Class of 2022
Both innovator and reinventor, Dharath ‘Tot’ Hoonchamlong is at the forefront of sustainability in the cocktail space. With his Wasteland bar project co-founded with Kittibordee Chortubtim and Suchada Sopajaree, he fights food waste with delicious, unique drinks. While Wasteland came about as a physical bar within Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants regular Bo.Lan, it has evolved into a drinks label that changes with the times and also serves an educational purpose. Tot has developed his skills as a public speaker and educator, consulting on food and the environment while spreading the sustainability and zero-waste message to students, researchers, farmers and chefs.
After completing a Masters in Food Studies at New York University, Tot returned to Thailand and was working at Bo.Lan when he founded the bar to make cocktails from surplus shallots, lime peels and melon skins. When the pandemic forced Bo.Lan to close and the government banned drinking alcohol in public spaces, he had to rethink. Wasteland began making craft soda using surplus ingredients and by-products like cacao husks and whole citrus fruits. While introducing different flavours to Bangkok palates, the project also fights waste and minimises the industry’s carbon footprint. Tot calls his drinks an environmental ‘message in a bottle’ as they offer new perspectives and flavours while educating everyone from farmers to consumers about the impact on the planet of all that we eat and imbibe.
“We communicate information and flavours so people can learn to better equip themselves with knowledge about food and beverages. I learn new things every day.” – Dharath Hoonchamlong