A second dynamic, sold-out event at Jacky’s Garden.

Date:

After the outstanding success of their premiere event back in early May, the three key partners behind these events are back again, even bigger and better than before.  The members of the collaborative core of this venture, Jacky’s Garden, Salmon House 102 and Sky’s Pasta, challenged themselves to create an even more adventurous and demanding event than their first. And I have chosen my words carefully here.  This event was a true example of the very nature of collaboration because it has brought together individuals with different skills and perspectives, to work on a fabulous initiative.

This time the core team decided to invite some additional local businesses to join their event, as guest producers.  And they didn’t start with baby steps, not at all.  This time around, not one but six additional businesses are having their produce introduced to the public, alongside the delicious wares and wonderful menu and venue belonging to the collaborative core.

Jacky’s Garden, Salmon House 102 and Sky’s Pasta have all played a pivotal role in this second triumph, working jointly on the planning and decision-making including whom to invite and how best to create a spectacular and memorable culinary event. They are aiming to hold a new event each 6 weeks, as an initiative to facilitate the participation of a wide-range of local producers. 

The collaborative core

Jacky’s Garden

Jacqueline Van Der Laan, our host and chef yesterday, brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the task of taking this disparate but locally sourced produce and with her own distinct “magic of the menu” transforming it into a cohesive, innovative set of dishes, dispatched with love from the kitchen to our tables.

The initial idea for collaborative events had its roots in Jacqueline’s first taste of the salmon produced by Salmon House 102 over a year ago now.  She rated it as amongst the very best she had tasted. Around that time, Jacqueline’s employment ended with the onset of Covid-19.  Luckily, a friend heard of an opportunity to start a new restaurant in the Greenway Resort at Hin Lek Fai, and Jacqueline grabbed it with open arms, Jacky’s Garden having its inauguration on 21st October 2021.

Like the food producers involved in yesterday’s event, Jacqueline has her own special passion and direction.  Believing that to have an extensive menu is to compromise on freshness, Jacqueline has instead opted for a menu structure unique to Hua Hin. At a fixed price she offers a daily set 3 course menu with just 2 options for each course, thereby guaranteeing the freshest produce appears on her plates.

Jacqueline was the maestra of this perfectly orchestrated event. She used her considerable talents to develop harmony on the palates of her guests. That at the same time she was able to hold out a helping hand to other local producers says a huge amount about her generosity of spirit.

Jacky’s Garden is located in Hin Lek Fai and can be found on FB at https://www.facebook.com/jackysgardenhuahin/  or contacted on 092 562 3912

Salmon House 102  

Open in its current form since March 2021, Salmon House 102 is one of the very rare restaurants combined with its own shopfront in the Hua Hin area. How convenient to be able to dine in, sample great salmon and then take more home with you for later consumption, all safely vacuum-sealed and frozen if you so desire. The extensive menu deserves a glance or two, or perhaps three for the true salmon enthusiast. 

The proprietor is Waree Sriton, a lovely Thai lady who personally cures and smokes all the salmon. It took her 6 to 9 months to perfect her processes to achieve Salmon House 102’s distinct flavour profiles and another decent stretch trialling and taste-testing the menu which is still constantly being tweaked, Sky’s smoked salmon-filled ravioli being a fairly new addition.

Waree has an incredibly honest and dedicated quality control team, the 2 daughters she shares with her German husband Christian.  They just can’t get enough of their mum’s salmon and insist on testing each new batch.

The future is looking bright indeed for the Salmon House 102 team with the addition of wild-caught Sockeye and Coho salmon on the near horizon. Salmon House 102 is also keen to develop ongoing relationships with other food producers, which will be beneficial to all parties.

Salmon House 102 is at 92/56 Soi 102 Nong Kae, Hua Hin District, Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand and can be contacted on FB at https://www.facebook.com/salmonhouse102/ or via phone on 061 362 6463. 

