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Qi Bangkok Eatery

Eating and cooking are Pichet Ong's hobby and heartbeat. As a self-taught chef, Pichet has worked with culinary luminaries, including Jean Georges Vongerichten and Max Brenner. Pichet has been named one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America by Pastry Arts & Design and Chocolatier, and was selected as a “Pastry Provocateur” by Food & Wine. He was named's “Rising Star” and featured in the prestigious “The Chef” column of The New York Times for four weeks. His desserts and savory food, including those from Spice Market, Spot, Coppelia, and Qi Bangkok Eatery have garnered numerous “Best of” awards.





How do you characterize your cuisine?

Seasonal, whimsical, and focusing on flavors I like that reach a balance between sweet and salty, bitter, a hint of spice, and a lot of umami along the way.

What regions most influence your cooking?

Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai.

What is your signature dish?

I don't think of signature dishes but some of my favorites from the past have been Stilton soufflé with arugula ice cream, Ovaltine kulfi with caramelized banana, miso semifreddo, olive oil torrejas, cara cara orange salad with fennel and anchovy, caramelized pork belly with pineapple and Sichuan peppercorns, foie gras napoleon with cocoa nibs, and yuzu-red pepper jelly.

What kind of food were you exposed to as a child?

Mostly regional Chinese (Cantonese and Teochew) food, a lot of delicacies including sea cucumber, shark's fin, goose web, fish maw, assorted cartilages. Game meats like mutton, lamb, and whole squab. Offal like brains, hearts, and livers of any animal. A lot of desserts and I mean a lot of ice cream, Western-style cakes, cookies, marzipans, and Chinese dim sum sweets from morning to night.

Have you ever lived or trained overseas? Where?

I'd lived in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan by the time I was 15, when I relocated to the states for college. Since then I've had extended stays in Australia, France, and Italy.

Is there an exotic spice or ingredient that you particularly enjoy using?

Sichuan peppercorns, sancho pepper, star anise, Thai Chili, Sumac, Sil Gochu, Gochu Garu, Nigella seeds.

Does the design and style of your restaurant evoke a particular place? If so, where?

Qi evokes the mood of current Bangkok interior design: hyper-modern with surreal inspiration from tradition. The Spot Dessert Bar, with walls and furniture made of reclaimed wood, gives me the feeling of barn and country. Coppelia's design takes me back to an ice cream parlor in Havana, Cuba of the same name, with its pastel-colored shutters, photographs, and bathroom tiles, plus antique appointments I procure from my personal travels.

When you cook for yourself, what do you make?

Instant noodles with Korean flavors, Caesar salad, chocolate chip cookies, five spiced pork cheeks, steak.

Tell us about some trips you've taken for inspiration.

I'm loving my recent trip to Portland. Before that, a boat trip through Scandinavia—Stockholm, Arhus, Helsinki, Malmo, Oslo, Copenhagen, Bergen.

What are your thoughts on global cuisine?

It is the future of food, anywhere—global and local.

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