David Thompson

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Country : Thailand

Restaurant : Nahm

Address : Nahm, Bangkok/Thailand

David Thompson is renowned as a world authority on Thai food. His restaurants in Sydney, London and Bangkok have won great acclaim.  

David first went to Thailand in 1986 and was seduced by the country and its people, its culture and its cuisine.

‘Thai food has such great depth – the diversity of ingredients, deft balance of flavours, textures and seasonings and vast repertoire of dishes make it one of the world’s great cuisines.’

Enthralled, David lived in Bangkok for 3 years where he began to explore and cook some of the wonderful, intricate dishes that make Thai food so remarkable. He returned to Sydney with his partner Tanongsak Yordwai in 1992 and soon afterwards opened Darley Street Thai, which won numerous awards, including best Thai restaurant in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for every year it was open. David was also awarded, ‘Professional of the Year’ in the same guide for 2000.

In 2001 David was asked by the COMO group to open a restaurant at the Halkin Hotel in London. Nahm opened to immediate critical success and was awarded a Michelin star within six months and in 2003 he was award ‘London Chef of the Year’ at the Carlton Evening Standard Food Awards.

Throughout this time David worked on Thai Food, a highly regarded cookbook, which provides a comprehensive overview of Thai cuisine its history and culture. Thai food has won almost every major cookbook award, including being voted among the top ten best cookbooks written according to the Observer Food Monthly.

In 2010 David opened nahm at the Metropolitan in Bangkok.
‘After 20 years of cooking Thai food, it was like coming home. But what made this restaurant different from all the previous one was the wide variety of uncommon local ingredients which allowed nahm to attain a much higher level of cooking.’

It has been a happy, fruitful home too. Since it has opened the restaurant has been included in the San Pellegrino Awards ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants, steadily climbing up the rankings starting at 50th in 2012, 32th in 2013. In the Asian 50 Best Restaurants, nahm was 3rd in 2013 and culminating in1st place in 2014. And this year, number 7.

Another book, Thai Street Food, was published in 2010. It is a journey into the streets and markets of Bangkok and beyond from dawn throughout the day and well into the night. This book was the genesis of broader sweep of the streets, a thirteen episode television series shot last year. In it David explores the extraordinary variety of dishes that line the streets and fill the markets that makes Bangkok such a culinary capital.

David has just opened a casual street food restaurant and bar, Long Chim, in at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Long Chim means to come and taste and it with that happy invitation and belief that will lead to several more of these restaurants opening throughout Asia and beyond.

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  • #7 Asia's 50 Best 2015

  • #22 World's 50 Best 2015

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