Are the best new Thai chefs foreigners?

Are the best new Thai chefs foreigners?

The fiery controversy continues with a panel discussion at Bangkok’s Foreign Correspondents Club

Sra BuaA plate of Sra Bua's frozen red curry lobster salad. But are Thais ready to see their cuisine taken to the next level by foreigners?The debate over the authenticity of Thai cuisine, Michelin stars and food culture continues tonight in Bangkok. 

The Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT) has put together a panel discussion titled "Are the best new Thai cooks farang?"

It all stems from the ongoing war of words between local chefs and food critics, which started a few months ago with the opening of a Bangkok branch of renowned Australian chef  David Thompson's Michelin-starred Thai restaurant Nahm.

This was followed by Copenhagen chef Henrik Yde-Andersen, who exported his Michelin-starred Thai fare to Bangkok’s newly opened Siam Kempinski Hotel in the form of Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin.  (Read more about the controversy here.) 

“When the occasional daring farang turns his or her ladle to a tom yam kung, or does something different with a green curry, a surprising number of Thais are left in slack-jawed astonishment,” says the FCCT promo outlining tonight’s proceedings.  

“Their horror only deepens when more broadminded compatriots praise the results and laud some of the innovations. This culinary cross-pollination is more than a debate about carrots in the som tam or dairy milk in the soup.” 

The FCCT says all are welcome to attend the 8 p.m., December 13 discussion, which features the following panelists:  Dr Kanit Muntarbhorn, culinary historian; Jarett Wrisley, food writer and owner of Soul Food Mahanakorn; and Chawadee Nualkhair, journalist and author of the forthcoming guidebook, "Bangkok's Top 50 Street Food Stalls."   

Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand. Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building. 518/5 Ploenchit Road (connected to the BTS Skytrain Chitlom station). Tel: +66 (0)2 652 0580. Admission: Free for members, 300 baht for non-members.