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Born in Hørsholm, Denmark in 1970, Chef Henrik Yde-Andersen’s journey to international acclaim had a less than auspicious start when, as a fashion-conscious teenager desperate for a certain pair of jeans, he was fired from his first job in a famous restaurant after only two weeks and told he would never make it in the restaurant business. Nevertheless, he trained in classical French cuisine, then learned the ropes in Danish restaurants such as Hotel Plaza, Le Sommelier and Paul Cunningham’s The Paul, followed by a career in several European countries. The moral of the story, of course, is never give up.
A vacation in Thailand in 2000 proved to be the turning point for the open-minded Danish chef. A ten-day holiday became a life-changing five years of living, working and traveling the country to gain extensive experience in Thai cuisine. In 2005 he flew home to Copenhagen and in August 2006 he opened his first Thai venture, Aroii Thai, offering popular and authentic takeaway Thai dishes, which was an instant success. In late 2006 he opened his restaurant, Kiin Kiin, which has enjoyed one-star Michelin status since 2008. Chef Henrik Yde-Andersen with his partner, Lertchai Treeawatchaiwong, a Thai entrepreneur and hobby chef, now heads up a gradually expanding empire of 18 restaurants, all serving Asian cuisine.
Asked to describe his food style, he says he decided to embrace Thai food in his own way, modernizing it and adjusting it to make it fit the Danish palate but always pushing to produce the real Thai taste. Gaining acceptance as a foreign chef specializing in Thai food took time but he proved himself by going deep into the history and traditions of the cuisine. Now people are much more open-minded and his innovative and outside-the-box thinking enables Chef Henrik to incorporate global cooking techniques into the original recipes while preserving Thai tastes. He likens Thai cuisine to culinary anarchy since there is no rigid set of rules and it is perfectly acceptable to have sugar in the main course and salt in the dessert.
A frequent visitor to Bangkok, Chef Henrik opened Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin within the Siam Kempinski Hotel in October 2010. The Head Chef there is Chayawee Sutcharitchan, also known as Chef Berm, a Thai national who fell in love with gastronomy in the USA in 2004. Already educated in computer science, he obtained a Certificate of Culinary Arts at the Collin County Community College and decided to continue on his culinary journey though he admits his knowledge of computer science has been useful in scaling the ingredients and plating. He says that cooking is his passion and learning new techniques and implementing them to create dishes is always fun.
Chef Chayawee Sutcharitchan returned to Bangkok in 2006 where he gained experience at a number of five-star hotels including The Landmark Hotel and the Intercontinental Bangkok before joining the Kempinski family at the Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok in 2010. In 2012 he transferred to Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin as Sous Chef and his hard work and devotion was rewarded with promotion to Head Chef in 2014 and Senior Head Chef in 2019. In 2018 the restaurant was awarded, and has since retained, its Michelin one-star rating for its impressive modern interpretations of Thai cuisine.
Diners at Chef Henrik’s restaurants are taken on a playful and surprising culinary journey through the looking-glass into another world. Chef Chayawee conjures the different tastes of basic Thai ingredients in daring combinations with exquisite plating compositions. He enjoys constantly evolving and learning, ensuring that the food served appeals first to the eyes and then entices with its aroma and taste while the restaurant’s ambience in royal purple and gold and the impeccable service play a key supporting role. Chef Henrik provides inspiration and leadership to the Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin culinary team, led ably and expertly by Chef Chayawee. The menu includes spicy cucumber salad, crispy sea bass with cotton candy, yellow crab curry with corn gratin and pickled cabbage, slow cooked beef rib with homemade oyster sauce, and lemon foam with Thai basil sorbet. The signature dishes common to Chef Henrik’s restaurants are Maine lobster salad with frozen red curry, and banana cake, salted ice cream and caramelized milk. Thai classics - not simply deconstructed but rather re-imagined.
For aspiring chefs, Chef Henrik has these tips: work hard, don’t be afraid to learn or to laugh at yourself, stay curious and remember there are no shortcuts.
Join Chef Henrik Yde-Andersen and Chef Chayawee Sutcharitchan on a sensational culinary journey through the tantalizing tastes of Thailand which will challenge and delight your senses at Restaurant Ikarus in January 2020.
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.