While fine-dining chefs normally scramble to make the most out of pricey imported ingredients, Jim Ophorst, the chef de cuisine of Pru restaurant in high-end resort Trisara, is one of the few culinary masters in Thailand that creates Michelin star-worthy culinary wonders out of seemingly “ordinary” produce. The secret to Chef Jim’s elevated fare lies in his holistic approach to cuisine and his source of ingredients. Pru gets most of its produce from Pru Jampa, a farm by Trisara that cultivates seasonal vegetables, herbs and flowers, and sources proteins directly from local farmers and fishermen engaged in sustainable processes.
Phuket has long been praised for its culinary culture, which highlights the province’s distinctive Phuketian Peranakan cuisine—mainly a blend of Thai, Malay and Chinese cooking—and is now being elevated by the influx of fine-dining restaurants. The city was put in the spotlight last year after it was recognized as a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO (the first time an Asian city was given this prestigious status). This year, Phuket’s culinary offerings come under scrutiny once again as the city becomes the new playground for Michelin inspectors testing its culinary offerings for the launch of The Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phuket, and Phang-nga 2019 happening in November this year. In celebration of Phuket’s shining moment, Time Out Bangkok travels to the resort town to check out its best restaurants and eateries.