over the past five years many more newcomers have moved in, all bringing something different with their own takes on what to inject into the area. Two of the biggest arrivals have been Warehouse 30 and the new TCDC (Thailand Creative & Design Centre). Opening its doors in August of 2017 Warehouse 30 would be happily at home in Brooklyn, New York. Inhabiting a space of what was once a World War 2 storage facility, and under the guidance of renowned and visionary architect Duangrit Bunnag, Warehouse 30 has become one of the centrepiece destinations in the district. When you explore what lies behind the towering glass doors you’ll soon discover there is pretty much something for everyone such as fashion and accessories from local and international designers, vintage clothing and bric-a-brac, books, food, coffee and even documentary film screenings.


River City: One of the long standing presence’s in the area has recently launched their new RCB Photographer’s Gallery on the second floor with a show with renowned photographer Patrick Brown. Charoen Krung Rd, Soi 24 Serindia Galler y: Showing fine art and photography exhibitions by international artists. OP Garden, 36 Charoen Krung Rd. Atta Galler y: This gallery’s sole focus is contemporary art jewelry. OP Garden, 36 Charoen Krung Rd.

The new TCDC building makes a statement on Charoenkrung Road, attached to the beautifully renovated 75 year old Grand Postal Building, it is a gleaming creative edifice that offers up exhibitions, workshops, co-working spaces, a creative library, events and much more. TCDC’s move from the sixth floor of the Emporium department store on Sukhumvit Road, Phrom Phong to Charoenkrung Road played an important role in the confirmation of the area as a creative destination in Bangkok. As you would expect in a ‘Creative District’ art can be found everywhere with a number of art galleries and unique art spaces calling the district home and many of Bangkok’s best street artists have left their mark on the sides of many buildings and walls adding to the artistic flavour of the area.

Soy Sauce Factor y: Another of Thomas Menard’s creative ventures, this art space and bar focuses on photographic exhibitions and good drinks. 11/1 Charoen Krung Soi 24, Bangkok, Thailand

Most Galler y: Creative space dedicated to photography. 672/63 Charoen Krung Soi 26 1 Projects: Located on the ground floor of the same building as Most Gallery. Showcasing the works of local and international emerging Asian artists.

Maison Close: Part art gallery, bar and tattoo shop that hosts weekly events, exhibitions, movie nights, an underground film festival, and more. 397/399 Charoen Krung Soi 45 Galerie Adler: Contemporary international art gallery found on the same Soi as Outlaw Cuisine and Maison Close cocktail bar. 373/2 Charoen Krung Soi 45

Speedy Grandma: Thomas Menard and Unchalee Anantawat’s first foray into the neighbourhood and the destination that started it all. This art gallery and event space focuses on experimental art and ideas. 672/50-52 Charoen Krung Soi 28

TheBigChilli

25


Cover Story Chet Adkins, Chef/Co-Owner of Jua.

These areas are congested and overcrowded with tall buildings and masses of people.

Q: Why did you decide to open in this area?

Q: Any other plans in the Creative District beyond Jua?

A: We chose the creative district area due to its proximity to the river and the feel of being in “real” Bangkok. It doesn’t have the feel of other areas like Thonglor, Ekamai and the like.

A: We are planning to do more projects in the area as we really feel it is a better place to live and work. There are not to many areas in Bangkok like this and with groups

Eliseo Barbàra, MOST Galler y + MOST 2414 Digital Marketing Agency Q: What’s missing from the Creative District? ‘I would like to see more entrepreneurs and startups move into the Creative District, from industries not strictly connected to art and food & beverage. It would be great to have people doing innovative stuff such as mobile and web solutions, content development, and media production.’ If it’s some personal art you’re after, the ink on skin type of art, then head to Black Pig Tattoos where you’ll find New York transplant Luke Satora, a Japanese-American tattoo artist. Luke made the move to Bangkok in 2016 and gravitated to the Creative District. You can find his shop positioned above the Tropic City bar. Speaking of bars, when it comes to food and beverage offerings in the area, and aside from the delicious local street food delights, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

26

TheBigChilli

trying to protect the architecture and soul of this area we would rather be here. Refurbishing older buildings rather than building new ones makes a place hold on to its heritage and history which we feel is important in a city like Bangkok. Jua: This Izakaya style restaurant and bar opened by chef Chet Adkins (ex - Ku De Ta, Bangkok) and photographer Jason Lang serves up a fresh and innovative Japanese menu and a list of enticing drinks. 672/49 Charoenkrung Soi 28, Bangkok, Thailand


Take the scenic route and arrive at the Si Phraya Pier.

designed two-level spot is yet another welcome offering in the district. Maison Chatenet, Warehouse 30 Charoenkrung Soi 30, Bangkok, Thailand

Tropic City: Downstairs from Black Pig Tattoo, Tropic City is a cocktail bar founded by two Swedes - Sebastian De La Cruz and Philip Stefanescu that specializes in gin based creations. The vibrant tropical exterior makes it easy to find on Charoen Krung Soi 28. 672/65 Charoen Krung Soi 28, Bangkok, Thailand Outlaw Cuisine: Owned by artist turned chef Romain Guiot, Outlaw Cuisine offers up a Mediterranean focused menu. Keeping with the vibe of the area the exterior of the restaurant is emblazoned with mural artwork. 415 Charoen Krung Soi 45, Bangkok, Thailand

80/20: Around the corner from Little Market is this innovative Thai restaurant with a menu that comprises of 80% locally grown and organically produced ingredients. Chef Napol “Joe” Jantraget serves up some truly eclectic dishes that are perfectly at home in a creative district. 80/20, 1052-1054 Charoen Krung Soi 26, Bangkok, Thailand

Maison Chatenet: Situated on the corner at the entrance to Warehouse 30 sits this taste of France helmed by chef/proprietor Marcel Chatenet. From coffee and pastries to quiche and porchetta sandwiches, this sleek

Foojohn: You’ll discover a mix of crepes, wine, American barbeque, and live music spread throughout this multi-level venue. 831 Charoen Krung Soi 31, Bangkok, Thailand You can also get your groove on in the Creative District. If it’s some live music you’re after you can’t go wrong with SoulBar found at 945 Charoen Krung Rd., a vibrant and intimate venue that caters to fans of good soul and funk music. So as you can see Bangkok truly has a creative destination that is as diverse at the city is itself. There’s sure to be more additions to the area coming soon as it evolves and develops, because the energy that exists now shows no signs of dissipating. Rodd Chant is an Australian and an ex-New Yorker, he spent many years working as a Creative Director for major advertising agencies in Sydney, Singapore, and New York and he has a passion for all things creative, especially in the Asia region. You can find him on Instagram @roddchant

TheBigChilli

27


Cover Story

NomineeS Thailand International Business Awards

2018

Interview by Rodd Chant

Belgian couple who are turning the tables on design with their bespoke furniture With a little help from Salvador Dali’s bronze master, P. Tendercool has become a key component of Bangkok’s Creative District

I

N late December 2004 Belgian couple Pieter Compernol and Stephanie Grusenmeyer arrived in Bangkok with their five-yearold son in tow. What was supposed to be a one-year sabbatical took a different turn and they are still here today. From their beginnings as antique dealers they are now at the helm of stylish and sustainable bespoke furniture brand P. Tendercool. When did you first start visiting Southeast Asia? Stephanie: I first started visiting at age 12 as my parents were antique dealers who were dealing in Asian art

28

TheBigChilli

and I used to travel with them. Later on I did a lot of backpacking trips to the region. Pieter: When Stephanie and I first met I vividly remember her saying ‘One day I want to live in Asia’. I was originally a law student but Stephanie’s family introduced me the antique world and it changed everything for me. We opened our first antique shop in Antwerp when I was 24. The fun part about being an antiques dealer is you travel a lot and we could come to Bangkok three to four times per year. What motivated you to make the move to Bangkok?

Stephanie: I had always wanted to live here. Pieter: We had been running our gallery for 12 years when two things happened. Our lease had ended and we had made a major sale to a U.S. client. I was on my way to sign a new lease where we always wanted to be in the best street and location in Antwerp then for some reason I picked up my phone and called Stephanie and said - ‘Darling, remember all those years ago you said you wanted to go to move to Asia, so why don’t we? We could go for a year and then come back and show our clients what we have done.’ She said ‘Okay’. So we held a big sale and


Pieter: It was a very local area. Which we liked. For twenty years we had been visiting and this was our spot in Bangkok as we were always at River City and OP. How did the idea for a bespoke, made-to-order luxur y furniture brand come about? Pieter: Well the renovated shophouse was a direct link. One night we had a client visiting from New York and we invited him to our home for dinner, he loved what we had done with our place. He said he had a condo in Central Park and asked if we could do something similar for him. Even though we are not interior designers we said - “Sure, no problem”. He gave us carte blanche for the interior and the antique collection. For that specific project we ended up in Vietnam browsing antique shops, in one of those shops we saw two slabs of wood, amazing hardwood, and as antique dealers we recognize nice wood, so we immediately bought those two pieces. Our next question to the shop owner was “Can you find us some more?” He said “Of course”. So we rented a little truck with him and we went wood shopping. So that was the start. Soon we had forty to fifty slabs. within six months we were on our way. We arrived in December 2004. Stephanie’s Father was already living in Bangkok at the time in Talad Noi.

abandoned and empty shophouses, so we took them and started to do some renovations. That is now the location of Speedy Grandma.

So what happened when you arrived?