Sky’s Fresh Pasta

This local business’ proprietor, Sky Jansak, is a Thai lady who has lived extensively internationally, where she first tasted and learnt to love pasta in Switzerland. Although she works hard to fulfill the needs of local restaurants, hotels and pasta lovers as well as those based in Bangkok, Sky takes a very Zen approach to her pasta making, which she claims is most calming and relaxing, even when working at 3am to fill a last-minute order.

Her traditional fresh hand-made pasta, free from preservatives, ensures the consumer receives the full nutritional benefit from the ingredients, with none of the vitamins and minerals stripped by over-processing.

Sky’s pasta-making skills have been basically self-taught.  Typical of her generation, she has made full use of the internet and Youtube research to hone those skills to perfection. Having the pasta making of an Italian mother-in-law to live up to, and indeed surpass according to her husband, no doubt added to Sky’s motivation.

With her pasta dough making, rolling, shaping and cutting now perfected, Sky indulges her creativity by experimenting with other ingredients to add interest and dimension to her pasta.  Her blue pea flower fettuccine has to be seen to be believed.  New additions to her repertoire are a Thai/Italian fusion, yellow pumpkin ravioli with a chicken paneang filling and a mouth-watering lasagna. She wants to work with others to promote and build a strong, resilient food industry in Hua Hin. 

Sky’s two young nephews will do almost anything to get her to make their favourite dishes for them, bacon ravioli with cream sauce and fettuccine Bolognese.  Those guys are so lucky to have her in the family.

Sky can be contacted on FB at https://www.facebook.com/SkysPasta or on 092 518 8002

Dishes from around the globe

From the exotic notes of the delicious welcome drink through 6 successive courses to the two desserts, one a chocolate fountain, diners wended their way around the globe, with food inspired by the cuisines of Scandinavia, France, Italy, Russia, Belgium and Britain, as well as Thailand.

I had been so looking forward to these dishes for weeks that I could almost taste them already but alas, fate was to intervene and I was unable to stay at the event.  Luckily, the first-rate photography provided by the talented Patrick Jacobs leaves everyone in no doubt about the success of the event, both in culinary and social terms.  Guests savoured tasty, well-presented plates, and had a chance to mingle not only with friends and fellow foodies, but also with the guest producers who had colourful and enticing displays of their wares available to take home.

The guest producers

Pranporpiang Organic Lifestyle & Farm

With this business, the name actually gives a clear indication of its focus:  lifestyle first, commercial enterprise a close second. Its founders, Mr. Chaiyapat Butrdee (Ong) and Mr. Jukkapop Sangkeaw (Jack) established Pranporpiang Organic Lifestyle & Farm in 2016. It is actually a production conglomerate of about 500 households in the one community who work together through a concept of “living abundantly with no waste and community sharing”.  This concept is based on both the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of King Rama IX as well as the Zero Waste Concept.

The mission of the farm is to create a better quality of life for all who take part and to create a harmony with nature that will be passed to future generations.  These people have a grand vision and big plans to ensure it is achieved.

Their entire lifestyle revolves around a farm with an area of just over 14,000 square metres, enclosed by a canal with a deep pond providing its irrigation source.  The farm includes a forest producing seasonal fruits and vegetables, an area to raise a wide variety of animals for both meat and other products, greenhouses for leafy greens and herbs, an earthworm farm which turns by-products and food waste into the farm’s own organic fertilisers and a workshop where courses in living sustainably are taught. 

Visitors are welcome, especially children who are seen as the beacon of hope for the future.  Sparrow’s café allows visitors to sample the produce, in both Thai and international dishes.

Pranporpiang Organic Lifestyle & Farm is truly a shining example of how it is possible, right now, to lessen one’s environmental footprint. A day out at the farm is highly recommended and the kids will have a ball.

