What’s the story? Thitid 'Ton' Tassanakajohn studied gastronomy and trained in restaurants across the US prior to returning to his native Thailand. The idea for Le Du, whose name is inspired by the Thai word for season, came from his graduation project at the Culinary Institute of America, where his vision for a renaissance of Thai cuisine founded on seasonal ingredients first took root.
A personal cuisine: At Le Du, which he opened in 2013, Tassanakajohn presents personal interpretations of the recipes he grew up with, created exclusively with Thai ingredients. His international education means he injects each preparation with subtle French-European touches. The restaurant’s signature dish, khao kluk kapi, consists of a butterflied river prawn from the Tapi river in southern Thailand, grilled and served with a risotto made from two types of northern Thai rice mixed with shrimp paste and seasonings.
Culinary empire: While Le Du is his flagship, Tassanakajohn also owns Nusara alongside his brother Chaisiri ‘Tam’ in Bangkok. The duo is behind a growing number of venues, ranging from Phuket’s upscale Samut to Taipei’s more casual Baan and the Mayrai wine bar, where the chef puts his sommelier training to the test.
Continental favourite: In March 2023, Le Du was voted No.1 in the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, created by a panel of more than 300 regional experts. It is fitting that it should make its debut into The World’s 50 Best Restaurants the same year.