The Thai-Italian Chamber of Commerce hosted the first event of 2021 at Ma Maison Restaurant at Nai Lert Park. Guests enjoyed delicious themed Italian food both indoors and on the terrace of the restaurant. Notable guests representing the Thai and Italian business community attended the glamorous evening.
Veteran hotelier Charles ‘Chucky’ Wrightman is one of Bangkok’s great characters, a man known almost as much for his friendly disposition and his golfing prowess as his professional skills.
In a long career that began in Baghdad in 1983 and took him to 10 countries, Charles worked through the ranks and eventually became Managing Director of Lenotre Thailand, one of Accor Hotel Group’s finest confectionary and catering brands.
After 30 years working in many brands of the Accor Group, including Novotel, Sofitel and Mercure, Charles left the hotel chain to launch his own hospitality business.
In two years the company created two brands, The Duchess and The Zone. It also manages a small portfolio of hotels and restaurants which he is planning to expand.
Until recently, Charles was a consultant for Sindhorn Village, one of the largest hospitality developments in Bangkok, comprising luxury serviced apartments, hotels, restaurants and entertainment outlets.
In his spare time, Charles is a keen golfer with one of the most consistently low handicaps among local golfers. He was the Vice-President of the Australian Thai Chamber of Commerce from 2014 till 2018 and the driver behind the annual chamber golf tournament.
An accredited director, he holds a diploma from the Thai Institute of Directors.
As for the future, he says: “I will continue to enjoy every moment of my life together with everyone I come into contact with.”
By Ruth Gerson
Meet Anna Borassi, the lady behind Italian Osteria in The Groove
Like so many other successful chefs, Anna Borrasi learned much of her cooking from her grandmother, whose home kitchen in Naples, Italy, was always steeped in enticing, delicious aromas. “I was allowed to play the cook and try different things,” she says. Another major inspiration and influence on her life was her father, an ambitious businessman who managed thirty businesses together with his wife.
Despite being surrounded by food in her early life, and exposed to myriad Italian cuisines while later living in various regions of Italy, Anna did not want to pursue a career in the restaurant business. She wanted to become a doctor! These plans were dashed when during her studies she met a handsome young freelance photographer with whom she fell madly in love, got married, and began wandering the world.
The first destination was Tenerife in the Canary Islands where the young couple settled. The lure of food soon proved too strong. “I think it is in my DNA, and it can’t be changed,” says Anna. In Tenerife Anna gave birth to two children, opened an Italian restaurant as there was none there, and became fluent in Spanish. All this she accomplished by the age of twenty-one. The outdoor restaurant that produced simple Italian food from a converted garage was an immediate success, famous for its fish from the nearby sea.
Next stop was Portugal, for three years, where Anna was initially employed by an American- British group that owned hotels and restaurants, and where she worked as a chef in a stand-alone villa. At the same time, Anna and her husband opened a pasta factory. Working from home they sold their products to hotels that served international cuisines. This was their life from the late 1980s to the early 1990s.
Her children said they wanted to return to Italy, so Anna agreed moved back to her homeland, settling in Rome where she felt like a stranger after living abroad for so many years. She also realized that to succeed in a food Mecca like Rome she had to learn many new skills. This is when Anna began learning about wine. She secured a position in one of Rome’s most prestigious restaurants, Enoteca, where she met many of the ‘who’s who’ in the city – politicians, actors, writers, artists and more. She worked there for three years until she felt Italian again, and it was time to move on again.
Music you listen to while cooking? I am a metal chef.
What’s your favourite dish to cook for yourself? Kiam chai boey. It’s a Malaysian dish.
Favourite dish cooked by someone else? Nasi lemak cooked by my wife. Or any dish cooked by my wife.
Which restaurant above all others would you like to work for? I guess none. No preference, really.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be? Never really thought of that. I guess something related to F&B.
What’s next for you? Now that's a tricky question. For now I am focused on my restaurant.
Makan Makan Bangkok
Sukhumvit Soi 16 BTS Asok | MRT Sukhumvit
Tues-Sundays from 11am to 10pm
Call 02 0775543
The extraordinary and unique career of Bangkok-based cameraman Derek Williams
Arriving in Hong Kong in 1971, New Zealander Derek Williams went on to cover some of the region’s most turbulent events, from the fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to the 1976 bloodbath at Bangkok’s Thammasat University, student uprisings in Korea, and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. He also witnessed the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown – and received a rousing welcome on his return to Hong Kong. Based for many years in Bangkok where he set up AsiaWorks Television, this highly respected and popular journalist is now enjoying a well-earned retirement in the US.
Fellow Bangkok journalist Scott Murray sought out Derek in California for a closer look at his remarkable and eventful life.
I never planned on becoming a cameraman, but when I finished high school my father and I heard an ad on his car radio. It was the local radio station advertising for technicians (all that was required was a decent mark in physics!).
I was good at physics so I joined the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation working at Radio 4ZA, Invercargill. I loved radio and had a ball! But eventually I made my way to Wellington and television where I worked in Film & Sound. It was the early days of TV in New Zealand and we sort of made it up as we went along. But it was great training, as I worked on TV dramas, news, and documentaries.
