With a wealth of experience and an artistic approach to his craft, he discusses his passion for cooking, the fusion of flavours on the menu, and the drive to expand his culinary horizons.
Koktail Magazine (KM): Tell us about your culinary journey and how your passion for cooking evolved?
Chef Phukao (PK): I began cooking daily meals for my family when I was quite young. This early experimentation ignited a passion for cooking, prompting me to pursue formal culinary studies that led to my professional career.
KM: With a decade in the culinary world, how did your past roles prepare you for Pebbles Bar and Grill?
PK: I learned from top chefs worldwide, soaking in diverse techniques. This curiosity and learning prepared me well.
KM: What aspect of your current role excites you most?
PK: The restaurant's ambiance and its open kitchen concept resonated deeply with me, compelling me to become part of the team. It's especially exciting to connect with diners through the sights, sounds, and aromas of the cooking process.
KM: The new menu seems to balance traditional and innovative dishes. Could you explain the thinking behind these new menu items, such as Khao Yai burrata, braised beef short rib, and mixed seafood platter?
PK: I primarily focus on blending the calmness of mountains with the liveliness of the ocean. This contrast is intended to craft an enchanting dining occasion..
Khao Yai Burrata
Braised Beef Short Ribs
Mixed Seafood Platter
KM: Your artistic touch in the kitchen is well regarded. How do you infuse creativity into your dishes, and how crucial is presentation in enhancing the overall dining experience?
PK: My creative process starts with a meticulous selection of ingredients. Allowing the natural flavours and aesthetics of these ingredients to shine is paramount. Presentation plays a pivotal role, serving as a gateway to the food journey that awaits.
KM: As Sous Chef, what's your main role in the kitchen?
PK: I set and maintain culinary standards. Keeping ingredients fresh and top-notch is essential.
KM: The press mentions your love for French fusion. How does this fit Pebbles Bar and Grill's global appeal?
PK: I mix French techniques with local ingredients for a contemporary experience. The menu suits various preferences, even kids and seafood lovers.
KM: What challenges do you encounter in your role as a chef, and how do you navigate them?
PK: The primary challenge is ensuring each guest leaves with a satisfaction and the desire to return. This demands dedication to each dish and a commitment to constant improvement.
KM: Sustainability and the use of locally sourced, organic ingredients have become central in modern culinary practices. How do you integrate sustainability into your cooking, and how does this ethos reflect in the menu?
PK: Sustainability is a fundamental pillar of my cooking philosophy. By sourcing ingredients locally, we ensure freshness and contribute to the Chonburi community. This ethos is deeply woven into the fabric of our menu.
KM: What makes Pebbles Bar and Grill stand out? Any signature dishes you recommend?
PK: It stands out through its unique menu, drawing inspiration from both mountain and sea. Our diverse offerings cater to a range of tastes. The grilling technique using stoves and coal is a highlight. I highly recommend trying the tomahawk black Angus steak, sourced from cattle raised on a 240-day grain-fed diet. Additionally the seafood platter is a top choice.
KM: Lastly, how do you sustain inspiration and continually push culinary boundaries in your role? What advice do you offer aspiring chefs entering your world?
PK: Patience and attention to detail are crucial. Keep learning and evolving. These factors empower me to strive to create remarkable dishes. To aspiring chefs, I advise embracing the craft with enthusiasm and finding joy in the journey. This not only enriches their lives but also fuels their creativity.
In this conversation, Chef Phukao's passion, dedication, and creative vision shine through, offering a glimpse into the culinary artistry that defines Pebbles Bar and Grill.