For famed celebrity chef Pichaya “Pam” Utharntharm, cooking is her way to happiness.
And whilst our guest this week for Chef’s Cheat Day barely needs any introduction, the story can’t go on without appreciating Chef Pam’s esteemed work as a host and judge on Top Chef Thailand, as well as being the chef and owner of Bangkok’s The Table by Chef Pam.
She was the youngest chef to be awarded the Asia Youth Hope Cooking Competition by Les Disciples d’Escoffier at the age of 21, and has also worked in many many prestigious kitchens, with the Michelin-starred Jean‑Georges in New York amongst them. There’s no doubt that the chef is deserving of her success and public recognition, evidenced in her appearances on countless media, which eventually led her to a judge and host role for Top Chef Thailand.
As booming as she is as a TV personality, The Table by Chef Pam features a chef’s table concept with Thai-Chinese-American commingled cuisine. It is a personal extension of her life shaped by the food and times in the kitchen.
Chef Pam makes sure her inner food geek — and tummy — always stay inspired and satisfied by Bangkok’s rich food scene. We asked Chef Pam to share with us the Bangkok spots where she likes to go for guilty pleasure food. Here, the chef unveils all her favourite off-the-beaten-track restaurants and the dishes she usually gets. Read on for her list of food she likes to devour on a cheat day in Bangkok.
For cheat day bites: Ocken
“I love the food and the atmosphere at Ocken. My husband and I love to hang out there. We would get some wine and just chill. And for the food, I love Clam and Mussel Pot served with grilled sourdough bread. Another great dish we always get is the Mini Double Cheese Wagyu Burger — this one is an absolute must-order. It’s simple yet spectacular!”
For coffee: Caravana Speakeasy Coffee Bar
“Caravana Speakeasy Coffee Bar, here’s a true hidden gem for me. You would never expect or think that there would be a cafe in the location it’s situated (Nakhon Kasem 5 Alley). The coffee bar is a melting pot of coffee traditions from around the world and I really love their coffee cocktail.”
For cocktail hour: Salon du Japonisant and Bacchus Showcase
“I can’t express enough about how much I love the bar chairs here. It’s just real comfortable. Salon du Japonisant is a very cosy spot and it makes you feel right at home as soon as you step in. The cocktail options here are also very interesting, creative, and, of course, yummy.”
For Thai fare that never fails: Sri Trat
“My family and I love to go to Sri Trat and have a nice meal out. It’s for sure a family-style restaurant, with something for everyone to enjoy, and also great cocktails! My favourite dish to get is the glass noodle with three smelly vegetables called sam mhen.”
And for dessert: Rintaro Ice Cream
“Rintaro Ice Cream is hands down my favourite ice cream shop. My favourite flavour to get here is the Camembert Rintaro. I love the creamy and rich texture as well as the intense flavour of their ice cream. Think desserts? Think Rintaro.