Presenting our brand new series “Chef @ Home”, where we bring on board important chefs in Thailand to have a Q&A discussion on our platform. If you are lucky, they might also do a simple cooking demo of what they make for themselves at home.
Our very first episode with Chef Ton (IG @cheftonn) of Le Du & Baan was held on 14 May (Thursday) at 10pm (SG) / 9pm (TH).
Here are the timestamps for your reference:
0:00 Introduction of today’s episode and guest
2:10 What is “Chef @ Home” about?
Chefs are leading a very different life right now and we believe there will be a new perspective from the Chef this period and also understand how they are coping, what they are doing and how they are preparing for the future.
4:25 Who is Chef Ton and what are his credentials?
5:50 How has the Covid-19 situation affected your restaurants?
Revenue went down more than 90% for all the restaurants especially when they are focused on dine-in only. Especially for fine-dining, they believe in eating fresh food from the kitchen hence have never thought of delivery in the past.
8:15 Are your restaurants open now that the rules seem to be loosening?
Restaurants are finally allowed to open with very restrictive rules after 1 month of closure. It’s not the best situation because for example, Baan restaurant, usually for 30 seatings, they can now only do 8 seatings. It is not going to cover any cost. For every table, it can only cater to 2 customers even you come in a group of 4.
12:34 In the wider picture, how have the other people in the industry been affected (the supply chain, farmers, staff etc.)?
Farmers face difficulty and they have to layoff employees as restaurants can’t support the purchases this period due to the low demand. There’s a lot of unemployment in Thailand and many restaurants decided to sell the business at a low cost too.
We don’t wish to see restaurants closing because if half of the restaurants close, will tourists still want to come to Bangkok? We hope to see a strong food scene in Bangkok still.
20:40 I see a trend in people in the F&B industry banding together to help the needy, be it farmers, jobless, or homeless, can you tell me more about what you know?
We are helping our farmers to sell some products, for example, Ruby mangoes. People from Hong Kong and Japan are familiar with this exported mango but it’s the first time Thai locals are seeing it and they can get it at extremely low prices now (5kg for 390 baht).
25:20 Why Thai locals have never seen these Ruby mangoes before if it’s one of the best mangoes?
It’s usually priced at 600 baht per mango but you can get it for 390 baht for 5kg now.
27:55 Do you see this increased unity and goodwill continuing after this Covid-19 is over and life goes back to a ‘new normal’?
35:35 How do you think we (general diners) can help and be supporting the initiatives?
Many of us want to help but do not know how and where to do it. Many initiatives don’t accept money and that in a way is a good thing. For those who want to join and be part of the initiative, Chef Ton recommends us to check out this FB Page -> แบ่งปันความอิ่ม – Pay it forward Thailand.
46:45 Can you see light at the end of the tunnel? When do you think diners will come back to enjoy themselves in restaurants?
Do join us for more series of “Chef @ Home” in the coming weeks on our FB platform. Stay tuned!