Born: Loei City,
History: Chaloem was born in a
small Village near Loei, a city in the mystical Issan Region of far north-eastern Thailand along side the mighty Mekong
River and the Laos border.
His cooking skills are innate. Watching and helping his mother and sisters
lovingly prepare dishes for family and friends in the village planted the seeds
for his culinary future. He and his family farmed sticky rice, hand fed poultry
and fish, fresh aromatic vegetables, herbs and fruits, while buying and
bartering special ingredients from the local markets. As many young Thai men
do, he became a Buddhist Monk for seven years, and fed himself and his fellow
monks, developing invaluable skills along the way.
When he arrived
in Australia, he enrolled in
many culinary courses at the Victoria
University in Sunbury and
promptly topped his class in each one with very little command of English.
There he also obtained his Certificate IV in Workplace Training. He opened his
first Restaurant, Thai Issan, in Trentham, a sleepy town in Victoria's
Macedon Ranges. His fame spread rapidly as he
produced outstanding Thai cuisine for thousands of his loyal guests who
travelled from near and far to savour his delights.
While living in
the Macedon Ranges,
he was invited to conduct cooking classes at the renowned William Angliss
College of TAFE in Melbourne
. He now runs the multi-award winning Paladarr Thai Issan Restaurant in Alphington, Victoria
and employs the help of 4 chefs in his busy kitchen. He conducts sought after
weekly cooking classes in his famous kitchen and leads cooking tours through
his beloved Thailand and Laos.
always wanted to be a Chef?
I didn’t always want to be a chef, but I have been cooking for almost ten years
now, and I have come to love it. No looking back!
would you define your style?
Traditional Issan and Modern Thai Cuisine.
Simplicity and taste.
greatest culinary inspirations?
My other chefs, my restaurant team, and my partner.
raising’ menu item?
Larb Ped Yang - Roast Duck Salad
Pla Goong - Prawn Salad with Thai Herbs