John Hongmung
John Hongmung

John Hongmung

Born: Aranyaprathet, Thailand


History: I first began as a rice farmer where I progressed to working as a motorcycle mechanic. Gaining interest in the hospitality industry I moved to resort and hotel work in both Thailand and Australia, where I also worked in a bakery and now as a chef in restaurants.


Have you always wanted to be a Chef? 

I have always loved to eat (look at me!) and in my family we shared the responsibility for cooking daily meals. On coming to Australia I cooked because I really missed good Thai food. My family and friends encouraged me to enter the commercial cookery field. When I became an Australia citizen, a friend joked that I would no longer be able to cook Thai food as I was now an Aussie.


How would you define your style? 

I cook honestly from the heart, using good quality and fresh ingredients.


Obsessive compulsive about? 

Cooking each dish to perfection.


Your greatest culinary inspirations?

Sisamon Kongpan is the mother of Thai cookery having authored many cookbooks, like the Margaret Fulton of Thailand. I was fortunate to study cookery with her.


Most ‘eyebrow raising’ menu item? 

An authentic, optional, ingredient in Som Tum (Papaya Salad) is Salts crab. This is pounded with the other ingredients. Thai people enjoy the taste and the accompanying crunch of the shell.


Signature dish: These are two of the dishes that customers describe as standouts when comparing with other Thai restaurants. Miang Hoy – Scallops served on a betel leaf with a tamarind sauce and fresh accompaniments; Kaeng Ped Bet Yang – Roasted duck slices in succulent red curry.


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