Bangkok’s Michelin-starred Paste To Open In Luang Prabang
Chef Bee Satongun mines the rich culinary history of Laos for the second branch of Paste in Luang Prabang.
07 November 2018
Chef Bee Satongun
is known for breathing new life into classic Thai cuisine, digging deep into historical royal cookbooks and reviving forgotten recipes at one-Michelin-starred Paste Bangkok
Set to open in mid-November 2018, Paste Laos
will emulate the flagship restaurant’s “heirloom Thai cuisine” and extend it to Laotian culinary culture and history.
Laos salad of bitter eggplant, air dried beef, sawah flower rush and fermented guava tossed in kaffir lime juice and prickly heat. On the right is chef Bee Satongun.
Laotian food has adopted and contributed to many cuisines for hundreds of years due to the country’s constant exposure to merchants along the caravan trading routes between the Golden Triangle, China and India.
“Historical Lao cuisine is layered with flavour and texture for which Paste has been recognised,” says Satongun. “Laos is a country with enormous pristine forests and unrestrained nature. The sparse, rural population, with as much connection to hunting and foraging as agriculture, fosters a strong connection to plant-centric cuisine and a clever, precise inherently sustainable approach to food.”
The signature dish of Paste Laos is a reinvention of the classic recipe for Laos Duck Curry, Kalee Ped, originally created by the polymath Phia Sing (right).
The chef has drawn on the historical recipes of Chaleunsilp Phia Sing, who worked for the Laos Royal family as royal chef and master of ceremonies in the 1900s. His unique knowledge and familiarity with the recipes of the royal kitchen, as well as close observation of old customs and rituals made him an important figure in Laotian cuisine. Recognised as the godfather of Laotian food, Phia Sing’s posthumously published cookbook is one of the key pillars of inspiration behind Paste Laos.
From L-R: Pad (Khoua) som phak, or stir-fried pickled cabbage, salt cured mushrooms, fermented onion shoots, smoked pork knuckle and white ginger flower vinegar. On the right is the most famous dish of Luang Prabang, Lam Gai Faa Stew, or slow-braised French pheasant in low temperature animal fat.
“Phia Sing's knowledge of technique, ingredients and deep connection to Lao culture, combined with his extensive education and experience in the fine arts, is what makes it so interesting in the context of modern Laotian food and what we’re doing at Paste Laos,” says Satongun.
Paste Laos’ plant-based menu will feature seasonal local produce and traditional culinary techniques such as curing, pickling and fermentation, woven together with the chef’s signature contemporary flair.
The article was first published on MICHELIN Guide Digital Bangkok, read the original story here.