As the Pastry Chef of JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok, Chef Chotiphat (Gee) Laisuwan brings with him almost a decade of experience in the pastry industry. Gee first received his degree in Economics, but after graduating, his passion for the cullinary art of pastry making steered him down another path. He followed his dream and pursued formal culinary training at The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College - Philadelphia, PA USA.
This passion had led him to JW Marriott Hotel Bangkok where guests can now experience his baking and creativity.
What made you become passionate about baking?
Creativity, art, and the challenge - I get to make people happy
What makes your pastries unique?
The uniqueness of my pastries is that each and every dessert is passionately hand-made and packed full of the best quality premium ingredients, using baking methods that put an emphasis on making a consistent product, ensuring that every dessert is the best that it can be for the people who consume my work.
With the 'Healthful' trend on the rise, do you see decline in the pastry market? And how do you adapt to such trends?
This health trend is another additional market for pastries; it's just another new market. There are consumers who seek menu options which they can feel good about, and from my perspective, it's just a new challenge. I can experiment with a range of non-traditional ingredients and methods including using less sugar, more spice, and hearty grains. Even naturally sweet vegetables like beets are starting to appear in today's sweet treats.
What's more important - Technique, Ingredients or Equipment?
Learning good technique is most important; the techniques used in preparation can affect everything that you bake much more than the ingredients themselves. For this reason, I believe it is more important to learn cooking techniques than to learn to follow recipes, as knowing a certain technique can improve a recipe or rescue one that has gone wrong.
What are the essential personality traits of a good pastry chef?
A good pastry chef needs to be detail-oriented, have patience, demonstrate creativity, dedication, and be quick thinking
What CSR Initiatives do you Implement?
Marriott's CSR initiatives focus on several areas. The most recent one would be our "ZERO WASTE" campaign. By realizing that the three main sources of food waste in hotel which are 1) food preparation 2) consumer plate and 3) spoilage, we have begun taking action, tackling the problem of wasting food in all of these areas. "ZERO WASTE" aims at reducing the wastage of food and ingredients. So far we have been able to reduce 30% of our food waste by working with our partners which feeds directly through to our consumers. The most successful CSR campaign would be our bakery & cafe "BBCO". After its renovation in 2018, 90% of our packaging in BBCO, including pastry boxes, straws, lids and napkins, is made from recycled material and is fully recyclable.
What's the biggest challenge in your job?
The biggest challenge of being a pastry chef is that you have to be precise, unlike the other types of chefs; you have to follow the formula and the fundamentals of baking are very important. If not, things can go very wrong.