Australian-born David Thompson is renowned as a world authority on Thai food. His London restaurant, Nahm, was the first Thai cuisine kitchen to be awarded a Michelin star; the Bangkok outlet of Nahm was voted into the 2012 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. David has been awarded ‘Professional of the Year’ by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide and ‘London Chef of the Year’ by the Carlton Evening Standard Food Awards. An eloquent and articulate writer, he is the author of two books. The first, Thai Food, received several major cook book awards; his second book, Street Food, came out in 2010.
By the time he reached his mid 20’s, innovative Calcutta-born chef Gaggan Anand had already cooked for several heads of state, including Bill Clinton and Abdul Kalam Azad, the former president of India. It was during his tenure as the Lebua in Bangkok that Gaggan started to entertain the idea of applying molecular wizardry to classical Indian street food recipes. He spent several months experimenting in Ferran Adria’s laboratory in Spain before opening his eponymous Bangkok in 2011. Referring to his eccentric and unconventional approach to food, TIME Magazine dubbed Gaggan the “Captain Kirk of cuisine”.
The first experience Nam Quoc Nguyen had in a professional kitchen was as a peacekeeper for the United Nations in former Yugoslavia in 1989. The Vietnamese-born, Danish-raised chef trained at the Copenhagen Culinary Institute before honing his skills in various kitchens around the world, including Aquavit in New York, the Howard Hotel in London and ten years as the Executive Chef of the Sukhothai Hotel in Bangkok. Nam opened Annam Vietnamese Cuisine in Singapore with the Les Amis Group in late 2011 and more recently, NamNam, a series of noodle bars serving Vietnamese street fare.
Born in London, raised in Toronto and trained in sound engineering, Alvin Leung had already had a fruitful career before teaching himself how to cook and opening Bo.Innovation in Hong Kong in 2005. Here the ethnic Cantonese chef combines centuries old street food recipes with modern cooking techniques to create what he calls “X-treme Chinese” cuisine; cuisine which he aims to break down preconceived ideas of what Chinese food should be. In 2009, Bo.Innovation became Hong Kong’s only independent restaurant to be awarded two Michelin stars; Alvin recently opened a second Bo.Innovation in Mayfair in London. Alvin also presents the Maverick Chef, for Li-TV, where he tours the region’s culinary hotspots.
Born in Kagawa prefecture, Seiji Yamamoto is best known for once sending an eel for a CT scan so he could better understand its anatomy. After spending 11 years training under Hirohisa Koyama, known in Japan as one of the greatest chefs of all time, in 2003 Seiji opened Nihon Ryori Ryugin, an 18-seat kaiseki restaurant in Tokyo where he applies an innovative approach to classical Japanese cuisine with contemporary kitchen techniques. Nihon Ryori Ryugin has three Michelin stars and has been ranked on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list for the past three years.
Malcolm Lee was the first recipient of the Miele Guide Scholarship at the At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy. Graduating at the top of his class, Malcolm received job offers from a dozen high end kitchens in Singapore, which he turned down, opting to open an authentic peranakan cuisine restaurant with his grandmother, who was in charge of quality control, instead. Opening in 2010, Candlenut Kitchen herald a new era for rapidly disappearing peranakan- otherwise known as Nonya- cuisine, which here was cooked with no commercial sauces or pastes.
Born in the Liore Valley, France’s culinary heartland, Joannès Rivière grew up with the restaurant business, working on the family bistro and farm, the latter which supplied seasonal vegetables for illustrious Roanne restaurant, La Maison Troisgros. Moving to Cambodia in the early noughties, Joannès turned his attention to the countries obscure cuisine, researching forgotten upcountry dishes which he refined into a degustation menu for the prominent Hotel de la Paix’s restaurant Meric and writing a cookbook. But this was all just a prelude for what came next: stripping away his prejudices, Joannès became a loyal advocate for locally produced ingredients - which he now presents with typical French flair at Cuisine Wat Damnak, the Siem Reap restaurant he opened in 2011 with his wife, Carole.
Taiwanese - born Andre Chiang is the chef - owner of Restaurant ANDRE, an eponymous 30 seat restaurant in Singapore the New York Times listed as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world worth a plan ride for. Andre moved to Singapore in 2008 after 10 years in France working under the Pourcel brothers, Pascal Barbot and Pierre Gagnaire to head up JAAN par Andre at the Swissotel Hotel. Two years later JAAN par Andre made it to the number 38 spot in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list; Restaurant ANDRE has been ranked in 50-100 for the past two years. In 2010 Wallpaper Magazine called Andre one of the ten best young chefs in the world