Chef Bastian Ballweg: My heart is in the kitchen

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach executive chef Bastian Ballwe (2)

The Big Fish restaurant at Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach, has it all – a spectacular location on the very beachfront (a true rarity in Phuket), tasteful, contemporary interiors, world-class service… and now it also has a new Executive Chef – Bastian Ballweg – who brings with him years of experience, a deep respect for local ingredients and a sense of adventure that translates to new exciting dishes on the restaurant’s menu.

But before you sit down to a sunset dinner at the Big Fish, we decided to ask him a few questions, so you get a chance to know the man who’ll prepare your meal a bit better.

What inspired you to become a chef?

Cooking has always been a hobby of mine. I grew up in hospitality because my grandparents run a restaurant and a pub and as a child I visited them there often. As I grew older, I became more involved, helping them – my grandmother in the kitchen and my grandfather at the bar.

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach The Big Fish (2)

So, was cooking the first and only career choice for you?

Actually, I also have background in the car industry, because my father had a car dealership and a workshop, both established by his father. But my heart was in the cooking.

What is it about being a chef that keeps you passionate?

Chef’s work is a never-ending learning process. Every day is different, a new day – new game. But I think what I like the most is the teamwork part of it. And seeing guest happy with what we do.

Let’s talk about your food. Do you have a favourite dish or ingredient?

It’s impossible to answer this question!

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach The Big Fish.jpg Dish of the day (1)
Sorry! But do try!

There are so many dishes I like, I simply love food! And it can be either fine dining or simple, wholesome food. On some days, I’m happy with a straightforward sandwich, another time I go for premium steak and truffle fries. And I know it’s the same for my guests.

How about more general, not a favourite dish but a preferred cuisine?

Again, every cuisine is my favourite, though obviously not all dishes – chefs are people too, you know?! But in my job, I have to be open to new things, keep an open mind.

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach The Big Fish (6)

Tell us more about your concept for the menu at Big Fish restaurant.

The concept is simple – fresh, authentic, local cuisine. Our guests don’t come to Thailand to eat Schnitzel. But to keep things exciting, I like to add a bit of a twist here and there, blend Thai cuisine with western techniques, mix up some ingredients. As my mentor, chef Gustav Werning wisely said, one should not be afraid to make mistakes, but should learn from them. So, we take risks and learn.

Chef’s Bio

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach executive chef Bastian Ballwe (1)

Bastian Ballweg is the new Executive Chef at Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach, who is raising the bar for culinary excellence throughout the resort.

A German national, Chef Bastian was inspired to embark on a culinary career by his grandparents, who owned a popular restaurant and pub. Having attended hotel school, he entered the hospitality industry in 1999 and quickly rose through the professional ranks at a series of European restaurants and hotels, including Mövenpick Hotel Zurich Airport.

In 2012, Chef Bastian moved to Southeast Asia for the first time, bringing his extensive talent and experience to the South American Steakhouse in Phuket, where he led the kitchen team as Executive Chef. Then in 2015 he joined The Naka Island, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Phuket – the prestigious property that now forms part of Marriott International’s portfolio.

Chef Bastian will now showcase his lifetime of culinary expertise at Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach. An innovative master of global cuisine who takes inspiration from around the world, he focuses on fresh, local ingredients to create authentic dishes.

Guests can experience Chef Bastian’s exciting culinary creations at The Andaman Kitchen and Big Fish Restaurant & Bar.

For reservation, please call 076 625 555 or send an email to hktnb.restaurant@marriott.com

Find out more on Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach website.

Maciek Klimowicz
Maciek Klimowicz

Editor-in-Chief

Maciek Klimowicz is the Editor in Chief at Real Life Phuket. Food, wine, culture and travel are some of the things he enjoys and writes about - luckily Phuket provides plenty of all. Contact Maciek on editor@rl-phuket.com

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