Chef's Talk

Chef Parn - Setsiri Siripornlertkul

Chef Parn 99 Chicken Pot Bangkok Talks to TOP25-RestaurantsIn the culinary world, Chef Parn shines brightly, marrying rebellion with artistry in the realm of fine dining. From a youth filled with artistic rebellion in Thailand to a profound culinary awakening in Sydney, Chef Parn’s journey is anything but ordinary. Educated in Food Science and honed in the world’s kitchens from Chicago to the far reaches of the globe, he explores the cultural depths of cuisine, embodying a "less is more" philosophy that dazzles celebrities and world leaders alike.

At the heart of his culinary universe is 99 Chicken Pot, a restaurant that encapsulates Chef Parn’s journey and his dedication to simplicity, health, and the rich tapestry of Chinese culinary history. Here, tradition and innovation meet, offering diners not just a meal, but an experience steeped in centuries of culinary wisdom yet fresh with modern refinement. Chef Parn invites us on a flavorful odyssey, where each dish narrates a story of heritage, passion, and the art of cooking.

Can you share the moment you realized that culinary arts was your true passion?

My decision to become a chef was as much a discovery as it was a conscious choice. In a moment of serendipity during my studies in Sydney, I found that culinary arts offered me a canvas to blend creativity with flavor, transforming my rebellious streak into a passionate pursuit of culinary excellence. It was a realization that cooking was not just a profession but a calling, where I could express my artistic roots and connect with others on a profound level.

Growing up in an art family, how have your artistic roots influenced your approach to culinary arts and food presentation?

My artistic upbringing has been instrumental in shaping my culinary philosophy. I approach each dish as a piece of art, focusing on the harmony of colors, textures, and flavors. This artistic sensibility drives me to create experiences that are visually stunning and emotionally resonant, much like a well-composed painting that speaks to the soul.

In your global culinary explorations, what emerging food trends have captured your attention, particularly those that align with your "less is more" philosophy?

My travels have introduced me to the beauty of minimalism in cuisine. The trend towards using fewer ingredients to highlight natural flavors aligns perfectly with my "less is more" philosophy. This simplicity, I've found, allows each element to shine, offering a deeper appreciation for the ingredients' inherent qualities.

Your journey of exploring the cultural meaning of food around the world is fascinating. Can you share an experience that profoundly impacted your approach to cooking?

A pivotal moment was during my world tour, where I witnessed the reverence for local produce and traditional techniques. This experience underscored the importance of respecting each ingredient's origin and story, profoundly influencing my commitment to authenticity and simplicity in my culinary practice.

How do you balance the health and nutritional aspects of your dishes without compromising on taste and presentation?

For me, balancing health and nutrition with taste and presentation is about understanding the ingredients' natural properties and how they can complement each other. My focus on whole, minimally processed ingredients ensures that every dish is as nourishing as it is delightful, embodying a fusion of well-being and culinary excellence.

The pandemic has altered the dining landscape significantly. How has 99 Chicken Pot adapted to these changes, and what lessons have you learned?

The pandemic taught us the value of adaptability and the importance of connection. 99 Chicken Pot embraced these challenges by enhancing our takeout offerings through premium sous vide food custom packaging with personlised notecards introducing a multi-sensory journey. Allowing us to maintain a bond with our guests while continue delivering soulful and healthy cuisine in new, innovative ways.


Are there any unique or underutilized ingredients you've incorporated into your dishes recently, inspired by your cultural explorations?

Inspired by my travels, I've recently incorporated lesser-known herbs and spices from remote cultures into our dishes. These ingredients, like the rare Sichuan peppercorn varieties, add a layer of complexity and uniqueness, elevating the dining experience while staying true to our roots.

The “less is more” philosophy often contradicts the lavish expectations in high-end cuisine. How do you balance simplicity with luxury in your dishes?

Balancing simplicity with luxury involves a deep understanding of ingredients and technique. By sourcing the finest ingredients and applying meticulous preparation methods, I create dishes that are both understated and opulent, proving that luxury lies in the quality and craftsmanship of the culinary experience.

In reviving and mastering recipes from the Chinese emperor’s private kitchen, what challenges did you face in adapting these historical dishes for today's diners?

The greatest challenge in reviving recipes from the emperor’s kitchen was ensuring authenticity while making them relevant to today's palate. This required a delicate balance of research, creativity, and respect for the original techniques, resulting in dishes that are a nod to the past but firmly rooted in the present.

Given the specialized nature of your dishes at 99 Chicken Pot, how challenging is it to source authentic ingredients for your Chinese-inspired cuisine in Bangkok?

Sourcing authentic ingredients in Bangkok presents its challenges, especially for Chinese-inspired cuisine that demands specificity. However, Bangkok's vibrant culinary scene and our dedication to authenticity have enabled us to establish relationships with specialized suppliers, ensuring that our dishes are as genuine as they are delicious.

What would you cook at home if you were just making a laid-back dinner?

For a casual dinner at home, I often lean towards simplicity and comfort—perhaps a beautifully roasted chicken with a side of fresh, seasonal vegetables. It's a humble yet satisfying meal that speaks to the heart of what I believe cooking should be: an act of love and simplicity.

