COMO Metropolitan Bangkok has re-launched its nahm restaurant with award-winning chef Pim Techamuanvivit at the helm after a break that saw both the restaurant and the menu re-imagined.
One of Asia’s most awarded and respected chefs, chef Pim still said she thinks of herself as a cook rather than a chef.
“Cooking is the work of actually putting together delicious food and sourcing good ingredients. It’s the work of women in general,” she said.
“Cooking, when it’s in the home, has always been the work of women. It’s only outside of the home, when it became a profession, that it became a man’s job. I’m not a professionally trained chef, I’m a cook who has been taught by other women cooks in their homes.
“I decided that every summer when I would come home, I’d go and sit in the kitchens and learn. If I knew someone’s family had a great recipe for something, I’d ask to come and watch in their kitchens. My parents thought it was quite cute, me sitting on the floor, pounding curry paste for hours and learning how to taste the difference in fish sauces.”
The new menu at nahm celebrates this heritage and nostalgia based on the finest artisanal produce and tradition. One dish on the new menu is kanom jin nahm prik, made by her grandmother and one she grew up eating.
“When I got back to Bangkok, no one made it the way I remembered,” she said. “I’m not saying it’s the best in Bangkok, it’s just that this one is my grandmother’s version and special to me – I like to tell guests this as it’s important to me and somebody has to remember it. Our heritage are just memories, which we pass on to the next generation.”
Sustainability is a critical aspect for chef Pim and her team.
“As a chef, it’s my responsibility to go out of my way to find and buy those ingredients so that these people gain a sustainable living and that their work is passed on,” she said.
“Because if no one is making good shrimp paste anymore then my relish is going to taste terrible. Its choices you need to make. We can’t claim that everything we do is sustainable, but we try and make as many local choices as possible.”