With over 25 years of culinary experience under her belt, Chef Thongloy Wilaiwan is the mastermind behind the delectable menu that Bangkok Jam offers.
Though experiencing little about food during her childhood, Chef Wilaiwan built up an energy for Thai cooking, which was further propelled by her mom who have been cooking for her whole family. Through her mom, Chef experienced the feeling of warmth and satisfaction from this home-cooked dishes.
We managed to catch Chef Wilaiwan behind her woks and turner to find out more about what goes on in the kitchen.
Q. Tell us about yourself, what’s the culture like in your hometown?
Where I came from, the people there are very closely knitted, where we would gather every bi-weekly, to pray together at a temple. That’s something I hold dear to my heart even when I’m away.
Over here in Creative Eateries, I feel the same kind of affection and it’s like my second family, which I’m glad to be part of.
Q. How long have you been with Creative Eateries?
15 years since I’ve been part of the family.
Q. Share with us how did you first started out with Creative Eateries and your role in here.
Before I joined the company, I had over 10 years of culinary experience back in Thailand, at one of Creative Eateries’ counterpart, and I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given to be here as a head Chef of Bangkok Jam today.
Q. What do you think is the most important quality of being a chef?
Being meticulous; having to prepare and ensure the ingredients we use are of quality, cooking methods and procedures are according to sequence, serving up a delicious meal to the customers. And of course, having the heart to cook makes everything tastier, and good food enhances the dining experience overall.
Q. How have you changed from when you first joined Creative Eateries, till date?
In the past, my duties are just cooking and serving up the food, and there wasn’t much chance to put on a thinking hat then. Moving forward to now, I’m involved in the creation of new dishes, coming up with ideas of modernising traditional Thai dishes, which gives me a sense of satisfaction when people enjoy my creations.
I’ve also became a more confident person and able to handle stressful situations, which provides a support for my family and kids to look up to.
Q. What inspires you in the menu creation?
Try to find old Thai food and cook and see how it taste, and modify to more modern way. One of my favourite dish that I’ve created is the Stick Noodles with Pork Ball & Pulled Pork, and it’s a famous dish back in Thailand. I’ve fine-tuned it to suit Singaporean’s taste, having it less salty and spicy.
Q. What do you enjoy doing in your free time and your hobbies?
Definitely shopping! I guess it’s an occupational disease, I enjoys looking at other restaurants, their food and the menu, how do they serve it to fuel my creativity in my next creation. Knitting is one of my past-time too!
Q. What is your most memorable experience in Creative Eateries?
The most memorable was also one of my happiest moment, when my first creation was being served to the customers and they were really satisfied.
“For me, cooking is an expression of the land where you are the culture of that place.” – Chef Wilaiwan
We sincerely thank Chef Wilaiwan for taking time to share her experiences with us and we look forward to seeing more of Chef’s innovative creation.