There’s never a dull moment on Bangkok’s dining scene with new hyped-up restaurants opening every week. But, let’s face it, sometimes it’s nice to eat in the comfort of your own home.
But, thanks to Bangkok’s only personal chef, Jacobo Astray, home dining needn’t mean slaving over a hot stove for hours or ordering in from Food Panda. Astray offers all the punch of fine dining, but without having to step foot outside your front door.
Astray has an impressive resume, including working at Barcelona’s famous –now closed—tapas restaurant, Inopia and as chef de partie at elBulli, the now-closed three Michelin starred restaurant that was considered one of the best in the world.
After the restaurant’s closure, Astray arrived in Thailand where he worked as consulting chef for several high profile hotels and restaurants before deciding to go it alone.
Gula was set up last September when, lacking funds for a restaurant, he decided to set up the city’s first private chef business – a concept he’s seen work well back in Europe.
It’s a rare treat indeed to have elBulli quality meals cooked in your own kitchen and, as such, it’s no surprise Astray has been kept busy. The concept has been a hit and, Astray says many of his guests call him back the next day to guide them step-by-step through the previous evening’s dishes.
“It’s difficult to say what kind of style I do. I use local products from Khlong Toei market, but cook them using the techniques I learnt in Europe – it’s fusion and fine dining.”
Astray creates menus of around 10 – 12 courses based on your preferences and pre-prepares them. Then, on the evening of the dinner party, he and his sous chef offer guests the chance to watch them cook in the kitchen, as they explain and introduce the dishes.
And, if having a chef from one of the world’s best restaurants cook for you and your friends in your home isn’t enough of a wow-factor for you, perhaps the fact they’ll provide any extra service and entertainment you need, as well as doing your dishes and leaving your kitchen spotless afterwards. Sign. Us. Up.
Gula’s private chef nights are limited to just 12 people, making it one of the most exclusive dining experiences in Bangkok and, Astray has his sights on a venue of his own, too. “I’m taking it step by step. I don’t know what’s next, but I would like to have my own space, my own workshop and my own private dining room; like a chef’s table.” Another new dining concept for Bangkok; we can’t wait.
Dinners cooked by private chef Jacobo Astray cost between THB 2500 and THB 4000 per person.