Bangkok’s Pichaya ‘Pam’ winner of Asia’s Best Female Chef Award 2024

Bangkok’s Pichaya ‘Pam’ winner of Asia’s Best Female Chef Award 2024

Bangkok-based Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij wins Asia’s Best Female Chef Award for 2024.

Pam is a culinary expert, celebrated TV personality, and chef-owner of Potong (No.35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023) and is one of the most prominent faces in Thailand’s culinary landscape.

This coveted award is voted for by the 318 members of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy and provides an opportunity to celebrate women in gastronomy who persist in pushing the limits of excellence through their skills, expertise, and artistry.

Chef Pam will be honoured at the live awards ceremony on 26 March 2024. The 2024 edition of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, marks the first time the awards will be held in the Korean capital of Seoul and will comprise an extensive event programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The programme will culminate in the much-anticipated awards ceremony where the 2024 ranking of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants will be revealed.

“Chef Pam has been serving up some truly innovative cuisine from her fine dining establishment in an iconic multi-floor heritage building. Her 20-course tasting menu is a masterclass in paying heed to heritage as well as in cultural storytelling. For her inspirational gastronomy and her commanding presence on Thailand’s culinary scene — which includes everything from television appearances to empowerment programmes — Pam is truly deserving of the honour.” said William Drew, Director of Content for Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Having spent her formative years in Bangkok, Chef Pam refined her skills at the Culinary Institute of America and during a subsequent stint at New York restaurant Jean-Georges.

Back in Thailand, Chef Pam established The Table restaurant and private dining experience that gained recognition from local and regional gourmets, as well as the media.

She also owns Bangkok’s multi-outlet restaurant, Smoked. Earning sought-after accolades at a remarkably young age, she has secured multiple Young Chef awards and even took on the role of a S.Pellegrino Young Chef Academy Judge in 2022.

She returned to her roots with Potong, which offer a culinary reflection of her Thai-Chinese heritage. The restaurant’s name translates as ‘simple,’ and is a nod to her family’s Chinese herbal medicines business.

Housed in the ancestral building that once served as a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy, Potong seamlessly blends tradition with avant-garde culinary techniques, offering 20 inspiring dishes in a tasting menu that embodies her 5-Element philosophy of ‘Salt, Acid, Spice, Texture, and Maillard Reaction’.

She has swiftly emerged as one of the country’s most influential chefs, and Potong, nestled in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown, stands as one of the city’s most lauded gastronomic establishments.

Noteworthy awards for Potong include ranking No.35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 and No.88 on the extended list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, further solidifying the chef’s status as a trailblazer in the gastronomic world.

Chef Pam’s commitment to empowering female chefs is evident in her pivotal role with Gastronauts Asia and Women in Gastronomy (WIG). She recently started her own scholarship programme called WFW (Women for Women) together with American Women’s Club of Thailand, a non-profit organisation, to support female students in rural areas of Thailand to achieve their dream in becoming chefs.

On winning Asia’s Best Female Chef Award 2024, Chef Pam says, “I’m deeply honoured. This award goes beyond personal achievement — it celebrates my beliefs, respect for heritage, and a relentless pursuit to better myself. May this accolade inspire young female chefs to break barriers and ignite grand culinary dreams. I believe that with passion and dedication, anyone can carve their path to success. I am grateful to 50 Best for this recognition — it’s not just mine, but a triumph for every aspiring chef worldwide.”

Honouring female chefs across Asia, previous recipients of Asia’s Best Female Chef Award include Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava from Thailand (2013); Lanshu Chen from Taiwan (2014); Hong Kong’s Vicky Lau (2015); Margarita Forés of the Philippines (2016); May Chow from Hong Kong (2017);

Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun (2018) and Garima Arora (2019), both based in Thailand; Korean chef Cho Hee-sook (2020), Shanghai-based DeAille Tam (2021), Japanese chef Natsuko Shoji (2022) and Singapore-based Filipina chef Johanne Siy (2023).

The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 awards ceremony, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will be held live in Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas, Seoul, South Korea on 26 March 2024.

 

About the host destination partner: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Seoul Metropolitan Government

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) is a government organization of the Republic of Korea in charge of agriculture and rural affairs as well as promotion of the food industry.

Its objective is to enhance quality of people’s lives and strengthen national competitiveness through innovative and developing agriculture, healthy and safe food for all, and pleasant and attractive rural areas. For more information, please visit http://mafra.go.kr/english

The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) is a local government of Seoul, responsible for administrative affairs as the capital city of the Republic of Korea. SMG aims to be a coexistent city ensuring a fair competitive environment and opportunities, a global leading city, a safe city guaranteeing a healthy and secure life, and a world-class smart city. For more information, please visit https://english.seoul.go.kr

 

About the main sponsor: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna

S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the main sponsors of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the leading natural mineral waters in the fine dining world. Together they interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of excellence, pleasure and well-being.

 

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