Chef Phiyun Thongyun
Executive Chef, Tamarind Hill
Chef Piyun is a veteran with the TAMARIND Group of Restaurants, having worked with us for 13 years. She trained under Executive Chef of TAMARIND HILL Singapore, Chef Wanthana Nikonsaen, or Chef Pin, as she is affectionately known, when they were both based in TAMARIND SPRINGS. From her, she picked up an extensive knowledge of technique and developed her natural curiosity for food. Born by the coast near Pattaya in Thailand, Chef Piyun can trace her family roots to Indochina, and even speaks Laotian at home with her family. With a love for spicy food, her Indochinese and Thai roots are evident in her cooking; her favourite things to cook are Thai or Laotian style laksa, and the use of budu, a kind of fermented fish popularly used in Southern Thailand.
At home in her village, Chef Piyun's family plant their own vegetables and rear their own poultry, so she loves using the freshest ingredients in the TAMARIND HILL kitchen. With years' of experience under her belt and a natural enthusiasm for anything to do with cooking, Chef Piyun enjoys experimenting with new ideas and has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She takes pleasure in creating new dishes for special menus and promotions and is continually inspired by her kitchen 'family' at TAMARIND as much as she is by returning yearly to Thailand to relish in home-perfected recipes. Her strengths lie in savoury dishes but is equally proficient with Thai desserts as her water chestnut desert and pumpkin custards prove!
Chef Nipaporn Duangjaisantisuk
Assistant Executive Chef, Tamarind Hill
Born in the hills of Chiang Rai, Chef Niapaporn, or Chef Tuk as she is affectionately known has worked in Tamarind Hill for 6 years. Whilst her nickname, translated into English means 'the chubby chef', Chef Tuk is petite and slim, owing this to her love for fresh vegetables.
Hailing from the Akha hill tribe of Northern Thailand, in an area known for its thick forests and mountainous terrain, Chef Tuk shares a deep relationship with the land. The Akha fish in the rivers and grow their own vegetables such as forest ferns, bamboo shoots, as well as a variety of mushrooms and water crests. A typical dish would be a freshwater fish, typically talapia, mixed with vegetables and inserted into a bamboo and steamed, then served with rice. As a young child, Chef Tuk would wake each morning at 4am to help her mother prepare food for the day, boiling rice, powdering shrimp paste or picking vegetables and this is when she first learned how to cook.
The Akha are also closely related to the Hani of China's Yunnan's province so Chef Tuk's native diet had clear Chinese influences. She proudly adds that back in her village, people eat with chopsticks, drink tea with their meals and speak their own language.
Chef Tuk's favourite meal is any kind of nam prik, or chilli paste served with raw or blanched vegetables. At TAMARIND HILL, she infuses her special brand of flavours into the menu, especially with the salads and at the same time, marry traiditional Thai flavours with ingredients she has never used before, such as salmon. The result is electric and extremely special.