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AN UNIQUE INTERVIEW WITH JIM OPHORST FROM PRU RESTAURANT ON PHUKET
When we heard that a Dutch chef was cooking the Michelin stars out of the sky and also was been awarded with Thailand’s first Michellin Green Star, we were obviously extremely proud. As some of our readers may know by now, we are from the Netherlands. The combination of our home country, the LOVE for Thailand and good food made us want to ask Jim some questions…
But we also thought an interview with Jim would be much more fun if we put a spin on it. Therefore we asked some of our relations and friends if they also wanted to send some questions to Jim through us. One thing led to another and eventually we asked people who are close to Jim himself. Below you find the result with a big THANK YOU to all involved!
Jim + team, we feel your passion all the way to our own kitchen here in the Netherlands! Keep up the great (green) job you all do!
- Questions from Thailand Magazine
- Questions from Carla Ophorst, the mother of Jim
- Questions from Rob Smink (Smink Culinair), Jim’s teacher during his culinary school
- Questions from the kitchen crew at PRU, Jim’s restaurant
- Questions from chef Alessandro Frau, ownerof Acqua Restaurant in Phuket and in Bangkok
- Questions from chef Ton, owner of places like Le Du and Nusara in Bangkok
- Questions from chef Sebastiaan Hoogewerf, executive chef from The Okura Prestige Bangkok
- Question from the twins and chefs Thomas and Mathias Sühring, known from the eponymous restaurant Sürhring in Bangkok
- Questions from chef Bo (Duangporn Songvisava) and het partner chef Dylan Jones, both owners of the restaurant Bo.Lan and more in Bangkok
- Questions from chef Garima Arora, owner of Gaa and the recently opened HERE in Bangkok
- Questions from Richard Ekkebus, well know from the two Michelin starred restaurant Amber in Hong Kong
- Question from Khun Thanaruek Laoraowirodge, owner and founder of the famous Supanniga Group
- Questions from chef Rydo, head chef at Gaggan Anand Restaurant
- Last words from Jim Ophorst to the readers of Thailand Magazine
- More handy and practical information about Phuket and Thailand
Questions from Thailand Magazine
Carla Ophorst, Jim’s mother
The basics were handed down to Jim from home. Partly thanks to his mother who has always shared the passion for cooking with little Jimmy. We got to know Carla as a committed and honest woman with a great love for Thailand and the Thai cuisine that goes with it.
Chef Rob Smink, owner of Smink Culinair in the Netherlands
Rob Smink has been at the forefront of Jim’s developments in the kitchen. During Jim’s training at Smink Culinair, Jim’s culinary cooking school, Jim learned the techniques and intricacies of the trade.
DID YOU KNOW?
In 2012, Rob Smink, owner of Smink Culinary achieved a Guinness World Record. He cooked for a whopping 36 hours and 58 minutes straight on!
PRU’s fabulous kitchen team, part of Trisara on Phuket
Of course, Jim Ophorst has played a big part in achieving the Michelin stars of recent years. But what would he and PRU have been without his amazing team from the kitchen!
Chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn from one of Thailand’s best restaurant Le Du and Nusara in Bangkok
Chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn is not only a very familiar face in the Thai culinary world but also a super friendly person! He owns Le Du, awarded a Michelin star and ranked number four among the best restaurants in all of Asia in 2021. Besides Le Du, Chef Ton also owns Nusara, another restaurant you must have eaten at some point in Bangkok.
Chef Sebastiaan Hoogewerf from the world-renowned The Okura Prestige in Bangkok
Sebastiaan is an executive chef at The Okura Prestige Bangkok. The Okura Prestige Bangkok isn’t only a fantastic hotel but in it you will also find the Michelin-starred Elements. In addition, Japanese restaurant Yamazato is one of the only two Japanese restaurants in Thailand to have a Michelin Plate.
Chefs Mathias en Thomas Sühring from the similarly named restaurant Sühring in Bangkok
These two German twin brothers, Thomas and Mathias Sühring, are regular guests in PRU’s kitchen. Here they have teamed up with Jim to host several themed culinary evenings. Like many of the restaurants in this list, Sühring has been awarded a Michelin star. We are very curious to see what the future holds for these two amicable brothers.
Chef Bo & Chef Dylan from the restaurants Bo.lan and Err in Bangkok
Chef Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava + chef Dylan Jones = Bo.lan, two unmissable chefs who mean an awful lot to local farmers in Thailand! These two heroes have been working on sustainability and cooking with ingredients in a more conscious way for at least a decade. We find it surprising that these two haven’t yet received a Michelin Green Star. From us they get the respect they deserve! Keep on going Bo.lan!
Chef Garima Arora from the unique restaurants Gaa and HERE in Bangkok
For us, chef Garima is a true hero! In November 2018, this smiling lady was the first Indian woman to win a Michelin star with her restaurant Gaa. She has since opened another fantastic restaurant in Bangkok called HERE. This is where you really need to go next time you visit Bangkok again. Also bring some treats for her lovely dog Aalooji cause we like this doggo so much!
Chef Richard Ekkebus known from Amber in Hong Kong, a restaurant with two Michelin stars
Dutchman Richard Ekkebus has been working at Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental Landmark Hotel since 2005. Since then, he has managed to achieve two Michelin stars on several occasions with Amber, the restaurant in the hotel. An unprecedented achievement and again a Dutchman to be proud of. Should you ever be in Hong Kong do not forget to dine in this heavenly restaurant called Amber.
Khun Thanaruek Laoraowirodge owner of the famous Supanniga Group
Khun Thanaruek has been the founder of the well-known Supanniga Group since 2012. With several Supanniga restaurants in Bangkok and the yet to open Ging Grai in Chiang Mai. In addition, the Somtum Der restaurants fall under the Supanniga Group. These restaurants with dishes mainly from the Khon Kaen province, can be found in cities such as Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Tokyo, Taipei and New York. In New York, Somtum Der even received a Michelin star in 2016 and in June 2021 a restaurant will be opened in Beijing.
Chef Rydo from Gaggan Anand Restaurant in Bangkok
We really did our best to catch Gaggan Anand himself to ask some questions or at least one question to Jim. After all, Jimmy has done an internship at Gaggan in the past…. Unfortunately we didn’t get hold of him ourselves and Rydo, the chef of his new restaurant Gaggan Anand Restaurant sent us a question, unfortunately not the most original one. Let’s just say that they are very busy with their passion, which is cooking. Despite that, we remain lovers of Gaggan, his team and creations, we therefore hope to one day meet this character himself.
The final words are from Jim to all our Thailand Magazine readers
In these difficult times, we will always focus on what is important around us and the community of Phuket / Thailand is one of them. By winning the Green Star, the whole community got a big award, because this award is not for me, it is for everyone who has made PRU possible in the past 5 years.
I believe that by helping others, you will always see the results back. I am a very happy and satisfied man and grateful to work and live in Phuket where I have all the opportunities to do what I love most, create and cook!
I look forward to welcoming you all to beautiful Phuket and hope you will visit PRU if you are in the area!
– Jimmy –