I feel quite lucky to have met chef Tammasak "Noi" Chootong. The fact that he found time to meet me is a bit of a wonder, considering the number of projects that he’s personally involved in: the very popular Suay restaurant in Phuket town, a consulting business, catering services... oh, and did I mention that Suay will soon launch its second branch in Thalang? Noi is a busy, busy man.
But when I met him at a villa in Cherng Talay, it was to talk about something else, though still something very much focused on, in fact - built around - cuisine. In the same way that the house we sat in was built around its massive kitchen.
“About a year ago I decided to renovate my house in Cherng Talay to center the design around the kitchen and use it for my catering business,” says chef Noi, “That’s when I had the idea of starting a cooking school, since I already had an excellent kitchen,” he explains.
It’s called Positive Kitchen, the same name as his consulting / cratering business and the space where the classes will be taking place, is positively impressive. Divided into an outdoor and indoor sections, with a sizeable workspace, industry-grade equipment and a designer table and chairs for the students to enjoy their own creations, it’s the kind of picture-perfect kitchen you’d expect to find Gordon Ramsey in, on one of his hit TV shows.
“I think this is the most stylish cooking school on the island,” says Chef Noi, no stranger to TV shows himself - he had a memorable stint with Iron Chef a few years back.
For now, there is no fixed schedule and classes are organized on request. The curriculum varies – chef Noi can teach his students (up to 15 at a time) how to cook up some of the signature dishes from his Suay restaurant - Tuna Tartar, Khao Soi, Lemongrass Marinated Lamb Chop, Grilled Eggplant with Crab Meat (the list goes on, but I stopped taking notes because rumbling in my stomach was getting out of control) as well as help advanced chefs polish their cooking skills, during private sessions.
And then there is “one more thing”, an idea perfectly suited for our fine-food-inclined island – a Chef’s Table; custom made dining experience with menu constructed to the guests' needs and wants. “If for example a wine importer wants to introduce a new wine, or any other produce – meat, spices, anything - he can invite his VIP guests and I can prepare a menu featuring his product” explains Noi.
A complete package? Sounds like it! But knowing chef Noi, there’s more in store. Follow RL Phuket on Facebook not to miss it, when it’s announced.
Learn more on positive-kitchen.com