Stephanie: We decided that the ground floor would be for furniture and storage but we had two empty floors above so we decided we may as well live there temporarily until we find something in an area we want to live. But that temporary situation became five years.

Pieter: Things changed fast. A space became available at OP and it was a great space and no key money was required, so we took it. That was two weeks after we had arrived. Then Stephanie’s father said that we need somewhere to live and to store our items, he had a warehouse opposite Si Phraya and he said the place behind him was available, it was three

What was Talad Noi like in 2005? Stephanie: There we no expats in this area. No little restaurants, no galleries.

TheBigChilli

29


Cover Story Stephanie: Then I asked what are we going to do with all this wood? We trust our guts. We asked ourselves what shall we do with that? We had all these slabs lined up on the ground floor of shophouse. So one day we said maybe we can make tables? Pieter: We said let’s make the most beautiful tables that we could think of. And somehow we thought with our knowledge of culture and furniture in Asia we were sure we could create something people would like.So that was the business plan. So where did the name P. Tendercool come from? Stephanie: Well, it is derived from two of our original clients. The aforementioned New York client who asked us to work on his Central Park condo, his name is Evan Cole, so the ‘cool’ in P. Tendercool comes from there. The ‘Tender’ comes from another U.S. client that we mentioned earlier we had made a major sale to just prior to our decision to leave Belgium, her name is Lorraine Letendre. The ‘P’ is for Pieter because when we were in Belgium our business was under

my name ST Grusenmeyer due to my family being so well known in the business, so everyone thought Pieter was Mr.Grusenmeyer. Pieter: The name is an homage to the two people who helped us start this journey and it is also a reference to ‘tenderfoot’ as we were new to this and just starting out. When did you move into your current space, which is amazing I must say.

has a collection like it. We travelled around and met with guys who buy up old rice barns, old houses, pillars and beams and depending on the social status of the families who occupied the properties you could find some amazing hardwoods. We only work with reclaimed woods. We don’t kill trees. We make the effort every month or every two months to go and source beautiful woods.

Pieter: We opened here almost 10 years ago. We fell in love with the space. A colleague of Stephanie’s father used to occupy this space and he mentioned he was moving out and asked if we were interested in moving in, to which we of course said - “Yes”. Where do you source your wood? Stephanie: We have a selection of about 200 planks. That includes wood from Vietnam and Thailand. Pieter: We have collected those over 12 years. It’s a super rare collection, in fact I don’t know of anyone who Tell us about your connection to Salvador Dali.

Khun Sek

Armando

30

TheBigChilli

Khun Song

Pieter: From the start we knew we wanted to work with bronze. As antique dealers we love the patina of bronze. We knew the technology existed in the region as it is part of the history here, just look at the Buddha statues. So we said bronze and wood, that will work. We needed to translate our ideas into actual creations. We spent the best part of two years looking for the right people who could help with the bronze work we needed done, many did not want to work with us as often we only needed two table legs cast at a time and most did not see the business in it, and then we met Armando through friends. He was in his late 60s, he’s a bronze master, he started out in Milano and did a lot of work for Salvador Dali. He saw our wood and said - “I will help you”. And he did. So for two years he worked with us on the designs, fine-tuning, defining what could be cast in bronze and what couldn’t.


Stephanie: He saw an opportunity to work on something different and he loved it. He loves a challenge. He’s 79 now and doesn’t want to retire. Pieter: He understood about doing one-offs and limited editions. He is truly an old school master. You started with tables but now you do more - how did that evolution happen? Stephanie: One day someone asked the question - “But what chairs do we put with your tables?” And we thought ‘hmmm, chairs’. That’s when we started making chairs. Pieter: It was market driven. Stephanie: Then we realized that once our clients bought a table and chairs they did not come back as they did not need to because they already have such a quality table that will last, so that is where the idea for sofas came along. Pieter: Also, we love designing tables but to do one thing for the rest of our lives that’s not us. You learn as you go. We had already developed our wood expertise and then we asked ourselves what else can we do with our expertise and that is why two years ago we started making sofas. You’ve recently opened PT Lab, can you tell us more about that?

Pieter: Armado suggested we find a space where we could do our own welding, construction, and more, beyond what was capable in our existing workshop. So last April we found an amazing space just five minutes’ walk from here and saw the possibilities, we renovated it for six months, we gutted the whole thing, it was an abandoned rice storage warehouse that sits right on a khlong. Armando helped us shop for and buy some good second-hand machines for welding. And then, for a couple of months Armando invited our people down to his factory in Rayong where he trained them. He transferred his knowledge to us. It was amazing. So now we can make what we need in-house and now that we have mastered the welding that will lead to even more designs. PT Lab will be a game changer for us. Have you had the same people working for you for a long time? Pieter: We started out with two brothers, Khun Sek and Khun Song, who were working in a factory two doors down from our original location and they started doing some work for us on the side on our wood and then soon were working for us fulltime. Then we brought in Eli who was our furniture restoration expert in Belgium. It was a great opportunity; our local Thai guys could teach him how they work with wood in Thailand and in turn he could teach them how he works with wood in Europe.

Stephanie: Khun Sek and Khun Song did not speak one word of English and Eli could not speak Thai, so that was a big challenge. Pieter: But they all had a common love for wood. So there was some sign language going on. But they understood each other and that was amazing. But we did realize communication would become a problem and we offered to get Khun Sek and Khun Song private English teachers. Khun Sek was very open to it. He now speaks fluent English. Plus, because he understood what we were making and our quality standards and he knows Thai woods I asked him to take-over buying the wood. He came back from his first trip and he had found the most amazing wood. And not only that, he told us how many pieces we could make with the wood he found. Stephanie: He had already calculated in his head what could be done. Pieter: Then I asked him to build his team to work with him, to find more people who he felt he could work with and who could do the job. He also does all the quality control, he is invaluable. So that was ten years ago and we still have the same team, a few had to leave due to family responsibilities, but that is the only reason they left. Khun Sek is now married, has a child, and owns his own house.

TheBigChilli

31


Cover Story Stephanie: They all got to know how we work and understood why we are picky about quality with the work. They learned a lot along the way and then we gave them a lot of freedom and responsibility, because what comes around goes around. We don’t treat them as workers, and they see that. We are all the same level here. We don’t sit in separate rooms or offices we all sit together. When we created PT Lab it was super important that we created a space that everyone wanted to work in, hence why we opened it up, painted it all white, there is an abundance of natural light, plus a lot of greenery right outside and of course the khlong. It’s a beautiful space to work from. Who buys your furniture? Is your market local, regional, or international? Pieter: 80% would be local customers. For years we’ve been thinking how could we grow? Working with resellers is not our thing. And we saw that online would become more important. That is why we have our own photo studio area. From the beginning we made sure we always had great photographs of everything we make. 1st Dibs is a very interesting platform for us and online sales are getting more and more important. Stephanie: If we do get a commission from a restaurant or hotel it is usually for a Chef’s table. Pieter: We also do boardroom tables and the like. Plus, all our sofas can be made for outdoors as well which is important in this region. What is the price range for your furniture? Pieter: Well, the sofas can start at 150,000 Baht to say 500,000 Baht depending on the design and fabric. Clients can choose their own fabrics. As for tables, an eight-seater can also start at 150,000 Baht but that can go up to 1,000,000 Baht or more depending on the wood. A table made of very rare wood could cost 1,500,000 Baht. We’ve set up our showroom to be like a ‘Look Mommy

32

TheBigChilli

what we can do’ room, to help us gauge what a client is looking for. I always ask a client what is your Plan A, don’t think about the price, if you could choose what would you like? Where do you get inspirations for your designs? Pieter: We travel a lot. We keep an open eye. We see possibilities everywhere. We always want to try new things. That’s why we call our new space a lab. We don’t do fairs, but we do go to Milan every two to three years to see what is happening. Stephanie: Now we are busy with shelves and bookcases, and we are also working on a chair with armrests, they are things we feel are missing. You're also involved with art and hold exhibitions in your showroom. Is this something you do regularly? Stephanie: We have been doing this for a few years now as we are in the Creative District. Every three months there is the gallery hopping nights, so since we don’t use the walls we thought it would be a nice combination. Plus having the art on the walls makes our showroom feel more like a living room. Pieter: You may have noticed we have the words ‘Cross Cultural Creations’ on the wall. We put that up ten years ago as we do believe how important it is to learn from others, so we meet with artists, we hear about their visions, they hear about our work, and we see if we can work together or not. You're part of the 'Creative District' and were in fact the first expat 'creativepreneurs' to move into the area, were you surprised to see how it has evolved? Pieter: I’m not surprised because we believed in it from day one. We saw all these warehouses sitting along the river and we could see the potential. And what is happening now is just the start. There’s so much creativity here. We just rented out part of our old

workshop, which is within Warehouse 30, to two Korean guys who worked on the First Class Suites for Air France. And you have guys like Thomas (Menard) who saw the potential of the area and started up his projects. One of the charms of the Talad Noi area and surrounding areas is that it still retains an old Bangkok charm, is that something that is important to you and others who have made this area home? Pieter: What we like so much about this area is that it is authentic. You still have the Mom & Pop shops that have been around for a hundred years. You still have all the motor mechanic workshops where they are cleaning up old car parts and reselling them. There are so many beautiful old shophouses and buildings. We really do love the authenticity. What is ahead for P. Tendercool? Pieter: Well of course we have PT Lab, which is the first steps of something really nice. Because there we have enough space, we can grow with more people, but also more expertise, we would like to get someone in who works with leather and that could lead to many things, and as mentioned we have started selling on 1st Dibs, that is the only platform we are working with but there will be more in the future. We want to grow without compromising our values, quality or service. So to wrap up, tell us, as expats, what do you love about life in Bangkok? Stephanie: The diversity, the fact that you have choices in everything - from food, to clothing, and so much more. We can focus on what we love to do. The quality of life. Pieter: The general acceptance, people don’t judge very fast here. It’s also such a safe place. Thailand is an amazing place. We could never have something like this in somewhere like Hong Kong. They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but I think it’s pretty green here. >>


