Dining Experience is one of the services that top-line travelers would set their expectation high. Especially, when they stay at private luxury villas, high rollers tend to have special requests on their meals. That leaves hard work to the one in charge of the cuisine at the villa – the Chef.
Who is a villa chef and what are his/her responsibilities. Get to know one of the most talented villa chefs in Koh Samui – Chef Sakda, from Villa Upni Duniya. Get some insight of “a Chef” in this high-end accommodation industry works.
Hello Chef Sakda, it is very nice to meet you and thank you for having The Luxury Signature team here at Villa Upni Duniya. Can you please tell us more about yourself?
Chef Sakda: My name is Sakda Boonjung. I am the head chef at Villa Upni Duniya. Nice to meet you all too. Do you like the food that I cook for you today?
We love them, especially the Deep Fried King Prawn with Tamarind Sauce. It’s super tasty. How long have you been working as a chef?
Chef Sakda: I have been working as a chef for almost 15 years. After graduated, I had an internship program at the Savoy Hotel in London. Then after the internship, I started working at Amari Hotel in Koh Chang. After that, I joined the luxury accommodation brands at the Six Senses in Koh Yao Noi, and Soneva Kiri Koh Kood.
That’s quite a profile you have. So is there any difference from working with the hotel chain and working in a privately owned luxury villa?
Chef Sakda: Working in a hotel chain is harder and more stress as you have a big team to cooperate or to manage as well as you have a long list of orders to deliver. Working in a private villa gives me more time to relax, getting to know my guests and have more time to work on the detail.
Apart from cooking, does a villa chef have to do other things?
Chef Sakda: Yes, a villa chef normally do more than just a chef at the hotel. For me, I approach guests upon their arrivals to find out what they like and if they have any food allergy. We take this point very seriously. After that, I will recommend guests menus that they might like based on the previous information and when I got the orders; it is time for shopping.
You do the shopping by yourself?
Chef Sakda: Oh yes, I do that by myself. Unless, guests want to do grocery shopping by themselves, I will be the one who take care of it. After the shopping comes the preparation that usually takes me about two to three hours. I normally take the order two hours prior to the serving time so that I will have enough time to do the groceries and preparation.
Then you are free after the cooking?
Chef Sakda: Not at all. After I finished cooking, I will serve the dish along with my team at the villa so that I can introduce my food to the guests, how to enjoy it as well as do the recommendation for the next meal.
What kind of food do you specialize?
Chef Sakda: I can cook almost all kinds of requests made by guests, but my expertise is Italian and Thai food. I can also cook Japanese and Indian food as well.
Do you have any signature dish that you are proud of?
Chef Sakda: My signature dish is called Scallop Threeways. The word “Threeways” refers to the side dish of a scallop. These three side dishes are mashed sweet potato, beetroot, and green pea. All will top with my special sauce.
That sounds delicious. Are there any popular menus that guests never miss to request?
Chef Sakda: There are some dishes that guests always order. If I have to list them, they will be Som Tam, Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Green Curry with Chicken, Tom Yum, and Pad Thai.
Those are all popular Thai dishes. Are there any surprising orders from guests that amazed you?
Chef Sakda: One time, guests asked me to cook a shark they bought from the wet market. So I prepared Spicy Stir-Fried Shark for them. And another time guests brought their own goat from their hometown and asked me to cook for them.
That’s quite an interesting story. You can really prepare tailor-made dishes for the villa guests. What if they have special request due to their religion and belief, can you help them prepare their meals according to a certain requirement?
Chef Sakda: Sure I can. I can prepare vegetarian and vegan food. Guests just need to inform me in advance then everything will be prepared accordingly. We have many Indian guests, that sometimes we even have a special cook from the famous Indian restaurant, Haveti, in Koh Samui to help us out during their stay. We are also familiar with Muslim guests so Halal Food can be served here at the villa. One time we even have a Jewish guests that requested to use only products from their special shops and needed to perform a ritual before started cooking. And we can deliver everything as they requested. The result was they left the villa extremely happy.
Wow! And how long are your working hours?
Chef Sakda: Usually it starts around 9.00 hr and can finish around midnight. This is really depending on the guest.
What does Villa Upni Duniya have that makes it more different than other villas?
Chef Sakda: We have a complimentary buffet line for breakfast that normally other villas will just offer complimentary continental breakfast. At Villa Upni Duniya, we have more to offer.
Would you like to taste the cooking of Chef Sakda and have an amazing stay at Villa Upni Duniya in Koh Samui? Contact Us for availability and rates. Or visit www.thesamuivillas.com/upni-duniya for more information.