Discover the Flavours of Thailand with Executive Chef Gogh

June 30, 2020
Celebrated Chef Gogh, a culinary maestro, creating gastronomic delights at The Sarojin.

Abundant with fresh, fragrant and exotic ingredients, Thailand is world-famous for its mouthwatering cuisine. From north to south, the flavour profiles of the regional dishes change with the landscape and provide a rich food heritage across the country. All Thai food relies on a careful balance of flavour and it’s this complex blend that makes the cuisine so unique – and delicious!

Here at The Sarojin, our dining experience offers an authentic taste of Thailand that is designed to be reminiscent of staying at a friend’s private estate – one who has an excellent chef! The whole ethos of our resort is to welcome you as family, not just a guest and make you feel as comfortable as you would if staying with those you love. What’s more, we can tailor our dishes to your dietary requirements, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, halal and more.

Alongside dining at our Edge and Ficus restaurants, which offer some of the finest contemporary Thai and Mediterranean cuisine, we also have a variety of unique private dining locations to choose from, allowing you to pick exactly where you want your table set – just as you would when visiting a friend. From dinner beside a candlelit jungle waterfall, aboard our Lady Sarojin private yacht, on a secluded white sand beach or on your very own private island – the only limit is your imagination.

But as with any meal, it’s not just the location that makes it truly special. Having been featured again in this year’s MICHELIN Guide Thailand we’re confident our food will be just as memorable as the setting. Created by our Executive Chef Gogh, who has been with us at The Sarojin since 2006, our menus take inspiration from the very best of Thai cuisine and are created using fresh, seasonal local produce – including specialities found only in Khao Lak such as sea grapes seaweed and varieties of wild mushrooms. Supporting our local farmers, fisherman, food artisans and producers is an important aspect of our dining offer which contributes to our sustainability and overall #SarojinCares initiative – you can find out more about this

To delve a little deeper into what makes Thai cuisine so special, Executive Chef Gogh tells us about his experience with the region’s iconic flavours…

“I have worked as a chef for 18 years since graduating from the Hotel and Tourism Institute, part of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, but my passion for Thai cuisine goes right back to when I was a child and would see my mother cooking in our home. Thai food is renowned for its quality and diverse flavours and almost all dishes seek a balance between four key flavour components – sweet, sour, spicy and salty – which is something I learnt at a very young age.

One of my favourite Thai dishes to cook is Tom Yam River Prawns, I still remember the vivid colours from my first bowl of Tom Yam as a child. River Prawns are a very special ingredient in my hometown and when they are in season many families head down to the river to catch them for themselves. Other flavours I love to include in my dishes are lemongrass, galangal, chilli, kaffir limes leaves and fresh limes which all grew around my childhood home. It’s these simple yet delicious ingredients that are memorable to me.

I often get asked what Thai cooking ingredient I couldn’t live without, and that has to be nam pla (fish sauce) as it’s used in almost all Thai dishes as a seasoning, dressing or dipping sauce. One tip I also always give people when they ask how to achieve an authentic Thai flavour at home is to always taste the dish as they go and cook with love and inspiration – this is what will make food taste great. The common mistakes people often make are adding too much chilli, which numbs the taste buds and drowns out all other flavours, or using the wrong ingredients. Thai flavours are very strong and mixing them in the wrong combination can result in an unpleasant dish – for example holy basil is very different from sweet basil but they are often mistaken for each other.

At The Sarojin we create our menus with the careful balance of flavour Thailand is famous for, using a combination of locally sourced ingredients and specialty products. I always think ‘less is more’ when it comes to creating a perfect dish and so apply this to all of my menus. Meeting and talking to our guests is the real highlight of my job, as ultimately my cooking is for their delight. One of the most popular dishes at the resort is our Grilled Beef Salad which is made with ginger flowers picked fresh from our garden and locally sourced yellow hairy eggplant. I took inspiration for this dish from the Takuapa Market in Khao Lak, which was selling this special variety of eggplant at one of its stalls – it’s fantastic to have such an abundance of delicious seasonal produce on our doorstep.

For those visiting the resort that want to know more about Thai cuisine, I would recommend joining one of our cooking classes or local excursions to learn more about the local way of life and culture in Khao Lak. We offer classes for all skill levels from beginner through to advanced so there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Our ‘Catch Cook and Dine’ excursion is particularly popular and combines a morning of sea-fishing followed by a cooking class using whatever is caught, but my favourite excursion is our ‘Street Food for Kids’ experience where we visit the local Camillian Centre which provides day care for children with physical disabilities. Here, we combine an exciting street food tour of the local food markets with a fun cooking class back at the centre alongside one of our chefs and the children – it’s a truly wonderful experience!”

Speak to our team about booking a cooking class or one of our gastronomy-themed excursions at the resort. Cooking classes are available from 4,000 THB per person (approx. £105), the Catch and Dine excursion is available from 6,050 THB per person (approx. £160) and the Street Food for Kids excursion is available from 5,900 THB per person (approx. £156).