Thai ambassador visits Victoria Centre during Thai Week

Thai visit to Victoria Centre

On Wednesday 3 April, Thailand’s ambassador to the United Kingdom visited our School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts in Victoria, to mark Thai Week, a week-long celebration of Thai food and culture.

Our Victoria Centre regularly recognises international cultures with ‘themed weeks’, and we were delighted to welcome the Ambassador to Victoria. Ambassador HE Mr. Pisanu Suvanajata arrived with a group of fellow ambassadors from neighbouring Asian countries as well as members of embassy staff.  Our senior chef lecturer Jose Souto conducted the group on a tour of the college’s kitchens and workshops, explaining the cultural history of the centre (we have taught culinary and hospitality skills on the site for over 100 years), before the group was able to sample the students’ Thai cuisine skills over lunch in our Escoffier Roomfine dining restaurant.

Jose said: “We’re very happy to have our special guests with us today.  As well as the Thai Ambassador, we have five other ambassadors with us, from Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Burma [Myanmar]. They’ve been invited here today by the Thai Ambassador to sample the kind of food that we’re making. We’ve worked together with the Thai Embassy to try to create a learning environment around Thai food, ingredients and culture, giving students that insight into the cuisine and culture.

“The whole idea of Thai week was so that students can learn about Thai food and culture by coming up with a Thai menu, working with the senior lecturers in each section of the kitchen.”

The Thai ambassador has been collaborating directly with Westminster Kingsway College to build awareness for Thai Week. Tuesday saw seven finalists compete for the title of Young Thai Cuisine Chef of the Year. 2019 marks the first year of the event, with support from the Embassy and senior chefs around the college: Norman Fu in the larder, Simon Stocker in the fine-dining restaurant, Sue Yates in pastry and Mark Whitley covering front of house.

HE Mr. Pisanu Suvanajata was delighted to attend today’s lunch. He added: “We are honoured to work with the college and also we find the restaurant offers the best quality food and service that will attract a lot of people. It’s a great opportunity to work with the college.

“We are happy to see that we have not only a great chef in the restaurant, but a college that can prepare good Thai fusion food; we had a Thai cooking contest yesterday and found that there’s interest in Thai culture out there in the younger generation – people who want to master Thai cuisine.  It’s a great thing. We think this is a great opportunity for Thailand to work with a famous institute like Westminster Kingsway College to promote Thai food.”

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