Every young Kiwi plans some overseas experience, and I was no different. I planned to go to London and work for the BBC, but before that could come about, I heard about a job as a film soundman for CBS News, based in Hong Kong. I snapped up that job and arrived in Hong Kong in June of 1971. I was a wide-eyed country boy and loved the excitement and hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, so there I stayed, covering Indochina, India, and Japan. In fact almost everywhere, but I spent the most amount of time in Indochina (Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos).
Both Wine Spokesman Alex Fisken and I liked it a lot as it did not present the normal rather acidity flavour of the current in vogue style of NZ whites.
We moved on to Beef Carpaccio Classic Style with extra virgin olive oil, shaved parmesan & rocket. The only complaint one heard was that it lacked a second plateful to do it justice; it was very tasty, beautifully presented and drew deserved praise from Food Spokesman Andrew McDowell.
With it, Winemaster Thomas Boedinger had unearthed our last bottles of Altrovino Duemani Merlot/Cab Franc 2015 (Tuscany, Italy). This proved to be both very enjoyable and very cost effective (later vintages have doubled in price); Parker awarded it 91 points and said in 2016 “there is a wild, untamed and brambly element to the bouquet with forest floor, dark berry fruit, grilled herb and scorched earth. The wine shows a sharp and edgy personality that will soften with another year of bottle aging”.
By Tim Cornwall
In an earlier life, I was a philatelist who acquired much of my collection via various stamp auctions around the world. Although I sold my stamps a while back, I still enjoy browsing the contents of local auction houses – and one of the most interesting is John Collingbourne’s weekly auction in Banglamung, Chonburi. It’s an occasion I follow most weeks and definitely visit when I am in the Pattaya area.
Having a few items lying around the apartment I no longer needed, I thought I might take a few of them over to Collingbourne Auctioneers and listen to John’s amazingly persuasive patter to an attentive audience of buyers.
After chatting to this most engaging Welshman, I learned how I can either de-clutter or clutter my living abode even more.
How did you become an auctioneer?
In 1984, I held the lease on an acre site in Newport South Wales. It was being used as a motor station and for a haulage business, but there was still a lot of spare room so I was looking for something else to do.
When the Severn Bridge was opened in my younger days it was much easier to travel to the car auctions in Bristol. I’d buy a car on Monday, sell it, and return the next week for another one. I became fascinated by auctions and the seed was sown.
Many years later, a car auction was opened on our spare land in a marquee and over the next 20 years it grew to larger premises and subsequently sold.
At first we employed funnily an auctioneer but I soon taught myself the skills so we could save the expenses. You see, I am a self-taught auctioneer and am still doing it today.
Superb All You Can Eat dining occasion in Bangkok’s most elegant restaurant
For many people, lunch on Sunday is the highlight of the week, a good few hours to catch up with family and friends well away from all the stress and pressure of the workday schedule – and a chance to sit back and savour great food and wine in pleasant surroundings.
This is exactly what you can expect at Brasserie 9, one of Bangkok’s most beautiful restaurants, inside and out, where its Sunday dining experience excels and even exceeds on so many levels.
The dessert trolley is full of wonderful delights, such as crème brulee, macaroons, chocolate mousse and lemon tart, while another live station prepares mouthwatering crêpes Suzettes. For cheese lovers, there’s a great selection of the best imported cheeses.
Brasserie 9 staff are always discreetly on hand to help and recommend a wine from the restaurant’s extensive list.
There’s a kids’ corner and special menu for youngsters with 50% discount.
The unique design of both the exterior and interior is based on an old Siamese mansion with a series of inter-connecting rooms, creating a wonderful light and airy yet elegant ambiance. It’s a venue made for long and relaxed dining occasions. And with the restaurant being open from 11.30 am to 4.30pm, there’s certainly no reason to rush.
Sunday Roast at Brasserie costs only THB 1,599 net, but customers who book before Friday of each week get the early bird price of just THB 1,199 net.
Every Sunday 11.30 am to 4.30pm.
Brasserie 9. 21 North Sathorn,
Soi Pipat (Sathorn Soi 6),
Bangkok. Tel 02 234 2588
CRU Champagne Bar’s new Gourmet Snack Menu
CRU Champagne Bar at Centara Grand at CentralWorld has some mouth-watering new additions to our menu.
Paired with a flute of premium Champagne or bubbly cocktail, try the Wagyu Beef Skewers with Périgueux sauce, Chicken Teriyaki Lollipops, Duck Spring Rolls with Hoisin sauce, Pork Gyoza with soya sauce and Fried Arabiki Sausages with homemade ketchup.
For fish and seafood lovers, go for the ‘Oysters on the Half Shell’, Crunchy Snow Fish Rolls with orange mayonnaise, Fried Calamari with garlic aioli or shrimp balls with XO Sauce.
Sweet additions to the menu include Fine Crisp Alsatian Tart Flammekueche, Chocolate Combination and Passion Fruit Meringue "Macaroon".
Prices start from THB 255, including the 360-degrees from our rooftop deck on the top of Centara Grand at CentralWorld.
Call +66(0)2 100 6255 or