BANGKOK, February 8 – He is responsible for elevating Thai cuisine to the rank of gastronomic excellence.
Ten years after leaving London, chef David Thompson is preparing to reopen a restaurant in the British capital. Here’s why his return will not go unnoticed in the world of food.
Originally from Australia, David Thompson is part of this select circle of chefs for whom foodies were ready to cross the planet… before the pandemic.
If you have just followed the culinary news, its name may not mean anything to you. But his upcoming arrival in London will finally give you the opportunity to taste his cuisine and understand why the British press is so enthusiastic about his return.
Although born in Sydney, David Thompson has built his reputation on making Thai food a truly, internationally recognized gourmet cuisine.
The chef has always worked with green curry and other flavors borrowed from Thai culinary culture.
However, it was in London that he first rose to prominence. His restaurant Nahm opened in 2001 at the Halkin Hotel in Mayfair.
Within six months, the Australian had won over the critics and immediately received a Michelin star. It was the first time in Europe that a restaurant dedicated to Thai cuisine received a star.
Enough to make him an ambassador of this culinary style. As early as 2002, the chef declared his love for his signature cuisine with a book containing more than 300 recipes.
In partnership with the COMO hotel group, the Australian chef has added a second address to his portfolio, this time in the promised land, in Bangkok.
Thompson kept his starred London restaurant shining for ten years, before finally deciding to focus on making his restaurant a success in the Thai capital.
And as soon as Michelin decided to launch an edition dedicated to Thai gastronomy, David Thompson got a star.
That was in 2017. But the chef’s talent had already been celebrated for several years by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. The British Review Restaurant offered him an entry right away in 2012.
Nahm then had a meteoric rise to 13th place in 2014. And it continued until 2018, when David Thompson decided to hang up his apron in Bangkok (chef Pim Techamuanvivit is now in charge) .
From Hong Kong to London
The Australian chef then launched a new restaurant, this time in Hong Kong. And the spicy, fragrant flavors that make Thai cuisine so successful remain its DNA at Aaharn.
In an interview with Michelin, the Australian chef said he leafed through his archives of his London days to build the menu for this new culinary adventure. And with it came success.
In 2020, Michelin praised the restaurant with one star, published in the Red Guide reserved for Hong Kong and Macau. A distinction still valid today.
In the meantime, David Thompson has not failed to democratize his cuisine by deploying a chain of Thai restaurants, under the name of Long Chim, which means “come and taste” in Thai.
He chose his native country to launch a menu based on roast pork and duck, vegetables seasoned with Thai herbs or chili sauce, not forgetting the classic pad Thai and jasmine rice.
As proof of its commitment to promoting Thai cuisine, Thompson is currently delighting visitors to the Dubai World Expo (until March 22) with this signature cuisine.
And it is precisely this culinary concept that should open this year in London’s Chinatown, according to the food site Eater.
Never since David Thompson became a world reference has his talent been so accessible to Europeans. — Studio ETX