Bangkok born-and-raised, Chef Bank is a native of Sam Yot — the location of one of the capital’s latest Thai fine-dining additions. He brings his insatiable knowledge of Thai ingredients and extensive international experience to Samranraj Cuisine, combining classic fare with contemporary techniques that showcase his lifelong culinary journey. We recently caught up with Chef Bank to discuss what inspired him to enter the kitchen, his personal influences and opinions on the local and international Thai food scene, as well as his favourites neighbourhood haunts when he’s off duty.

What inspired you to become a chef?

A. My mum is my inspiration. She’d cook for the family every day and it was always better than anything I’d on the street or at a friend’s house. To this day, she’s still the best chef I met. My mouth still waters whenever I think about her stir-fried pork with sweet sauce.

So, what’s your favourite Thai dish?

Out of all the fancy dishes I’ve tried over the years, I still think it’s hard to beat a good pad kra pao. It takes me back to my childhood and whenever I eat out it is the first dish I order for the table. The simple tastes of the sweet basil, spicy chilli and meat work so well together, which is probably why it is one of the country’s most-loved dishes.

Where do you usually eat in Sam Yot?

There’s so much great food in this area, but if I had to pick it would be the Pad Tha at Pad Thai Sipmai, which is just around the corner from the hotel. I’ve been going there for about 30 years and it still tastes as good now as it did when I first went.

Tell us about your signature dish

It is a Massaman curry with lamb cutlets. It’s a taste of home and I’ve been making this dish for such a long time that I know it is going to perfect every time I make it.

How do you think the Thai food scene evolved in recent years?

Thai food has been popular around the world now for more than a decade, but I think one of the biggest developments here, especially in Bangkok, is the recognition street food has received. The introduction of the Michelin Guide has rewarded street food stalls that have long been legendary on a local scale -- and now so many people are aware and can experience them.

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