Thai produce was given centre stage during Thai Week at London’s top hospitality school, as the exotic produce market in London “blooms”.
Big names in Thai cuisine gathered at Westminster Kingsway College to encourage greater home-grown cooking of Thai recipes in Britain, with young British chefs at the college receiving training from some of Thailand’s top chefs.
Backed by the Thai Embassy and Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP), students at the college spent the last few weeks researching Thai cuisine and came up with a seven-course tasting menu.
Various Thai produce suppliers including Manning Impex Ltd and Blue River International provided the goods for the week-long event, as vegan trends for fruits like banana blossom and jackfruit push the category beyond traditional markets.
Thai produce supplier, Tana Wanwatankul said: “There’s no way of cheating with Thai cooking, you have to have the right ingredients, that’s why produce is really important for Thai cuisine. At the moment the London market is blooming, it’s a good time to promote Thai food.”
André Cheong, managing director of Manning Impex said: “Distributing the leading Thai brands into the UK and Ireland has been Manning Impex’s privilege for over 30 years.
“Partnering and supporting DITP with ‘Thai week’ ensures that the creativity and enthusiasm that up and coming chefs possess is only fuelled with the best Thai experiences and ingredients.”
Thai Week was capped with a competition, Young Chef of the Year: Thai Cuisine, run by the Thai Embassy and DITP, designed to inspire young chefs to learn about Thai cuisine.
The top prize was awarded to Jamie Dowlands, who won a culinary trip to Thailand, to learn first hand from the country’s top chefs about the country’s cooking and fresh produce.
Ms Supawadee Yamgamol, from the Office of Commercial Affairs said: “The competition is the opportunity of a lifetime for the lucky winner who will get to visit and experience our beautiful country and learn, first hand, from the country’s top chefs.
“They will also be shown how we grow our rice, fruits and other fresh ingredients that give Thai food its unique, world-renowned flavour and demonstrates why Thailand is recognised as the ‘Kitchen of the World’.”