In conjunction with

•Charity •Consultancy •Discount Trade

•Entertainment •Fashion •F&B Drinks

•F&B Food •Graphic Design •Health And Fitness

•IT/Tech •Manufacturing •Media & PR

•Property •Retail •Tailoring

•Travel And Hospitality •Others (TBA)


Cover Story

WAREHOUSE 30 New project featuring historic warehouses transformed into a community of creative businesses, open-plan markets and multi-purpose studio at the heart of the Creative District

A

major feature of the Creative District is a fascinating and historically important compound of seven old wooden warehouses built between the years of 1943 and 1945 that have been transformed into a destination in their own right, luring shoppers, tourists and those who enjoy a more simple and relaxed alternative to today’s modern shopping malls. Known as Warehouse 30, the project is a wonderful reminder of the once-thriving river traffic that defined this part of Bangkok and the need to preserve the area’s amazing cultural heritage. Duangrit Bunnag, the architect-project owner, has kept all the original buildings as they have always been. “We put in modern facilities such as electricity, plumbing, air-conditions, and glass windows without changing the original charm of the warehouses,” he explained. Located in the heart of the Creative District on Charoen Krung 30, Warehouse 30 has six more shophouses built in later eras, which will operate as a bistro, Thai restaurant-canteen style, and a day spa.

34

TheBigChilli


Wall art by Portuguese street artist VHILS outside the Embassy of Portugal next to Warehouse 30. For now, the project has four warehouses in operation: Warehouse No. 4: A fashion flagship store of Duangrit Bunnag's own brand, the "Lonely Two Legged Creature" Warehouse No. 5: A spacious cafe serving coffee and drinks by ‘Library’, light meals by ‘The Fox and The Moon’ and a cocktail bar by ‘Summer Heath.’ Warehouse N. 6: A flower shop by ‘Wallflowers’, a shop for super bike

rider's accessories by ‘8080 Café’ and a selected store for international brands of lifestyle items Warehouse No. 7: The Warehouse 30 Market is an open-plan market with assorted lifestyle products, arts, crafts, books, home decoration items, vintage corner, vinyl, organic mini supermarket and organic raw juice bar by "Raw & Real’, a multifunctional studio for activities such as yoga class and workshops and a screening room for documentary features by ‘Doc Club powered by Epson’.

Duangrit adds: “The businesses consisting within the project were carefully curated. We want it to be a community of creative businesses, with the consciousness to support community and environments. “We operate the Warehouse 30 with the attitude of fluidity, thinking outside of the box. Therefore, anything possible here, as long as it is not against the country law and common morality. Opening hours 11am to 8pm weekdays; 10.30am to 8.30pm weekends.

TheBigChilli

35


Bangkok’s new gastronomic Steakhouse

The Steakhouse Co. Bangkok brings high quality tender cuts of beef, sizzling with flavour, to the sparkling heart of Silom. Guests can choose their own cut and size from top quality steaks in a variety of cuts from USA and Australia plus a large selection of other house specials, accompanied by delicious desserts, cocktails and a range of imported Sake, beers, wines and spirits. Two minutes’ walk from the Sala Daeng BTS station, the Steakhouse Co. is open from 5pm 061-097-8325 office@thesteakhouseco.com

THE 7TH SO AMAZING CHEFS 2018 RETURNS WITH 14 MICHELIN STARS AND 21 CHEFS SO Amazing Chefs 2018 returns to Bangkok for its 7th year, bringing together 21 chefs representing 14 Michelin stars. Working with nine AccorHotels chefs, they will be taking diners on a gastronomic journey from September 14 – 23 at SO Sofitel Bangkok. The event features seven dinners and seven culinary activities, including cooking classes, a Sunday Drunch, Cheese@SO, Oyster Night, Dim Sum Pop-Up Dinner, Cheese & Grill Pop-Up Dinner, and a Mixologist Night. Activities culminate with chefs competing in a friendly Culinary Showdown. “What started as a gathering of 12 chefs eight years ago has since grown into an annual gastronomy showcase of 21 of the finest chefs from eight countries and three continents around the world. In recent years Bangkok has really started making a name for itself as a fine dining destination,” said Torsten Richter, General Manager of SO Sofitel Bangkok. New faces this year include James Noble, former chef of The Pink Geranium (**) in the UK and founder of The Boutique Farmers in Hua Hin, Thailand; Mario Barrios, former pâtissier of Librije's Zusje Amsterdam (**) in the Netherlands; Simon Scott, chef-owner of

Bistrot Saveurs (*) in Castres, France; Rob van der Veeken, chef of De Karpendonkse Hoeve (*) in Eindhoven, the Netherlands; Guy Lassausaie, chef-owner of Restaurant Guy Lassausaie (**) in Lyon, France; Bastian Falkenroth, chef-owner of U. das Restaurant (*) in Düsseldorf, Germany; Philippe Orrico, chef-owner of Upper Modern Bistro (*) and On Dining Kitchen & Lounge, both in Hong Kong. Representing the host venue is Thomas Smith, Head Culinary Designer at SO Sofitel Bangkok. The event also welcomes its mother-daughter duo: María José San Román is the chef-owner of Monastrell (*) in Alicante, Spain; and María Eugenia Perramón San Román is a director at her family tapas bar La Taberna del Gourmet in Alicante, Spain. Others making their debut include Nicolas Elalouf, owner of Man Mo, the world’s first contemporary dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong; and former ‘Best Young Cheesemonger in the World’ Leo Huguenin.

TheBigChilli

37


Scrapbook Last month’s foodie functions in focus

Chivas Regal VIP Room at Whisgars 23

Chivas Regal VIP Room was launched at Whisgars 23 with a unique cocktail “The Hamptons”. In addition, a sour and sweet “Nom de Plum” and sweet “Daphne” made a perfect party with the light spice cigar imported from Nicaragua Perdomo Habano Connecticut ready to serve along with Jazz band from Sunny Trio & Natt Buntita. Guests of Chivas and Whisgars experienced the Whisky tasting with Chivas Brand Ambassador Michael Timmins and enjoyed Whisgar’s recommended whisky cigar pairing Chivas Regal Mizunara which is the only Scotch whisky in the world that is matured in barrels made from Mizunara Oak from Japan. Whisgars 23 chusima@hathorgroup.com

YSIS ASIA celebrate 7th anniversary

Pesca Mar and Terra Bistro  Ekkamai soi 12 celebrated seven years providing high quality service and fine experiences. The fresh-faced entrepreneur team has worked hard to reach a high level of efficiency. YSIS ASIA is expanding to Chiang-Mai with “YSIS Lanna” that will be launched in July. YSIS Lanna will be able to offer the group’s services in Central, Northern, and Southern Thailand.

44

TheBigChilli


Food& Drink Bangkok’s hottest dining deals and news

Saturday Seafood Brunch at Rembrandt Hotel THE Rembrandt Hotel’s poolside da Vinci Ristorante Italiano offers Saturday Seafood Brunch every Saturday from 11.30am – 3pm. In addition to an array of delicious seafood, diners can also enjoy a selfserve area, order ‘all you can eat’ à la carte dishes, savour the Chef’s fabulous signature dishes, visit live stations with meats and seafood barbecued to order or taste freshly stone-baked pizzas. From B1,500 net per person. 02 261 7100 www.rembrandtbkk.com

Live Football at Aqua Anantara Siam Bangkok

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok Welcomes Chef Hans Zahner GRAND Hyatt Erawan Bangkok has appointed Hans Zahner as the new Chef de Cuisine of Tables Grill restaurant, bringing authentic French flavours to guests in Bangkok and giving classic dishes a fresh, healthy spin. With Parisian training and Michelin starred restaurant experience, Hans Zahner is presenting The hotel’s brand new six-course dégustation menu at B2,900++ per person, and the new seasonal menu daily from 6pm to 10pm.

ANANTARA Siam Bangkok Hotel is showing the live football at Aqua on its big screen and in the air-conditioned courtyard from 14 June - 15 July between 6pm - 12 midnight. Whilst watching the action, guests can enjoy tantalising bites and sip special cocktails inspired by the World Cup. Prices start from B 120++. +66 (0) 2126 8866 Ext. 1210 or aqua. asia@anantara.com

+66 2254 6250 www.tablesgrill.com

Lelawadee Launches Eclectic Menu and Chocolate Bar Lelawadee, Mövenpick Hotel Sukhumvit 15 has launched a new eclectic menu and unique Chocolate Bar menu. The new menu features authentic Thai classics, Western favourites, and a new range of Mediterranean cuisine. The Chocolate Bar creates chocolate cocktails and mocktails, both hot and cold, which can take the place of dessert or be part of a fun-filled bar and nightcap experience post-dinner.  +66 2119 3100  www.movenpick.com 

46

TheBigChilli


Into the Blue at a Place with a View BLUE Sky Bar & Modern French Bistro, up on the roof of Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao, has created a delectable Sharing Platters menu. Perfect for 2 - 4 people Sharing Platters includes steamed lobster, crab legs, oysters and salmon (B5,950++), or Australian grain-fed 150 days beef tomahawk (B4,900++), or Blue Sky Paella with lobster mussels and chorizo (B3,600++), and many more delicious options. +66 (0)2 541 1234 ext. 4151 fb_office@chr.co.th

Chatrium Hotel Riverside July Promotions Chatrium Hotel Riverside is offering an exciting set of promotions for the month of July at its exceptional inhouse restaurants. Themed Buffet Dinners at The River Barge Restaurant (Lobby); four delectable recipes in the Pork Spare Rib Promotion at Silver Waves Restaurant on (36th Fl); sweet delights at American Pastry Promotion at Treats Gourmet (Lobby). All designed to keep you in comfort and feeling remarkable.

