Thai Cuisine, well known for its spiciness, is really better characterized by its complex balancing of five distinct flavors—sour, sweet, salty, bitter, spicy—and is the secret to mastering Thai food. Though the ingredients of Southeast Asian cuisine, like fish sauce, may be unfamiliar to some, most are readily on hand and can be used to create exciting flavor profiles. Thai cuisine is vast and varied, heavily influenced by regional ingredients, food traditions and the cultures of surrounding countries. For instance, the food of Southern Thailand tends to be very spicy and incorporates a lot of seafood. In other regions, dishes are served with different types of rice—Central Thailand leans toward jasmine rice while sticky rice is a staple of Northeastern Thailand. So, to really capture the dynamic intricacies of Thai cooking, the International Culinary Center and the National Research Council of Thailand have joined forces to bring the Thai Cuisine to Global Market project to New York!
This March, ICC is hosting a 3-day series of hands-on classes, workshops and demonstrations promoting authentic Thai cuisine to the world. Through this exchange, the project seeks to strengthen the knowledge of Thai cuisine—from ingredients and techniques to regional recipes and cooking processes—and promote authentic Thai dishes to culinary students + instructors, professional chefs and foodies in the US. Join ICC and two celebrated Chefs from Suan Dusit University in Thailand as we journey to Southeast Asia, without ever leaving NYC! They’ll teach us about the complexities of Thai cuisine, and show us how to create, and balance, these flavors in our own kitchens. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the experts—check out the three days of events below!
A Taste of Thailand—Chef Demonstration of Authentic Thai Cuisine
Wednesday, March 27
We’re excited to welcome celebrated chefs from the Suan Dusit University in Thailand—Chef Jareuk Sriaroon & Chef Songpol Vithanwattana—accompanied by ICC Alumna, Chanchana Siripanwattana, for an afternoon highlighting the complex flavors of authentic Thai cuisine. Join us for a demonstration to unlock the secrets of Thai Cooking—from working with ingredients found in Southeast Asian countries, to the art of balancing sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavors. They’ll share the differences and similarities in different regional dishes of Thailand and explain how local Thai cuisine has adapted influences from surrounding Asian countries into their food. Bringing their expertise to New York for the first time, they’ll demonstrate four traditional Thai dishes—Mee Grob (herb crispy vermicelli), Red Curry with Roasted Duck, Gaeng Som Goong (sour soup with shrimp) and Sago Pudding with Longan & Sweet Corn. Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to taste each of the four dishes and learn how to make these popular Thai dishes in their own kitchens!
Open to ICC Students, Alumni and Staff—no RSVP required. For volunteer opportunities, please contact Natalia Pozzi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Limited seating available to the general public—please RSVP to email@example.com to attend.
Private Hands-On Class for ICC Chef Instructors & Alumni
Tuesday, March 26
In this 2-hour hands-on professional development workshop, ICC Chef Instructors & Alumni will have the opportunity to learn the techniques behind two authentic Thai dishes—Gratong Thong (minced chicken in crispy golden cups) and Kanom Jeen Namya (rice noodles with yellow crab curry). Through this workshop, you’ll gain an understanding of how Thai cuisine is influenced by the dishes of other Asian countries and learn firsthand how to balance Southeast Asian flavors in your kitchen.
Note: Please bring your knives & chef coat for the class.
Private Hands-On Class for Current ICC Students
Thursday, March 28
In this 2-hour hands-on cooking class, current ICC students will have the opportunity to experience firsthand how their culinary education can be applied to cuisines from around the world. Chef Instructors from the Suan Dusit University in Thailand will lead the class in cooking two classic Thai favorites—Pad Thai (Thai stir-fried noodles) and Spicy Beef Salad—from start to finish! You’ll learn the techniques behind authentic Thai cuisine and understand how to use ingredients commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking.
Note: Please bring your knives & come in uniform for the class.
MEET THE INSTRUCTORS
Songpol “Park” Vithanwattana
Chef Songpol “Park” Vithanwattana received his Bachelor’s degree in Kitchen & Restaurant Management from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok, Thailand before pursuing his MBA in Modern Entrepreneurship from Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok and an MBA in Hospitality Industries from HTMi, Tourism Management Institute in Switzerland.
Chef Vithanwattana’s kitchen experience spans from working as a Commis at the Hotel Sofitel Silom and Centara Grand Bangkok in Thailand before becoming Thai Chef at Ah-hua Restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland. After returning from Switzerland, he became an instructor in Culinary Technology and Service at Suan Dusit University in Thailand. Here, he contributes to the development, planning, and implementation of teaching the next generations of chefs.
Throughout his years, Chef Vithanwattana has won various awards throughout the world. In 2011, he was awarded a gold medal in the Battle of the Chef, 13th Penang International Salon Gastronomique for the meat/ poultry category and awarded the silver medal in the Chef Competition 2016, Taiwan International Food Festival TCAC Culinary Challenge.
Chef Jareuk Sriaroon began his culinary education in 1999, receiving his certificate in Food Production Operation from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok, Thaliand. He then went on to study hospitality marketing and wine in the Netherlands, as well as hotel management in England.
After his studies, he went on to work in kitchens throughout Bangkok, cooking French cuisine and refining his talents. After his time working in kitchens, he embraced his passion for education to become an instructor at Silpakorn University International College. Then, he became executive producer and host of the documentary Namprik, which celebrated Thai cuisine. Now, he’s continuing his instructor path at Suan Dusit Rajabhat University/ International Culinary School.
During his time cooking, Chef Sriaroon was awarded the title of Official Thai Chef for Thai Food Promotion from the Ruckblick Inoga and the Royal Thai Consulate of Mumbai. He also is a World Chefs Approved Judge by the World Association of Chefs Societies, on the Board of Directors for the Thailand Culinary Academy, and has been a judge in 10+ culinary competitions throughout Thailand and the world.