Starting her journey in 2002, Chef Kannika Jitsangworn has been cooking Thai cuisine for many luxury properties all around the world including Indonesia, Turkey, Bhutan, and now back on her home soil in Thailand at Amanpuri.
Her passion for cooking started at home and with each new post, that destination has added a new layer of depth to her cooking.
Why is it important for Aman to have a Thai restaurant even in other regions outside of Thailand?
Amanpuri was Aman's first resort and therefore Thailand's culture and heritage has helped to shape every element of the Aman experience from the very beginning. This makes Amanpuri and the country's rich heritage, including its incredible cuisine, a benchmark for all further Aman properties. Nevertheless, growing up around here in Thailand, I have come to realise how well Thai cuisine reflects its surroundings - colourful, wholesome and vibrant -- and this is something we want to showcase to create a true Aman experience. When guests taste Thai food, they not only taste Thailand's history but also its fruitful landscape. When they enter our Thai restaurants, they are welcomed as if into a family home, sensing the warm hospitality of the Thai people. This is something I believe should be experienced not just in Thailand but by any Aman guest across the globe.
What makes your food unique?
I work really hard to try and bring new dishes to the menu daily. One important factor is that whatever I introduce must use extremely fresh local and seasonal produce. As a child, I would grind my own curry pastes from home-grown ingredients that grew right at my doorstep, including fresh coconuts, lemongrass and lime. My team at Amanpuri makes everything from scratch too, just as my family had taught me to do. This includes the long process of making all of our curry pastes, spice mixes and sauces, as well as the stock for delicious local soups with produce that grow in the surrounding areas of Amanpuri. I believe this is one of the secrets to mastering unique yet authentic Thai food.
How do you create a memorable dining experience for your guests?
I have the mandate of having to create a place where our guests can rejuvenate at Aman, where they can let go of the worries of everyday life and have new experiences. Creating a welcoming environment which feels like home is another Aman philosophy that we like to adopt in our kitchens. By paying close attention to each and every guest's preference - from simple things such as noting their dietary requirements and their spice tolerance, to remembering their favourite dishes and the pace at which they like to be served their food, these personal touches ensure that their experience is a memorable and seamless end to end dining experience.
What is the most important thing in running a successful kitchen?
I believe a Chef is only as good as his or her team, so I work hard to make my kitchen an enjoyable environment through encouraging teamwork and creativity. While many of our dishes are based on family recipes that have been passed down through generations, it is still so important to have fun with it and encourage people to use their imagination. Passion and originality are reflected in the food and guest experience at Aman and it makes the kitchen a much more relaxing place to be.
Learn More about Amanpuri and its General Manager here