|Chef Somkeat Lok|
Interview with Chef Somkeat Lok, The Datai Langkawi
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I am the Thai Chef for Pavilion Restaurant at The Datai Langkawi. I have loved cooking since I was young. I always watched my mom cooking at home and after I graduated from school, I joined the hotel industry and learned from there.
Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.
I recently worked together with Celebrity Chef Martin Yan for his Taste of Malaysia cooking show at The Datai Langkawi. It gave me a great experience and memories for my career.
What the best / worst part of your job?
I love food and searching for ways to trigger as many sensorial aspects for the dining experience. I often go foraging around the resorts rainforest to search for spices and herbs to ensure a memorable experience for our guests. The worst part is when we face the problem of supply for fresh Thai herbs and spices on this island.
What your personal favourite meal / drink in Langkawi?
My favourite meal on this island is seafood pizza and iced coffee at Red Tomato Café,
Pantai Cenang, Langkawi.
What’s one of the funniest things you seen behind the scenes?
I have not seen many outrageous things in my career, but years ago I did witness my former chef throw a dinner plate to a kitchen helper because he did not follow his instruction during work.
The perfect day off would be...
... traveling around Thailand, spending the day exploring, learning new cultures and food from the different areas of Thailand.
A day in the life of a chef is ...
At The Datai, I am in-charge of The Pavilion kitchen. In the morning I spend time searching for wild herbs and spices that I use in my menus, then I have a briefing with my executive chef, before I start the day’s food preparation. I also create the daily market list and ensure that all the products and food preparation is of perfect quality before it is served to our guests. After dinner service, the kitchen is cleaned by all the staff to maintain the proper cleanliness standards.
What do you do for fun?
I go swimming and enjoy dining at other restaurants in Langkawi.
What something you'd like guest to know about Thai Pavilion?
The Pavilion is one of the most authentic Thai restaurants in Langkawi, serving traditional Thai cuisine from all around Thailand.
What's your favourite food and wine pairing?
Traditional spicy grilled beef salad together with sauvignon blanc.
What your view on the Langkawi food scene?
Langkawi is an interesting place with a lot of potential. It is important for me personally as a chef to assist the local community in understanding the significance of sustainable food and protecting our environment.
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
We are working on new menus and introducing a new concept of traditional Thai food using modern cooking techniques.
Check out some of Chef's dishes via this link.