Chef Ian Kittichai : Founding Partner

 

Chef Ian Kittichai’s path to culinary success started from very humble beginnings in Bangkok. Every morning he would rise at 3 AM to accompany his mother to the wet market to select the best meats, seafood, and vegetables for her neighborhood grocery. While Ian was at school, she would cook a dozen different types of curries. Upon his return home, Ian would push a cart through the neighborhood to sell his wares, shouting: “Khao Geang Ron Ron Ma Leaw Jaar!” (Hot curry coming!).

 

After completing high school in Bangkok, Ian moved to London to study English with no intention of becoming a chef. Fate seemed to have other ideas though - while working part time at the Waldorf Hotel THF, the hotel chef saw something of great promise in young Ian. Before long, the hotel sponsored him to attend culinary school. He subsequently completed his culinary studies in Sydney, Australia and then spent his years of apprenticeship absorbing French fine dining cuisine at the famous Claude’s.

In 1993, Ian decided to return to his homeland and work for the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok as a Demi Chef. He quickly rose through the ranks while mastering various cuisines and winning acclaim in multiple international culinary competitions. In 1998, Chef Kittichai became the first Thai national in the world to become Executive Chef of a five-star hotel property. His career path in the Four Seasons organization took him to culinary exchanges around the world where he was able to further perfect his talent and craft. At restaurants and hotels such as Georges V in Paris, French Laundry in Napa Valley, El Bulli in Spain, and Four Seasons Chinzan-so in Tokyo, Chef Kittichai was free to fully spread his culinary wings. 

 

In 2004 Chef Kittichai relocated to New York and created Kittichai Restaurant. Kittichai Restaurant appeared in Food & Wine magazine as Best New Asian Restaurants 2005, Travel + Leisure magazine as Best New American Restaurants 2004, as well as appearing in Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, GQ, New York Magazine, New York Times, Gourmet Traveller, and Vanity Fair, amongst numerous others. 

 

In 2008 he formed his international food & beverage management and consulting firm, Cuisine Concept Co., Ltd. In addition having some of the most recognizable international hotels, restaurants, and food companies on its client roster, Cuisine Concept also has a kitchen lab, chefs’ table, training facility and event space in Bangkok.

In June 2011 Chef became a partner in and the culinary director of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City. In December 2011 Chef Kittichai debuted his flagship Thai restaurant and lounge, Issaya Siamese Club, in Bangkok, which was listed on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Aqua Panna from 2014 to 2018. Also in December 2011, Chef’s first cookbook in Thai, Chef Ian’s Kitchen Revealed, won the prestigious Gourmand Best Chef Cookbook Thailand Award.  

In June 2011 Chef became a partner in and the culinary director of Spot Dessert Bar in New York City. In December 2011 Chef Kittichai debuted his flagship Thai restaurant and lounge, Issaya Siamese Club, in Bangkok, which was listed on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S. Pellegrino and Aqua Panna from 2014 to 2018. Also in December 2011, Chef’s first cookbook in Thai, Chef Ian’s Kitchen Revealed, won the prestigious Gourmand Best Chef Cookbook Thailand Award.  

 

In January 2012 Chef debuted as one of the permanent Iron Chefs on the Iron Chef Thailand television show. Chef Kittichai’s first cookbook for the English-language market, Issaya Siamese Club: Innovative Thai Cuisine by Chef Ian Kittichai, was released in April 2013 and placed third for the Best Cookbook of The Year 2014 by the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. In June 2016 he released a follow-up Issaya cookbook: La Pâtisserie Issaya Pastry Cookbook.

 

In February 2014 Chef took over the menu at Tangerine restaurant at Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore. In May 2014 Chef opened Issaya Cooking Studio in partnership with Sub-Zero & Wolf appliances, as well as Issaya La Pâtisserie in Bangkok. In June 2014 he opened the Asian gastro bar, Namsaah Bottling Trust, in Bangkok. 

 

Chef Kittichai is a founding council member of The World Street Food Congress, along with the late Anthony Bourdain, KF Seetoh, and Claus Meyer, amongst other culinary luminaries. In September 2013 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property, and the Agence Francaise de Developpement honored Chef as the first Asia Geographical Indication Ambassador. In April of 2015, Chef Kittichai was awarded the designation of Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole by the French Republic for his outstanding contributions to gastronomy and agriculture. 

 

On the 1st of July 2019, Chef launched a year-long series of special menus for Qatar Airways first and business class flights.

 

Chef Kittichai can currently be seen as the lead judge on MasterChef Thailand and MasterChef Junior Thailand as well as on episodes of shows, such as Phil Rosenthal’s Netflix series Somebody Feed Phil. 

 

Keep up with Chef at

Frederic Meyer and Avril Prod : Founding Partner

 

Frederic Meyer is originally from Paris. In 1999 he was appointed Director of Research and Development of the Blue Elephant Group based in Belgium. During his time with Blue Elephant Group he spearheaded the expansion of the restaurant brand into various countries, a cooking school, and a global grocery line. 

 

In 2004 Meyer left Blue Elephant Group and created Avril Productions, representing major international DJ stars and entertainers, such as Claude Challe, Martin Solveig, Ravin from Paris, amongst others, and producing music compilations. Presently Avril represents its DJ’s and entertainers in Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe and produces compilations for clients such as The Ritz Paris, Six Senses, Starwood, Sofitel, etc. Avril’s compilations are sold in over 62 countries around the world. 

 

In 2011, Fred teamed up with long-time friend, Chef Ian Kittichai, to create the award-winning Issaya Siamese Club restaurant and lounge in Bangkok. In May 2014 they opened the Issaya Cooking Studio in partnership with Sub-Zero & Wolf Appliances and Issaya La Patisserie in Bangkok. In June 2014 Frederic and Ian again joined forces to create the playful Asian gastro bar, Namsaah Bottling Trust. 

 

Frederic and Avril Production’s first cookbook collaboration with Chef Ian Kittichai, Issaya Siamese Club: Innovative Thai Cuisine by Chef Ian Kittichai, was released in April 2013 and placed in the top 3 for the Best Cookbook of The Year by the prestigious Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  

 

In 2014, Meyer opened the acclaimed Bangkok pizza restaurant, Pizza Massilia. In 2015, he opened the playful Japanese restaurant Kom-Ba-Wa, Bordier Selection Cheese and Butter, the thought-provoking art gallery YenakArt Villa and the latest project "Baan Phadthai" in Bangkok, and Issaya Siamese Club in Hong Kong.

 

To find out more about Avril, please go to www.avrilprod.com

Hans Bogetoft Christensen : Interior Designer

 

Hans Bogetoft Christensen is originally from Denmark and studied menswear design and tailoring on London.  He has been living and designing in Asia for over 20 years and is the force behind home décor companies Rice for Asian Design, Cocoon, and Ginger. Based in Chiang Mai, Rice for Asian Design has been designing and exporting décor to international clients such as Habitat, House of Fraser, Zara Home, Laura Ashley, Crate & Barrel, William Sonoma, Neiman Marcus, and Urban Outfitters since 1997.  

 

In 2003 Christensen established The House restaurant in Chiang Mai and then expanded the property in 2008 to include Ginger & Kafe to showcase Ginger fashion and home décor. Presently Ginger also operated 15 “shops in shops’ throughout Thailand in prestigious locations such as Siam Paragon, Central Department Stores, and Emporium.  

 

To learn more about Christensen and his projects, please go to www.thehousethailand.com

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