What’s the difference between being a Chef in Sydney (or other location) and in Bangkok?

The contrast between Sydney and Bangkok is stark, from the ingredients available to the culinary culture. Sydney offered a broad palette of international influences and a focus on fusion, while Bangkok immerses me in the depth of Thai and Chinese culinary traditions. Each city has taught me the value of diversity and the beauty of blending different culinary worlds.

Do you source as much local produce as possible for each restaurant and does this have a big impact on the menu?

Absolutely. Emphasizing local produce is not just a commitment to freshness and sustainability; it's a celebration of the community's bounty. This approach significantly impacts our menu, allowing us to showcase the best of what's available seasonally and support local farmers and producers.

Can you compare the relationship and attitudes towards food between Australia and Thailand, and how these differences have influenced your culinary approach?

The culinary landscapes in Australia and Thailand are both rich and diverse, yet distinct in their approaches to food. Australia's embrace of multicultural influences contrasts with Thailand's deep-rooted culinary traditions. These differences have enriched my culinary approach, teaching me the importance of both innovation and tradition.

Is there a signature dish at 99 Chicken Pot that encapsulates your culinary style?

Our signature dish is, without a doubt, the Emperor’s Chicken Soup. It encapsulates our culinary philosophy, combining centuries-old recipes with modern techniques to create a dish that is rich in history, flavor, and nourishment—a true reflection of our commitment to culinary excellence.

Will any of the dishes you discovered recently be making their way onto your menus?

We are constantly inspired by the ingredients and cultures we encounter, and our menu reflects this dynamic exploration. New dishes are thoughtfully introduced to offer our guests an evolving culinary experience that remains exciting and innovative.

Do you try out dishes on your family or friends?

Yes, my family and friends are often the first to experience new creations. Their feedback is invaluable, offering a diverse range of perspectives that help refine the dishes before they make their debut at the restaurant.

How often do you change at the menu or individual dishes at 99 Chicken Pot?

Our menu is a living document, changing seasonally to reflect the freshest ingredients available and to introduce new culinary discoveries. This approach keeps our offerings vibrant and in harmony with nature's cycles.

Do you serve vegetarian dishes?

Absolutely. We believe in the inclusivity of culinary experiences and offer a variety of vegetarian dishes that are as thoughtfully prepared and flavorful as our other offerings, ensuring everyone can find something to delight in at 99 Chicken Pot.

What are your customers' most frequently requested dish?

Our Emperor’s Chicken Soup remains the most requested dish, beloved for its deep flavors and comforting qualities. It's a testament to the timeless appeal of well-crafted, nourishing food.

In your view, what are the most important qualities for a young chef to succeed in today’s culinary world?

Curiosity, resilience, and respect for ingredients are crucial. The culinary world is ever-evolving, and success requires a willingness to learn, the strength to face challenges head-on, and a deep appreciation for the produce and cultures that inspire our cuisine.

What do you think about chefs like Gordon Ramsay, who have taken haute cuisine to the masses via reality TV?

Chefs like Gordon Ramsay have played a pivotal role in democratizing haute cuisine, making it more accessible and inspiring a new generation of food enthusiasts. Their influence has been instrumental in elevating culinary arts in the public eye, a contribution that is both commendable and transformative.

Can you name some famous people you have cooked for?

While I've had the honor of cooking for many notable figures such as celebrities and world leaders, discretion and respect for their privacy are paramount. What's most rewarding, however, is not the fame of those I've cooked for but the joy and satisfaction they find in the dining experience.

Can you share a memorable experience or feedback from a diner that particularly touched you or affirmed your culinary direction?

A diner once shared that our Emperor’s Chicken Soup reminded them of their grandmother's cooking, evoking a profound sense of nostalgia and warmth. This feedback was incredibly touching, affirming our mission to create dishes that resonate on a deeply personal level.

Collaboration between chefs is becoming more common. Are there any chefs or culinary figures you admire and wish to collaborate with in the future?

I greatly admire Chef Massimo Bottura for his innovative approach to Italian cuisine and his dedication to food sustainability. A collaboration would be a dream, merging our philosophies and culinary styles to create something truly unique.

What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Stay true to your roots while embracing the unknown." This advice has guided my culinary journey, encouraging me to honor my heritage while exploring new horizons in cuisine.

Could you share some of your favorite dining spots in Bangkok that inspire you?

Bangkok is a treasure trove of culinary delights. Street food stalls in Yaowarat Road offer some of the most authentic Thai flavors, while Gaggan Anand's restaurant provides an innovative dining experience that constantly inspires me.

Your favorite holiday destination?

Japan holds a special place in my heart. Its rich culture, respect for tradition, and unparalleled culinary craftsmanship offer endless inspiration and a sense of peace.

What’s next for you (plans, dreams, …)?

My journey is one of continual learning and exploration. I dream of expanding 99 Chicken Pot’s reach, sharing our philosophy and dishes with a wider audience, and perhaps penning a cookbook that encapsulates our culinary ethos and the stories behind our most cherished recipes.

Chef Parn 99 Chicken Pot Bangkok Talks to TOP25 Restaurants