Perfect Japanese Beef at the District Grill Room & Bar HIGH quality beef from Kyushu, Japan is available at The District Grill Room & Bar, Marriott Hotel Sukhumvit until 4 August. Featuring two types of this exquisite beef, “Hakata Wagyu” is famous for its tender juicy texture while “Saga-gyu” has a great taste and impeccable delicacy. Open daily from 18:00hrs – 23:00hrs, and every Sunday from 11:30hrs-15:00hrs for Sunday Brunch. 02-797-0000 preeyanat.n@marriotthotels.com

0 2307 8888 www.chatrium.com

Deliciously Fresh Weekend Seafood Special AUTHENTIC Parisian restaurant Brasserie Cordonnier in Sukhumvit Soi 11 invites you to Weekend Seafood Special , a French-style seafood platter served on a bed of ice with homemade mayonnaise, saffron aioli, and other condiments. A different selection is handpicked by our Chef every week. This mouth-watering special is available every Friday and Saturday from 6pm to 12 midnight. 02-038-5113 www.facebook.com/cordonnierbkk/

TheBigChilli

47


Blunos Restaurant at Eastin Grand Sathorn’s tantalizing new menus UNDER the concept of “Happy Food for Happy People“, the new dishes include Beef chili dog, a 400g baked Salmon Fillet “to open”, Pad Krapaow Gai Pizza, Seared Beef Flank Steak, served with “Isan Style” dipping sauce, and for those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss Chef Martin’s Milkberry Puff, recently debuted on TV. All in blissful poolside surroundings on the 14th Floor. 02 210 8100 fbadmin@eastingrandsathorn.com www.facebook.com/EastinGrandSathorn

New York Steakhouse Lunch Buffet FROM 25 May till August 2018, New York Steakhouse at JW Marriott Bangkok will be serving a one-of-akind fine dining experience with great steaks, seafood and sides along with an expansive buffet featuring a variety of dishes including fresh seafood, cold cuts, fresh fruit, soups, salads, appetisers and desserts. Available daily from 12pm - 3pm at B 799 ++ per person www.facebook.com/JWMarriottBKK 02 656 7700 https://goo.gl/HURDnh

Fabulous flavours of gourmet French charcuterie THE chefs at Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant have created an enticing selection of dishes inspired by regional French fresh and dry sausages. Diners can savour Figatelli Corse, or Roasted Dry Pork Sausage, Saucisse Lyonnaise, Saucisse du Perigord, Saucisse de Toulouse, and more! Prices start from B550++ per dish. Experience more from Alsace, Languedoc, Morteau and Troyes at Scarlett Wine Bar & Restaurant, open daily from 6pm – 1am. scarlettbkk@randblab.com 096 860 7990 www.facebook.com/Scarlettwinebarbangkok

Freshly hand-pulled ‘la mian’ noodles at Dynasty NOODLES are an essential ingredient to Cantonese cuisine. Dynasty, Centara Grand at CentralWorld uses traditional ‘la mian’ noodles kneaded, pulled, twisted and stretched from scratch. These special noodles can be tried with a range of meats, vegetables and Chinese delicacies. Prices start from B265++ and are available as part of menus for lunch 11.30 – 14.30 hrs and dinner 18.00 – 22.30 hrs. 02 100 6255 diningcgcw@chr.co.th

48

TheBigChilli


Chef Moo brings top experience to Steakhouse Co

W

ITH a wealth of experience behind him, including stints at some of Bangkok’s most iconic restaurants, Chef Moo (real name Mr Krittin Kerdnaimongkul) is looking forward to his latest challenge – in charge of the kitchens at Steakhouse Co. He worked, for example, at top hotels like Anantara, Marriott, Le Meridien, Delta Grand and Dusit Thani, as well Delaney’s pub, Peppina and also for the launch of Planet Hollywood. While his menu focuses, naturally enough, on quality steaks from Australia and the US, Chef Moo is keen to point out this new restaurant venture offers an extensive selection of other all-time favourite dishes plus a number of ‘house specials’ such as Lobster Thermidor, Clams Casino, Ossobuco and some of the best dry-aged beef seen in the Thai capital. “The menu has been designed, of course, to suit our target market – Japanese diners, Thais, expats and tourists. Among our steaks available are tenderloin, NY Strip, ribeye, porterhouse, sirloin, t-bone and tomahawk. We also serve Australian lamb shank, pork chop, salmon, cod and a long list of side orders,” explained Chef Moo, who supervises five staff in his tailor-made kitchen. Located just off Silom Road, close to Foodland on Patpong Soi 2, Steakhouse Co is a beautifully designed and friendly American-themed restaurant with many attractive features. Among them is an amazing wine cellar with vintages from every major wine-producing country together with a wide choice of excellent sparkling wines. Its opening heralds a new era for this legendary district of Bangkok. Its owners say it will become a ‘must’ for late night revelers who fancy snacks or even a steak any time until 3am. Steakhouse Co is open daily from 5pm until 3am. The Steakhouse Co Bangkok. 9/8 Patpong Soi 2, Silom Road, Bangkok 10500. Tel. 061 097 8325. www.thesteakhouseco.com

52

TheBigChilli


Made with Passion to Fulfill Yours!

At Mallard, we create food that makes you feel alive. Come try our rustic Mediterranean food with fine cooking techniques.Let our exquisite menu be the start of your farm-to-table culinary journey.

We guarantee your satisfaction. Be our guest.

13:57 RUSTIC MEDITERRANEAN

LUNCH & DINNER 02 662 6117 OPEN DAILY 11.30 AM - 11.30 PM

Strip AD Foodland BC july18_m2.pdf

Strip AD Mallard_BC july18 m2.indd 1

1

6/29/2561 BE

sukhumvit 49

mallardbangkok 6/29/2561 BE 14:07

TheBigchilli

55


Humour

e adi Cre c wM Dre

We are Living in Strange Times By

People are doing the weirdest things – and it’s not just the POTUS ■ WE are living in strange times! Trump is President. But that is not what I am talking about. There are kids that can solve the Rubik’s Cube in less than 4 seconds, blindfolded! Impressive, obsessive, but not what I mean when I say strange. There are detention centers at the US border filled with migrant children. Unthinkable even a year ago, but now part of the alt-reality in which we live. And yet, still not the strangest thing. All female remakes of all-male movies? Nope. Rosanne Barr being kicked off TV for being offensive. Strange that it took so long, but still not it. Major movie moguls, movie stars, comedians, and politicians cast into disgrace. Shocking that there are so many, but weirder stuff is happening. Don’t forget that there is a growing movement of people who think the world is flat. But what is strange about that? Science is fake news, after all. Right? And it turns out that beer, wine, and hard liquor are good for your health!

56

TheBigChilli

But all that is not what I am talking about when I refer to strange times. The strangeness that has blown the top of my head off is the plethora of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos on YouTube. For those of you who are not aware, which until recently I would count myself, ASMR is the name given to that strange tingling sensation on the scalp that moves down the back of your neck like a wave of goosebumps. And for many people it is triggered by auditory stimulation. And so, with that in mind, there are hundreds (if not hundreds of millions) of YouTube videos of (mostly) women on camera whispering into microphones, playing with slime, crinkling paper, popping bubble-wrap and doing whatever else they can think of to make soothing sounds which will trigger this ASMR response, and ultimately, relax the viewer and put them to sleep. HUNDREDS of videos! There is a video of a cute Asian woman whispering to you like a pet,

telling you that she is going to comb your fur! There is another video of a woman whispering that she is going to give you a haircut, and then miming that into the camera… for an hour and ten minutes! And let’s not forget the woman who has made a living making videos of herself smushing her face into sandwiches! That’s right, she places food on the table, then presses her face into it. And while all of this may sound like the script to a comedy show, for the people making them, it is quite serious. The desperate desire to find stimulus to relax has driven our society into Kookoo-banana-land. The good news is, for those of us that are not triggered by this AMSR stimulus, there are still good old comedy shows! And for the right price there isn’t a comedian alive that won’t smush their face into a sandwich. Society has taken a huge turn into wacky-ville. It’s times like these that you may wish that the world was flat… at least there would be an edge to jump off of!


School Report

Basketball Honour for TRAILL student

One of Traill’s star girl basketball players Kor was recently invited to try out for the Spanish national basketball team in Madrid. The team, ranked 2nd globally, has been watching Kor for over a year. She was one of only 15 players selected for the final selection process at FIBA World Championships, an incredible achievement for her and the coaching staff. Fingers crossed!

Calling All Minecrafters!

Minecraft Camp returns to NIST International School from 31 July to 4 August for girls and boys aged 6 and over for a fee of B8,500 which includes equipment, licences, materials, and a nutritious snack and lunch. Minecraft Camp lets students pursue their interests and learning goals in a fun secure environment, and empowers kids to discover build and share their strengths while learning new skills. The Camp’s learning objectives cover science, maths, social sciences, creative problem solving and language.