  • Facebook                  : www.facebook.com/PranporpiangOrganicLifestyleFarm/
  • Contact                     : +66896642246 (Reservation) , +66804222493 (Whatsapp and Information)
  • Line@                       : @aoc0019p

Mister Chocolate

Ronny De Wolf is the proud man behind the Mister Chocolate label.  A Belgian national who now calls Thailand home, he is happy to share his skills as a master chocolatier with the local community as chocolate is the national product of Belgium.

Many people don’t know there is actually a difference between cacao and cocoa.  Mister Chocolate works with both.

The cacao is a tropical American evergreen tree, now cultivated worldwide, but with the largest farming being in West Africa.  The seeds of this tree are also known as cacao.  Ronny farms the Chumphon 1 variety of cacao here in Thailand.

Cocoa, on the other hand, is a powder made from roasted and ground cacao seeds. It is an essential ingredient in the making of the chocolate we all enjoy so much.

Ronny’s operation takes the cacao from his own trees and turns it into luxuriously smooth and tasty chocolate using time-honoured processes.  The seeds are harvested, then fermented over a week.  The fermented beans are washed and dried with care and are gently roasted to release their finest aroma.  This complex process requires self-designed machinery and a very fine nose. Ronny then has an abundant supply of quality ingredients to make his extensive range of chocolate.  He proudly proclaims he makes the tastiest chocolate in the world and who am I to disagree?

Yorkshire Bacon

Makham Bailey established her business, Yorkshire Bacon, nearly 2 years ago now, drawing on her love of Thai pork as well as the expertise she was able to glean from her husband Stephen, a retired butcher with 50 years of experience in the industry.

Originally making bacon for family consumption, sharing with friends lead to a demand she didn’t initially expect.  She now makes both a plain and a smoked bacon.  For Makham, this was a labour of love, involving trial and error and extensive taste testing amongst a very lucky friendship group, as many of the ingredients Stephen had used back in Britain were hard or impossible to source in Thailand.

Next on the production list was sausage, driven by the lack of well-made British- style sausages in Hua Hin.  Makham now produces 4 styles of sausage using readily available local spices and herbs including coriander, ginger, mustard seed, cinnamon, pepper and salt. So, it appears that Yorkshire Bacon, like KFC, has developed its own special secret blend of herbs and spices.

Yorkshire Bacon supplies several Hua Hin restaurants and pubs as well as establishments in Phuket.  Its products are able to be shipped Thailand-wide, or can be ordered and then collected from the premises.  

Makham finds the quality of the Thai export grade pork she purchases for her products is of a superior standard.  According to Stephen, her number 1 fan and taste-tester, it is equally as good, if not better than, the pork he used to work with in Britain.

Bakery Café 88

Bakery Café 88 is a family-owned business making mainly Danish breads and sweets although it has a sideline in jams and liver pâté. The principal owners are Kjarten Hentze, a Dane from the Faroe Islands and his Thai wife Fon. Kjarten’s maxim is “Quality over quantity” and it is apparent in the products he has on sale.

The family live locally with their two children and Kjarten spied a business opportunity when he noticed the lack of a bakery in the area.  An engineer by trade with extensive international experience, he was not going to let the fact that he had zero knowledge of baking dissuade him from his goal.  He has literally built the business from the ground up, first acquiring the land, then purpose designing the serene restaurant space with the busier bakery at the back. 

The couple also credit the success of the business to their six wonderful staff members, most of whom have journeyed with them from the opening day in mid -April 2021 and continue as dedicated employees despite some initial teething problems for the bakery, including the arrival of the Covid 19 virus. They are particularly aware of how lucky they are to have a superb Thai chef, Ice, to whom they entrust all aspects of their café business.

Luckily for Bakery Café 88, Kjarten has a brother who is a baker, so with much advice and assistance from him, as well as internet research and extensive taste-testing, the bakery now sells a wide selection of breads and some highly tempting sweets including tarts and croissants. It took a month in development for the Bakery to perfect its best seller, a rye bread made with 100% rye flour, though Kjarten now admits that perhaps his sourdough is the trickiest to produce. All the food is made on premises from scratch with no premixes.

