Chef du jour: Villa Minh

in Destinations/Dining by

Designed by Paris-based architect Arte Charpentier, Villa Minh is a six-bedroom villa with breathtaking ocean views. Many of Phuket’s sights are within easy reach, just between the Kamala and Patong beaches. Perched on a hillside, Minh has been built to preserve its gorgeous coastal setting.

The bedrooms are magnificently decorated and connected both by stairs and a lift. The villa’s lavish living areas are accentuated by art and antiques. The 17.5 metre pool with built-in jacuzzi is illuminated by the beautiful night sky. You’ll want to restore your senses in the spa room and luxuriate in the wonderful living pavilions. 

Villa Minh is perfect for entertaining, whether for a casual barbecue or a formal dinner. We sat down with Chef Thietan to get a glimpse into what goes on in the kitchen.

Elite Havens:  Hi, Chef, can you tell me what you’re currently making?

Chef El: Spicy Pomelo Salad. We will also make Panang Curry. Chili paste is very important for Panang Curry and we make chili paste too. 

EH: Please tell me about yourself.

CE: I am El and I am the chef of Villa Minh.

EH: How long have you been cooking?

CE: For 15 years.

EH: How did you start cooking?

CE: At first, I was not a chef.  I used to help the chef in food preparation and presentation and that’s how I learned to cook.

EH: And how did you become the chef here?

CE: A friend recommended me.

EH: And what do you love to cook? Is there a particular dish that you love to cook?

CE: Pad Thai. I’ve received a lot of compliments from my guests. They say my Pad Thai is not too spicy and it is unique.

EH: Ok. And what else do you like to cook?

CE: Pineapple fried rice. I like to put in a lot of ingredients so there’s a combination of sour, sweet and spicy flavors. That is a typical traditional Thai flavor combination. Some of the other chefs adjust the taste for foreigners. I like to stick to the authentic taste. But I can adjust the spice level for our foreign guests. I ask them if they like spicy food or not. If they can’t eat spicy food, I can make the food less spicy.   

EH: What do you think it takes to be a good chef?

CE: I think it’s very important to listen to guests, to find out what they like and don’t like. And regarding the ingredients, a chef should know how to select the freshest ingredients.

Spicy Pomelo Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Pomelo, torn into chunks
  • Optional: 8 cooked shrimps
  • 4 tbsp shredded coconut, dark toasted
  • 2 tbsp cashew nut
  • 3 tbsp fired shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped red chilli
  • 2 tsp kaffir lime leaves, very thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp chilli powder
  • 3 Tbsp shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp tamarind juice
  • 3 Tbsp water

Directions:

  1. Boil tamarind juice then add water and shallots. Simmer for 5 mins. Add palm sugar, chilli powder and fish sauce and reduce the heat.
  2. Pour the dressing into a mixing bowl, then add all other ingredients and toss to combine. You can serve it as is or serve some wild betel leaves (chaploo leaves) which you can use to make little bite-sized wrap of the salad.

For those seeking an ultimate foodie vacation in paradise,  Phuket is the perfect setting. Early bird enjoys up to 15% discount when booking 120 days in advance. Last minute bookings enjoy up to 10% discount. Terms and conditions apply.

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