58

TheBigChilli


School Report

Proud Farewells at Traill International School

T

HE end of the academic year is always an emotional time of year at Traill International School. Our A Level, AS Level and IGCSE students are relieved that their exams have finished. Our younger students are eagerly anticipating a long summer holiday with parents and family. Some of our students are looking forward to Traill’s summer school. However, most emotional of all is the farewell to our graduating students. This is as much of a turbulent time for the teachers and staff as it is for the students. During their time with us, our students become family and whilst we are immensely proud of their achievements, their leaving will be felt as a loss.

60

TheBigChilli

We have studied with them, worried with them, cheered them on and laughed with them for many years. We know that we have moulded them into well rounded, sensible, intelligent young people who are well equipped to handle the next stage of their education. Our graduation ceremony, which is always a grand affair, signals their move into adulthood. We always choose speakers for the graduation who we believe can offer inspirational words of wisdom at this most important juncture in their lives. Every year we are delighted at the range of university subjects chosen by our students - and this year is no exception. With subjects including aerospace engineering, medicine, environmental sciences, sociology and international

relations and nano biology, they all seem destined to have a very bright future ahead. Their university destinations are equally as impressive, including England, Holland, Germany, Japan, USA and Hong Kong. The graduation ceremony is only the first part of our farewells. We also hold a prom on the evening of the graduation. This gives everyone the opportunity to relax in five-star sumptuous surroundings and dance and laugh together for the last time as Traill students. It goes without saying that we wish them success and happiness in their futures, whatever they are doing.

www.traillschool.ac.th


hours’ drive from the capital, making it a convenient getaway from the city. “It’s an wonderful experience which will give you a feeling of inner-freedom and connection to consciousness, creativity and a community that you haven’t felt for a long time,” Nathaniel said. “You’ll leave feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to create healthy new lifestyle habits.” The need for new and healthy habits is dire as more and more studies are exposing the adverse effects using electronic devices frequently can have on us. According to data Apple collected, we touch our phones upwards of 80 times a day. Using electronics in such abundance can lead to physical problems and can result in things like lack of sleep. A disrupted sleep cycle can cause weight gain, as can merely looking at your phone, as bright light

reduces levels of melatonin (which regulates sleep) and decreases leptin, a hormone that makes you feel full, according to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. It also increases ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. Regularly checking your electronics and the networks on them is not conducive to good mental health, either. The average person spends hours (1.72 to be exact) on their social networks in a single day, whether they are catching up with old friends, Facebook stalking new ones or scrolling through feeds of people they sometimes do not even know. This constant exposure undoubtedly takes a toll on our well-being, and one 2016 study by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that people who frequently used social media were 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than those who did not check it repeatedly. This constant exposure to technology may be the norm, but Digital Detox Asia hopes that participants will see that healthy digital detox practices are skills they can implement into their own daily lives afterwards and are not as difficult (or unenjoyable) as one may initially assume them to be. Upon arrival to Digital Detox Asia, visitors will hand over their devices to the well-equipped staff and officially be electronic free. Then, throughout the 48-hour retreat, visitors will partake in some activities that are designed to help participants reconnect and find enjoyment without the use of an electronic. Participants can partake in things like yoga, meditation, art and writing

TheBigChilli

65


Expat Women

and its prime location is undoubtedly what makes this retreat a memorable one. The mountainous terrain of Khao Yai acts as the retreat’s backdrop, and silence is a real luxury at Digital Detox Asia. Visitors will find it easy to step away from the digital, daily grind once they are nestled amongst the natural setting.

workshops, team-building activities, outdoor games, music creating sessions, reflective thinking activities, campfire hangouts and, of course, participants are given plenty of time to relax. In addition to all of these tranquil and mind-stimulating activities, partakers also get to indulge in a delicious and nutritious menu throughout the entirety of the retreat. Staying true to the wellness theme, the dishes are all tasty and healthy finds, and vegan food is available upon request, as well. “We’ve created a healthy menu full of fruits, vegetables and other delicious options,” Nathaniel said.

“We include eggs and milk for people who want them.” Anyone can participate in Digital Detox Asia, as the resort accommodates corporate groups, schools and individuals. Nathaniel said he recommends the retreat to anyone who considers themselves part of the modern digital age and understands the importance of taking a short break from the digital world, as well. The detox partnered with White Knot Farm Stay Resort in Khao Yai, which is equipped with 16 pristine and private cabins that are both comfortable and accommodating. The resort has some facilities participants can take advantage of during their stay,

T

he price of the retreat varies depending on how many people book together, and there are three different booking options available. The cost for a private room for one person is B10,000, a private room for two persons is B7,500, and a private suite for three to four people is B20,000. The price of the booking includes two nights in their premium accommodation, a private minivan return transport from Bangkok, all of the meals and snacks provided throughout the retreat, all of the activities and, of course, the unforgettable, digital-free, life-changing experience. There are also childcare options available upon request. The three entrepreneurs plan to continue to build future digital detox retreats around the world once the Khao Yai location grows in success. “I feel satisfied, as I had been seeking a large new project to get involved in for a year or so before starting this,” Nathaniel said. “I feel excited about our future success.” Whether you are a digital zombie or need a short, weekend escape from the city, Digital Detox Asia is the wellness retreat to frequent. Participants will not only return to Bangkok feeling refreshed but also with a new outlook on both their wellbeing and their devices they once held so near and dear, as well. www.facebook.com/digitaldetoxthailand. contact@digitaldetoxasia.com

66

TheBigChilli


Spa & Wellness

01 02

Look no further than LifeStyles on 26, a modern gym and fitness studio with a fully-equipped freeweight and cardio area plus an adjacent studio with daily classes including Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, TRX, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and more, located at Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld. No membership is required and prices start at B400 per class or a 10 class package for B3,500 or a 20 class package for B6,000. Drop in or call us on 02-100-6299.

01 FITNESS WITH A VIEW? TRY LIFESTYLES ON 26! 02 35% DISCOUNT OFF SHERATON SPA LUXURY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP 03 ARABIC GOLD SPA TREATMENT AT SPA CENVAREE

03 Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers celebrate 35 years of its heritage this July with 35% discount off the spa luxury of its Balinese-inspired massage at Health & Fitness Center, or get annual membership at 35% discount. Book now for benefits and giveaways from 1 July – 31 July 2018 with many exciting awards including lucky draw, accommodation vouchers, spa vouchers and many more. http://www.royalorchidsheraton. com/35anniversary 02 266 0123

“Arabic Gold Spa Package” spa treatment is available until 31st August 2018 from Spa Cenvaree, Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao. The 2 hrs 30 mins treatment comprises a choice of body exfoliating or a body mask with purifying gold, plus a scalp, face and body massage with a precious gold-infused oil at only B3,500 net per person. +66 (0) 2 541-1234 ext 4292 and 4567 spacenvareecglb@chr.co.th

TheBigChilli

67


Expat Women

MONTBLANC: BLUE IS THE NEW BLACK DKSH (Thailand) Co Ltd launched the re-envisioned Montblanc Star Legacy line at Emporium, enhancing its classical finishing and sophistication while keeping all the key elements. The collection includes the Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph, Star Legacy Moon Phase and Star Legacy Full Calendar which come in a blue shade which has the power to energise and inspire as well as to calm and relax.

CHOSUNGAH BEAUTY AT SIAM PARAGON

Korean beauty brand CHOSUNGAH BEAUTY 1989 are providing a full range and variety of their products at their flagship store on 1st Floor Siam Paragon. Interesting, cute, vibrant, quick and easy to use, the brand has over 1,000 products which nourish the skin while enhancing unique inner beauty. Brands from CHONSUGAH BEAUTY 1989 include VER. 22 CHOSUNGAH, 16 BRAND and WONDER BATH BY VIBES.

70

TheBigChilli

IRRESISTIBLE QEELIN AFTERNOON TEA

The St. Regis Hotel Bangkok presents a special tea set of three outstandingly delicious dessert menu items created to reflect the unique character of French world-class contemporary design jewellery Qeelin Collection, itself inspired by China’s art, culture and magnificent history. Experience the ‘Qeelin Afternoon Tea’ set at The St. Regis Bar and The Drawing Room from June 1 to July 31 at 2.30pm to 5pm daily, and experience Qeelin’s premium jewellery at Sette Peccati Boutique, M Floor, Siam Paragon.


BANGKOK OLD GIRLS MEET UP IN LONDON

TO catch up with news and gossip from Thailand, members of BOGs (Bangkok Old Girls) arranged a reunion lunch at the Nipa Thai restaurant in the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London. Former residents of the kingdom, from right, included Johanna Hall, Basia Filzek, Angela Stafford, Kate Benson, Julie Shaw, Jan Harding, Sarah Glaze, Sue Bradwell and Sharon Moore.The always enterprising Angela Stafford announced her plan to drive from Colchester to China in a London taxi towing a vintage caravan to raise money for Treetops Hospice Care, the People Eye Care Foundation and Lepra, the charity she currently works for. The route will go through 12 European countries before reaching the south of Italy and then by boat to India via the Suez Canal. In India and Bangladesh, Angela’s team will visit Lepra’s projects, then on to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and China. 

