Connect with us

Thai Life

Phuket Lifestyle – Executive Chef Puwin has heart

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Mr Puwin Chunesiri, new executive chef of the Sawaddi Patong Resort on Phuket’s west coast, has traveled the globe gaining experience in the culinary arts.

Chef Puwin’s career started at age 16 with no experience in cooking but plenty of passion.

“I always found the art of cooking fascinating. I was born and raised in a Chinese-Hainanese family, and cooking is what we are known for. I grew up seeing family members that were good at cooking and I wanted to carry on my family’s heritage,” said Chef Puwin.

“My passion for cooking led me to apply for a job at the Narai Hotel in Bangkok when I was 16 years old. Back then, in 1969, there were no cooking schools in Thailand. If you wanted to learn about cooking, you had to learn it from a big hotel,” he said.

“There were not many five-star hotels in Bangkok back then either, but the Narai was one of the few. I first worked as a trainee chef and learned much during my time there. I have to thank the executive chef at that time who give me such a valuable opportunity,” he added.

Chef Puwin worked in many departments of the hotel, gaining a lot of experience.

“From trainee chef, I was promoted to Coffee Cook with my main responsibility to prepare all the hot beverages for the coffee breaks for the conferences held at the hotel,” said Chef Puwin.

“After doing that for two years, I moved to the Cold Kitchen section, where I learned all about salads. I didn’t know much about vegetables and herbs from western countries because we only had local vegetables in the market. Carrots, beetroots and rosemary were things I had never even seen until I started working there,” he added.

“I worked for the Narai for 7 years and experienced all parts of the kitchen – cold, hot, and bakery – before moving to work in Pattaya. Then I was contracted to a hotel in Saudi Arabia. I decided to go because I wanted to experience another country,” he said.

After that one great door opened, there were many other paths available to Chef Puwin.

“I worked in Saudi Arabia for two years then returned to Bangkok before being contacted by a hotel in Japan. From Japan, I eventually came back to work in Thailand,” explained Chef Puwin.

“At this point I was a Sous Chef. I felt it was time for me to give something back, so I offered to teach cooking at some career training centers. I had so many experiences that I wanted to share with others interested in the culinary arts,” said Chef Puwin.

Although proud of all the things he has done in his life, there was one experience he will never forget. He was the first Thai Chef to prepare a meal for Michael Jackson. The hotel he worked for in Bangkok had a Chef Exchange Program, and he was in Malaysia when Michael Jackson held a world tour concert there.

Cooking may seem like just food preparation for some, but Chef Puwin sees it differently.

“For me, cooking is more like art. Being a chef back in 1970 taught me one important thing: we didn’t add MSG or other artificial ingredients back then. The food tasted good because we added one special ingredient: heart,” says Chef Puwin.

“It’s like eating the food my mother prepared. She prepared all the meals with heart, making sure everything she added was good and healthy. I feel the same way when I prepare food. Besides all the fresh ingredients and high quality products I use, I always make sure that I prepare every dish as if I were cooking for my own family. I guess you could call it ‘food from the heart’,” he explained.

“Hygienic, fresh ingredients are also another key to my cooking. My signature dish is fusion seafood. I have added the taste of Thai food and twisted it with some western ingredients. My salmon steak is the most exceptional dish,” he beams.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Crime10 mins ago

Teenagers arrested for allegedly running underage prostitution racket

Thailand54 mins ago

PM’s daughters get letter asking them to tell their father to resign

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases, provincial totals

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

News2 hours ago

Police bust gambling operations in Bangkok and Kamphaeng Phet

Best of3 hours ago

Chiang Mai’s 5 best eco-friendly hotels

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

‘Dark red’ curfews, interprovincial public transport ban possibly until Aug 31 – CCSA

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

The Thaiger launches the ‘I Am Strong’ campaign

Chon Buri4 hours ago

Narcolepsy suspected as cause of car accident in Chon Buri

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 hair salons in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Healthcare worker pleads with PM to set up “war room” to manage pandemic

Best of5 hours ago

The best backpacker hostels in Phuket

Politics5 hours ago

Official detained after spreading rumour of planned coup to oust PM

Business5 hours ago

Thai AirAsia suspends flights, cuts salaries as financial woes continue

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 17,970 new cases and 178 deaths

Phuket6 hours ago

Phuket sealed off from tomorrow in bid to curb virus spread, save sandbox

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8