The bakery also has a stall selling items in Baan Khun Por food market. This initiative was the brainchild of another fabulous employee, Somporn.

A complete change of tack from engineering to baking, but one made possible by applying his understanding of scientific principles to the more artisanal but no less technical aspects of baking. Kjarten concedes he may never have started on his journey to become a baker if he had understood how difficult it was going to be.  But today he certainly presents as a man who has found his true niche in life.

Thai Sturgeon Farm

Alexandr Tyutin, who originally hails from Siberia, has lived in the Hua Hin area for the last six years, working to firstly establish and then manage the Thai Sturgeon Farm which is owned by an international consortium of investors, his father among them.

Farming caviar is a highly scientific process, and very expensive, as it requires medical-grade equipment and an extremely high level of technical knowledge and skill. The sturgeon at the farm are of a hybrid variety which were imported from China weighing less than a tiny 2 grams each. In the past 5 years they have grown to an impressive 15kg or so.  The farm is now home to about 1500 fish, the vast majority of them female, as only they produce caviar. Indeed, when these fish were ready to produce, at between 4 – 5 years old, they gave up to 2kg of caviar a fish. Not all the sturgeon are ready to produce yet, a fact determined by biopsy of the individually microchipped fish.  

Never fear, the sturgeon doesn’t need to die for you to savour your caviar.  She will live a long life of about 50 years, tenderly cared for because of her high worth. The caviar is extracted through a process known as milking, and she will be milked regularly at intervals of between 1 to 2 years for all her life. The last milking at the Thai Sturgeon Farm yielded around 85 kilograms of caviar, but when all fish are ready for milking the expected production is between 1.5 and 2 tonnes of caviar annually.

When asked whether he personally appreciates caviar, Alexandr’s response of “Who doesn’t?” was hardly surprising. When he first tasted caviar at roughly 6 years of age, it wasn’t considered the gourmet food it is today.  And I now know from a story he related that it is technically possible to overdose on caviar. In a lean time during the collapse of the former Soviet Union when supplies of wheat ran short, his father had to eat caviar to survive.  Just caviar, without the usual accompaniment of bread and butter or blini.  Apparently after that it took a few years for him to want to look at caviar again. I suspect there are a few people who would be willing to give it a shot though.

Kiss Spirits

Kiss Spirits is the registered trademark of JR Toppidrink Co. Ltd, an artisanal distillery located in Cha-Am. Mrs Butsuea Thawinee, Jeab to her friends, started the company in 2013, no doubt inspired by her husband Ronny’s history of brewing renowned Belgian beers. It took 3 years to obtain all the permits needed to produce her spirits in Thailand’s heavily regulated alcohol environment. She brought a wealth of experience to her new venture from working as a chef in a variety of restaurants.

Jeab now oversees a large, modern and super-clean production facility turning out 1000 bottles a day of world-class spirits. High quality fresh sugar cane, local aromatic herbs and the abundant tropical fruits of Thailand are amongst the ingredients which allow Kiss Spirits to produce a variety of products with alcohol contents similar to well-known spirits such as rum, gin, whiskey and tequila, but with their own special Thai twist and at a price-point appreciated by both Thai and foreign consumers alike. Kiss Spirits are a great jump off point to use in designing your own special cocktail and I have yet to meet a girl who doesn’t appreciate a cocktail named after her.

https://www.facebook.com/kissspirits jrtoppidrinks@gmail.com 

All photos credit to Patrick Jacobs

Felicitee Lawrie
Felicitee Lawrie
Felicitee Lawrie spends as much of her life as she can in Hua Hin, Thailand. She is passionate about exploring the local culture, keen to make contacts among the Thai and expats residents of Hua Hin and in particular wants to learn more about the food culture of this area of Thailand. If she is able to promote local businesses and producers along the way, this is indeed a bonus.

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