Strip AD Newspaperdirect BC july18_m2.indd 1

6/29/2561 BE 13:59

TheBigChilli

71


Social

p Last month’s best events in pictures

TheBigChilli

73


CREATE AD.Bourbon st_2 M3.pdf

1

12/1/2560 BE

10:51 AM


Social|Last Month’s Best Events

ARTS AND CULTURE RESORT COMING TO RAYONG Mida Assets PCL and Wellity Pte Ltd are collaborating to introduce the first Concept Hotel, an all-new arts and culture themed resort which integrates wellness with lifestyle. Aksorn Rayong, The Wellity Collection is the first joint venture by the recently formed MW WELLNESS MANAGEMENT COMPANY LTD and will be Rayong’s first and only Concept Hotel.

MOTOROLA LAUNCH MOTO G6 AND MOTO G6 PLUS

LADY L Garden Bistro was the venue for the launch of Motorola’s latest two new models with the perfect combination of features and innovations that matter the most. The moto g6 and moto g6 plus are now available in Thailand from THB 7,990.

MORE LUXURY PREMIUM OUTLETS COMING TO THAILAND SIAM DISCOVERY WINS GLOBAL AWARD IN LAS VEGAS

At a dazzling awards ceremony in Las Vegas USA, Siam Piwat Co Ltd, the joint venture partner of ICONSIAM and owner/operator of Siam Paragon and Siam Center, has won the International Council of Shopping Centers’ prestigious VIVA Award for the concept and cutting-edge design of its Siam Discovery retail destination. ICONSIAM will open its doors later this year. 86

TheBigChilli

Siam Piwat Group, owner/operator of Siam Paragon, Siam Center, Siam Discovery, and partner in ICONSIAM, joins Simon retail real estate in opening 3 luxury premium outlets expanding retail and lifestyle destinations. The first outlet, scheduled for a 2019 opening, will include over 200 stores and provide an ‘oasis’ with dining, leisure and entertainment options.


BONJOUR FRANCE 2018 AT CENTRALWORLD

With its tremendous success in 2016, the French-Thai Chamber of Commerce will hold “Bonjour France 2018”, the biggest French Consumers Fair in Thailand, once again at CentralWorld in celebration of the French National Day during 12-15 July to showcase French culture and lifestyle with top quality brands products and services.

13TH PROPERTYGURU THAILAND PROPERTY AWARDS 2018

Returning for its landmark 13th annual gala dinner, more than 40 awards will be presented this year. The PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards will celebrate in Bangkok on 31 August 2018 to judges and announces best real estate Thailand developers, designers and top projects of the year. TheBigChilli

87


DIPLOMATS p Meet the people uniting nations

His Excellency Pirkka Tapiola Multilingual EU Ambassador forging stronger ties with Thailand

96

TheBigChilli


Diplomat: H.E. Pirkka Tapiola

Multilingual EU Ambassador forging stronger ties with Thailand

A

Words MAXMILIAN WECHSLER

S Ambassador Extraordinar y and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to the Kingdom of Thailand, Pirkka Tapiola’s talent for languages comes in handy. Besides his native Finnish, Ambassador Tapiola’s English is near flawless and he’s fluent in French, Russian, Ukrainian and Swedish. He has a good working level command of the German language and basic skills in Romanian, Spanish, Latvian and spoken Thai. “I am not sure if I actually have a talent for languages or it just comes with the job,” said the ambassador modestly, ensconced in his office at the Delegation of the European Union at the Athenee Tower on Wireless Road. In addition to enviable linguistic abilities, he also boasts impressive diplomatic credentials including a lengthy stint as senior adviser to former EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana.

Background

“I became a diplomat in 1994 serving in the Foreign Service of Finland. I worked in Moscow for a short while, then I was seconded to work for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Latvia. I served in other foreign posts and in Helsinki before starting to work for the European Union institutions in 2004. This is my second assignment as European Union Ambassador. The first was in the Republic of Moldova. This is also my second assignment to Thailand. I was here 20 years ago when I served as Deputy Head of the Finnish Embassy in Bangkok.” A good portion of Mr Tapiola’s career has been spent in Eastern and Central Europe, including Ukraine as well as Latvia and the Republic of Moldova. “In terms of EU interests the neighbourhood is extremely important. The

capital of Ukraine, Kyiv, is a wonderful city. You can say Eastern Europe is an area of specialization for me, and I found living and working there for the EU fascinating. My second specialization is Southeast Asia, so I was extremely happy to come back to work in Bangkok. I feel home here. “Since my first assignment here, Bangkok and Thailand have changed a lot. One thing that is very clear is that the economy has become much more robust. There is a stronger middle class and the country is clearly more affluent, as also evidenced by so many new high rise buildings. At times, I miss certain features of the old Bangkok. “Bangkok was a little slower back then, but I wouldn’t say it was that much smaller. You could already see a lot of condominiums around Sukhumvit and Sathorn and it looked very much as it does now with a few exceptions. There are definitely more shopping malls now and unfortunately they have taken over some of the nice green leafy spaces of the past.   “I sometimes run into people who I knew in the past, including in the diplomatic community. For instance, the present French ambassador worked here as a younger diplomat at the same time as I did, as did the Spanish Ambassador. I have also renewed many contacts with old friends from the Thai Foreign Ministry. Many have retired but you still see them at receptions.”  

The European Union

“Ambassadorial terms in the European Union are generally fixed at four years,” said Mr Tapiola. “I will serve here until August 2021. I am accredited only to Thailand even if the Delegation has some regional support function embedded into it. I would not have the time to focus on any other country. The EU is a global player. Here, it means that we have fully-fledged ambassadors also in Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Lao PDR.       “There are about 140 EU Delegations around the world serving as the Union’s ‘embassies’. The EU institutions, including the European Commission and the European

TheBigChilli

97


External Action Service – EEAS (the EU foreign service) are located in Brussels. The EU foreign policy has become much stronger since 2009 when the Lisbon treaty came into force. “The treaty established the EEAS, the current position of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission and transformed European Commission Delegations to EU delegations which represent the Union politically and ensure the local Presidency of the European Union. EU delegations fulfill a dual function in host countries. The Ambassador represents the EU on matters of foreign and security policy common to the 28 Member States. At the same time, he or she also represents the European Commission, which is the executive arm of the EU. So, I represent the EU nations collectively and our executive branch in the effort to build a strong and productive Thailand- EU relationship. There is a division of labour among my ambassadorial colleagues on which matters are for the EU – the Union as whole and which matters concern individual member states.” Asked about the types of instruction received from Brussels, Ambassador Tapiola noted: “Most instructions are sort of generic to EU foreign policy. Once our decisionmaking system has defined the policy, you function within it. One has room to maneuver within the policy. We have monthly meetings at an ambassadorial level chaired by me and our political and commercial counselors meet, chaired by my colleagues at the Delegation. Member States promote their own commercial interests, but trade policy negotiations are all done at EU level. Trade is one of the EU’s supra-national competencies. My job entails a lot of work and I can tell you, you don’t get too many holidays when you are an EU Ambassador. “Our delegation in Bangkok is in a very nice building and a very good location. We are happy with our services and surroundings. We have close to 100 EU staff, including 50 locals. They are all dedicated. We also have here a regional hub on matters of humanitarian affairs which works sort of independently but is co-located with us.”  

The assignment

“What I want to achieve is to help put in place preconditions and opportunities for taking the already close Thailand-EU relationship to a new and higher level. That means steps must be taken from all sides. I am strongly committed to building this partnership and I hope that by the time I leave there will be a clear recognition of the EU role in Thailand and the world at large.” As for his daily schedule, Mr Tapiola said: “No day is the same. I naturally spend a lot of time coordinating with my EU colleagues, as well as talking to other colleagues in the diplomatic community. Our interaction with the Royal Thai government is naturally very close. I also try to ensure EU visibility, so there is quite a bit of media outreach to do. Business is of course a key counterpart. The European Association for Business and Commerce is an important partner. They are here to look after the collective interests of European businesses.

98

TheBigChilli

“I have a lot of meetings to attend. We are involved in many public events. We are a large mission and as a manager I oversee everything which happens in it and also have overall responsibility for informing headquarters and analyzing the situation on the ground. I do the things diplomats traditionally do like writing reports and meeting people also in social settings. Dinners and receptions are not parties or social events in the traditional sense. We meet and represent our countries and our institutions and exchange views.”

Thailand and the EU

“I am looking forward to strengthening the EU-Thailand relationship in all aspects including political partnership, trade cooperation, environment and climate change, democracy, good governance, human rights and cultural diplomacy. We focus on regional cooperation to address global challenges. Thailand plays an important strategic role in ASEAN and Asia as a whole and the EU and Thailand have had a close and strong relationship for almost 40 years.       “Of course, Thailand’s relationship with Europe goes back much further. Thailand and Portugal, which is an EU member state, are celebrating 500 years of relations. Thailand had an emissary at the court of Louis XIV of France. As for current relations between Thailand and EU, we had a period which was complex after the military takeover in 2014. However, developments on the ground here with the adoption of the constitution, going forward with plans for elections and the return of legal cases from military courts back to civilian courts have brought about a situation in which we have renewed political contacts at all levels. That was decided by the Council of the EU on December 11, 2017,” Mr Tapiola said. “We are also beginning talks about the resumption of negotiations for a free trade agreement, but with the understanding that we will only formally negotiate after there is a democratically elected government. We are preparing for a deepening of relations very rapidly following the election and there is a lot of interaction on that. “The economic relationship between the EU and Thailand is of course very important. The EU is Thailand’s third largest trading partner after Japan and China. This is an enormous amount of trade and it’s also a very long-standing relationship. The EU is the third biggest investor in Thailand and the second destination for Thai investment. Free trade will be very good for all concerned. We want to move towards this because we in Europe believe in openness and empowering countries. I hope that the preconditions, namely an elected government in place, for resuming negotiations on free trade will be in place very soon. “The restrictions on government-to-government visits imposed after the military takeover in 2014 have been lifted. The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Don Pramudwinai recently visited Brussels and met with the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. He also visited Italy and the


TheBigChilli

99


The European Union and Thailand The European Union • A unique political and economic union of 28 European countries. • Over half a century of peace, stability and prosperity; an achievement recognized with 2012 Novel Peace Prize. • Home to more than 500 million people. • Generates one quarter of world’s GDP. • Works to improve the lives of people in Europe and worldwide. Role of EU Delegation to Thailand Today, the EU Delegation supports relations between the EU and Thailand in several areas: Political and cultural ties; economic and trade relationships; development co-operation and humanitarian aid. The EU Delegation in Bangkok also serves as a regional office for: foreign policy instruments; development cooperation and humanitarian aid. EU-Thai relations are built upon a long-standing partnership. Diplomatic ties with some EU Member States reach back hundreds of years and have formed a shared and living heritage. The EU and Thailand have an open political dialogue and often cooperate in international fora such as the UN on issues of common interest. The friendship between Thailand and Europe goes beyond political ties, as evidenced by the number of European tourists visiting Thailand every year and the number of European citizens who choose Thailand as their second home. Throughout the year, the EU Delegation to Thailand organizes a variety of cultural events, including EU languages cafés and the EU Film Festival. Several EU Member States have established cultural institutes and offer language classes. Many Thai students, academics and university staff spend part of their studies or research periods at European universities. European Member States and the EU offer various scholarships. The EU-funded scholarship is called Erasmus+. It offers support to students, academics and university staff from around the world who wish to study, teach or conduct research in Europe. Throughout the last 60 years, the EU has successfully developed a strong internal market and strengthened its global economic position. Today, the EU is the world’s largest trading bloc, as well as the first source of destination of foreign direct investment. The EU has strong economic clout and is a key player in international economic forums. The EU places great importance on strong relations with Southeast Asia. In the past decade, EU-ASEAN trade and investment relations have grown impressively. Merchandise trade has almost doubled during the period, and now exceeds 200 billion euros per year.

100

TheBigChilli

In the past decade, the EU and Thailand have developed strong economic and trade relations. This trade relationship is governed by the World Trade Organization rules. The EU is Thailand’s third largest trading partner and the second largest source of foreign direct investment. Over the years, Thailand’s robust economy and its important market in one of the most dynamic regions of the world have attracted many companies from all sectors, including hundreds of European firms. These businesses have contributed substantially to the country’s growth by transferring technology, knowledge and know-how, as well as investing in local research and development. Eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development are two of the world’s greatest challenges. The EU, in collaboration with its Member States and partner countries, is determined to address both. Cooperation between the EU and Thailand began in the 1970s with a strong focus on helping the country improve its agricultural sector. Over time, cooperation has shifted towards broader economic assistance in line with Thailand’s rapid growth. Today’s cooperation strategy focuses on technical assistance to support the achievements of sustainable development goals in Thailand. Developing a model that reconciles economic and social development with the protection of our planet is at the heart of EU cooperation. In Thailand, EU assistance addresses key challenges from sustainable consumption and production, to forest governance, climate change adaptation in the Mekong area and implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade action plan, to address illegal timber trade. The EU-ASEAN development programme is aligned to ASEAN key strategies, policies and plans. The cooperation focuses on strengthening connectivity, climate change and a comprehensive dialogue facility. The EU and Thailand are partners in implementation of ASEAN Air Transport Integration project and the Protection of the Intellectual Property Rights project. The EU office in Bangkok supports all EU-funded humanitarian projects in East and Southeast Asia as well as the Pacific region. EU humanitarian operations began in Thailand in 1995 and have since responded to numerous natural and man-made crises, including the 2010 floods in Thailand, Funding for these activities has reached more than 120 million euros. Much of this aid has been channeled to help Myanmar refugees along the Thai border. The EU has provided assistance to these people for over 20 years through delivery of food aid, health assistance and protection services. Humanitarian assistance is also provided to Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi migrants who have travelled into Thailand since 2013, as well as other asylum seekers seeking refuge in Thailand.


Italian Foreign Minister came here. The British Foreign Secretary also visited Thailand and there have been other ministerial visits as well. We are interacting now and talking about matters of mutual interest, including human rights and the return to democracy. “I just want to say that I am sincerely impressed by the quality and qualifications of the civil service in Thailand, without exceptions. All the senior civil servants I deal with at the various ministries are excellent and the quality of our discussions is also very good. Sometimes we disagree and sometimes we don’t. Thailand traditionally has the reputation of having a very strong civil service and it is certainly not unfounded.”

EU Ambassador Pirkka Tapiola with Prime Minister H.E. Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House on April 25, 2018.

Personal Mr Tapiola will celebrate his 48th birthday in September. He married Ukrainian Olga Shumylo in May 2010. He is also a father of three children, 15-year old twin girls Isabella and Naomi and a son, Samuel. “My wife Olga and I look forward to discovering more aspects of our new home in Thailand. This is truly a wonderful country and I am very glad to be back here. I find Bangkok a very good place for eating. I very much enjoy the restaurants here. There is such a variety. “I have been very busy since I came here but I have travelled a bit professionally and also on my own. I have been in Hat Yai and the South a little bit and I have visited Chiang Mai and coastal provinces. I intend to travel more and more in the country and the region. Travelling and being active comes naturally to me. I am an addicted walker, and I do quite a lot of restaurant hopping.”

Mr Tapiola and Madam Olga Tapiola at the Europe Day reception in May 2018.

Mr Tapiola welcomed students from Khon Kaen University International College at the Delegation of the European Union on February 6, 2018.

Curriculum Vitae of H.E. Pirkka Tapiola Education  

M.Sc., Social Sciences (International Relations), University of Helsinki. Career 2013 -2017: Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova. 2011-2013:  Senior Adviser, Strategic Planning Division, European External Action Service. 2004 -2010:  Senior Adviser, Policy Unit of High Representative/ Secretary General Javier Solana, Secretariat of the Council of the European Union. 2001-2004:  Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland, Kyiv, Ukraine. 1998 -2001:  Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Finland, Bangkok, Thailand. 1997-1998:  Diplomatic Officer, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.         1995 -1997:  Deputy Head of Mission, Mission to Latvia of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). 1994-1995:  Member of Mission, OSCE Mission to Latvia.   1994 (June-August): Trainee, Political Section, Embassy of Finland, Moscow, Russia.

TheBigChilli 101


Beyond Bangkok

Amara Bangkok Introduces 2018 Party Packages Amara Bangkok announce 2018 party packages near BTS with free parking. Catering for social events, corporate meetings or exclusive private functions, guests can tailor-make parties at venues such as Element restaurant indoor/al fresco terrace, AkaAza rooftop/infinity pool, Signature Club Cabana Rooms and Amara Suite. Prices from B 7,200++ per event, for up to 6 persons, with F&B up to B6,000 from existing menu with decoration kit worth B1,200. + 66 (0)2 021 8812 events.bangkok@amarahotels. com bangkok.amarahotels.com.

Mid Year Sale for X2 Vibe, X2, and Away

BHMA‘s Mid-Year Sale offers discounts of up to 40% from all 17 hotels, resorts and villas under brands X2, X2 Vibe, and Away. X2 Vibe prices from B1,199++ per night, X2 resorts prices from B3,269++ per night while Away prices from B1,909++ per night. Apply promo code MIDYEARSALE2018 for direct booking. www.X2lobby.com/mid-year-sale, www.X2vibe.com/mid-year-sale, www.awayresorts.com/mid-year-sale

MATES’ RATES Friends or Family visiting Thailand? Let them know about these deals

35th Birthday Celebration Package

Centara Grand at Central Plaza Ladprao is celebrating with a great offer, a 35th Birthday Celebration Package of just B3,500++ per night for a Deluxe Room. Book before 31 July for stays until 21 December. The package includes buffet breakfast at Chatuchak Café, free upgrade for a 2 consecutive nights stay, a 60-minute massage at Spa Cenvaree, in-room internet and 20 percent discount on food at the hotel’s restaurants.

+662 541 1234 ext. 4116-19 reservationcglb@chr. co.th centarahotelsresorts.com/cglb

Well Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 offers Well Excellent Night promotion

Well Hotel Sukhumvit 20 celebrates its 2nd year TripAdvisor 2018 Certificate of Excellence with Well Excellent Night promotion. Enter promo code WELLXLNT to receive 10% discount, plus a B 1,000 credit voucher in the restaurant or spa for a twonight stay, room upgrade for a three-night stay, in-room mini-bar, Tuk Tuk shuttle to BTS/MRT, exercise classes, welcome drink, and Wifi. Prices from B 2,079++ /night, www.wellhotelbangkok.com +662 1275995

Layana Resort Launches 10% Discount On New Website

The new site has been designed to perfectly capture the world of luxurious comfort and tranquility that awaits guests on the magical island of Koh Lanta. It showcases, in glorious style, the spacious guestrooms, suites and villas just paces from the shores of “Had Phra Ae”. Special offer, available only on-line. For bookings from now until 31st October 2018 made through the website, we are offering a 10% discount on all room rates 075 607 100 resa@layanaresort.com

102

TheBigChilli


Beyond Bangkok

After almost three decades, Victor steps down as GM of Dusit Resort and Polo Club

I

T was in late 1988 that Victor Sukseree was entrusted to oversee the opening and become the first General Manager of a new five star Dusit hotel in Hua Hin. Previous experience working for Dusit had apparently put him in pole position to undertake this project in what was then a relatively new international Thai hospitality destination. Hua Hin, with strong historical Royal connections, had long been favoured by Bangkok families seeking a gentle, less commercialised respite from city life; and a more refined alternative to Pattaya. From the onset, the style and design of the hotel was to be grand and opulent. Victor’s brief from Dusit owner Thanpuying Chanut was to run and develop the hotel as if it were his own. The hotel’s 1990 opening was a grand affair presided over by the late King Bhumibol’s sister, HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana. The name of the hotel at that time was the ‘Dusit Resort and Polo Club’, explaining why till this day the hotel is still often referred to as ‘Dusit Polo’. Today, three decades on, Victor looks back on his time at the hotel as a labour of love with so many landmark moments that only a few may be included here. 2003 saw the grand opening of the hotel’s renowned Devarana Spa, later to be followed by the Royal Dusit Hall. With facilities and expertise to host almost any kind of hospitality related events, including two ASEAN Summits, contributed to making the hotel a landmark in the history of Hua Hin in its own right. The hotel also became the home of the Swedish Consul Office in Hua Hin, with Victor appointed as Honorary Consul to Sweden. Victor’s love of theatre is well known, with organisers of MICE related events coming to expect the unexpected. Many returned year after year. Local celebrities of stage

104

TheBigChilli

and television often performed at the hotel’s legendary New Year Gala parties, which attracted 700 guests and eventually became both a reunion of old friends and a spectacular international celebration. Victor recalls one famous occasion when His Majesty King Bhumibol honoured  the hotel by jamming with the Polo Bar Jazz Band and graciously granted permission for photos with Thanpuying Chanut and the hotel cast. Over the years the hotel has received numerous accolades from industry figures, but for Victor it’s when guests come back year after year, often staying for months at a time, that he feels a sense of achievement and measure of success. He also likes to pass on what he has learned along the way, lecturing at colleges and training programmes, together with radio and TV ventures that he says will continue throughout his retirement from management. The hotel has hosted hundreds of weddings, probably a number of conceptions over the years too, and life at the Dusit will continue as Victor’s baton passes to a new conductor with the brief that the show must go on. Nothing stays the same, says Victor, vouching for the fact that hospitality now is very different from when he started out. The hotel will undoubtedly keep pace with new innovations and industry trends, implementing Dusit identity into the mix. The hotel has continuously occupied almost half of Khun Victor’s life and he admits to feeling like parents must feel when their child leaves home and ventures out into the world on his or her own. Victor says he has great expectations and confidence that the hotel’s future is sound and wishes his successors as rewarding an experience as he has enjoyed.


Beyond Bangkok 03

Experience the Wonder Fruit Spa from 1 June to 31 August at the Cliff Spa, Royal Cliff Hotels Group. Enjoy an exfoliating body scrub followed by a relaxing massage with amazing fruit extracts and essential oils including mangosteen, mango, pineapple, peach and coconut. Each treatment helps the skin in different ways. Prices from B3,200 net per person for 90 minutes or B4,200 net per person for 120 minutes. (+66) 38 250 421 ext. 2828 cliffspa@ royalcliff.com

01 Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa is offering three choices of prime ribs plus side dishes and condiments at its Big Fish & Bar overlooking the golden beach throughout June. Either enjoy half a kilo of succulent American style barbecued pork ribs for just B 500++, or discover delectable deepfried veal ribs from Pak Chong Farm at just B 750++, or savour sumptuous Australian beef ribs braised with red wine for B 1,000++. More information or reservations at 032 904 666 or huahinrestaurants@marriott.com.

01 Exotic prime ribs at Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa 02 Delectable Thai cooking classes at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket 03 WONDER FRUIT SPA AT ROYAL CLIFF 1 JUNE – 31 AUGUST 2018 04 Five-course alfresco feast on the Hua Hin beach

02

Love Thai food? Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket are offering wonderful cooking classes on Friday and Saturday mornings at the Café Andaman. Delectable crafted Thai cuisine classes are available for only B 2,400 net and B 1,500 net per guest for a 2-day and 1-day course respectively. Prices include all crafted dishes prepared by skilled chefs, lunch, a Chef’s hat, apron, recipes and a certificate. Advance booking is strongly advised. 076-391-123 www.capecollection.com

106

TheBigChilli

04 The “Dine Along the Beach” unique culinary journey returns to the Hua Hin beach on the last Thursday of every month until November 2018. Hyatt Regency, Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, InterContinental Resort, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas and Hilton Resort & Spa join forces to provide this amazing five-course alfresco feast. Starting at 5pm, diners will stroll along the beach from resort to resort, sampling one course at each hotel, with the magical evening ambience finishing about 9pm. Transport between the resorts for guests with limited mobility. The price for the five-course meal is B 2,499 nett per person, accompanied by wine and mineral water. Only 50 places availability makes advanced reservations essential. huahin.regency@hyatt.com +66 (0) 32 521 234.


Dining Along the Beach The last Thursday in May witnessed the four hour gastronomic journey along the sandy beach of Hua Hin’s coast as guests enjoyed the “Dine Along the Beach” experience. Stopping off at Hyatt Regency Hua Hin & THE BARAI, Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa, InterContinental Hua Hin Resort, Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas and Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, each acclaimed hotel supplied a sumptuous course paired with a fine wine to delight the guests palates, and this creative alfresco feast was greatly enjoyed by all!

TheBigChilli 107


Beyond Bangkok

Amber gets it right on quality, style – and portions By Mick and Di The Food Lovers Osso Buco steeped in the taste of the famous Belgian Orval Beer. My Australian beef cheeks had been slow cooked in a robust red wine with a selection of vegetables. The beef was fall-apart tender, full-bodied and juicy bathed in a luscious red wine gravy. Definitely a must-have. Main courses here are as eclectic as they are creative using only tip top ingredients. Greenland Halibut is prepared en papillotte with green and white asparagus, Oven simmered Australian lamb shanks are served with a white sauce, chicken fillet is filled with a scrumptious French goat cheese, and rolled pork belly comes with a filling of prunes and a whisky BBQ sauce. Steak lovers do not fret Amber prides itself on its Australian 7 marbled Sirloin (B.777), Rib Eye (B.999) and T-Bone (B1,111). Sides, sauces and potatoes are complimentary.

A

MBER flung open its doors to Pattaya’s diners late last year and since then has gained an enviable reputation, not only for its extensive assemblage of carefully selected labels from the old and new wine worlds but a menu devised to highlight the very best of classic European cuisine. Sited in the old Blue Olive building in Soi 8, Thepprasit Road, Jomtien, the leading light of this wine centric restaurant is Belgian national, Peter De Kegel whose expertise in the food and grape industry is well known. He presents a menu of classic comfort fine dining, saying goodbye to old strait jacket rules and “allo, allo” to interesting gastro-forward cuisine. Also, admirably, there are small and large plate options to make possible a tasting menu of both food and wines. The ambiance is sophisticated with an air of old Europe and a welcoming bar zone offering not only dozens of appealing wines but a coterie of boutique spirits and a broad collection of proprietary tipples and Belgian beers. Our first pour of the evening was a Chilean Yali 3 Lagoons Chardonnay 2013. It proved the perfect companion with Mick’s appetiser choice of grilled Alaskan snow crab legs (B.299). Served with a lip-smacking crab cocktail it’s a deluxe appetiser for fans of seafood. The Chardonnay also married well

108

TheBigChilli

with my sensational foie gras starter. Other starters include a French goat cheese Caprese, an example of Amber’s gastro twists. Norwegian salmon tataki is 24 hour marinated salmon in Moroccan herbs, sautéed and rolled in seaweed (B.226) or the US scallops come on a bed of seaweed and micro salad topped with crispy bacon (B.266). We were now supping a Montepulciano d’Abrazzo at a promotional price of B.1,000. For this, we’d chosen two of Amber’s signature dishes, Pork Osso Buco in Orval sauce (B.399) and slow roasted beef cheeks. Both were deeply rich and satisfying. Mick loved the pork

After so much gleeful eating we couldn’t leave without tasting one of their desserts and plumped for a chocolate ganache tart. A sweet, toothsome finale to our debut eating at Amber Amber is a discovery. Hitting the right price points, this will become, understandably, a very popular restaurant. Open for lunch from 11.30 to 3.00 pm. Dinner from 5.00 pm till late. Closed Mondays. Amber is located off Thepprasit Road (left hand side) going towards Sukhumvit Road in Soi 8. Tel: 08 245 95733 or 036 416 285. Visit www.amberpattaya.com or info@ amberpattaya.com. Monthly wine tastings and speciality food nights will be held soon, contact Peter for details.


Beyond Bangkok

Bar and Bed Resort rocks Koh Samet In May 2018, The Bar & Bed Resort in Koh Samet held an exclusive concert and party featuring The Duo Band and Sincharoen Brothers. It was an evening filled with beautiful music and unforgettable rhythms with Byrd and Heart delighting their fans and all the guests. Truly, it was an evening to remember at Koh Samet’s well-known entertainment venue.

112

TheBigChilli


The BigChilli July 2018  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. July 2018

The BigChilli July 2018  

Thailand's best-read expat magazine. Find out what's hot in Bangkok and beyond. July 2018