Chef Steven John
Our chef's story
Born and raised near Zurich, Switzerland, Chef Steven went through the traditional swiss financial education while he was in his young adulthood years. Quickly, he found out that wasn’t for him and he was searching for his true identity, not only professionally but also on a personal level, which he finally found in his mother’s home country of Thailand.
In 2010 he decided to move to the land of smile where he started to understand his passion for cooking and food on a whole new level. A colorful, new, exciting world opened up to him after discovering all the flavors, the ingredients and techniques of Thai cooking - which were somewhat familiar to him growing up as a ‘Lukkruang’. but not in this depth. He became obsessed with teaching himself all the basic cooking skills until he was ready to use these skills to develop his own style of how to present and serve food.
After years of cooking for friends and family, the confidence grew in persuading a career in the culinary industry and he had a few opportunities to work in well- established restaurant in Bangkok to ‘see behind the curtain’, to reaffirm himself, that working in the kitchen was the path he wanted to follow. The time was right to leave the corporate world behind him and to go ‘all-in’ by becoming his own boss.
Chef John's independent cooking career began by launching Empty Plates Bangkok, which was at that time – a private chefs table located in his own home, where he cooked tasting menus for 10 guests per night. Those were some nostalgic nights, the pure form of displaying true passion and love for food, where guests could feel intimate and enjoy one of the most unique and delicious dining experiences Bangkok had to offer at that time.
Because he didn’t have any name nor credentials in the culinary industry, building his own stage or platform was an absolute necessity. The private chefs table ran very successfully 3 years and it built up a nice customer base during that time. Bangkok started to notice and more and more opportunities came along the way to work with other chefs and other culinary institutions.
In 2020 Covid-19 broke out and caused immense damage to everyone in the hospitality industry. Empty Plates Bangkok – the private chefs table couldn’t be continued. The whole concept of bringing people together in the same room, encouraging dinner conversations and meeting new people was completely out of the window. It was time to rethink, remodel and adjust even-though it was very tough to let go what he has built over 3 years.
The best conclusion half way through 2020 was to expand the service range and focus on private dining – providing a ‘chef at home’ experience to his clientele and a gourmet catering service for smaller gatherings and parties. The ‘Chef at Home’ experience became very successful taking the difficult times in consideration the hospitality industry was facing due to the global pandemic. On the bright side it has been an exciting journey to go from location to location, meet so many lovely people along the way and keep pushing to improve.
In retrospect going the private dining - route has opened up so many doors and presented opportunities to work with restaurants, hotels, private clients and governmental institutions – it’s been a blessing!
Now with normality being back reinstated, it’s time to expand our service range even further, Chef John has arranged the partnership with a handful selected venues, where we can host our own events.
Another turn of events has been the decimalization of cannabis in Thailand. For those who have been following us, know that we’ve been at the forefront when it comes to cannabis in fine food. Expect more noise to be made in 2023!
Chef John’s culinary heroes..
Chef Ferran Adrià, Chef Daniel Humm, Chef Andreas Caminada
Favorite Restaurant In Bangkok..
Favorite Dish of all time..
Best michelin meal so far..
Yeatman 1michelin star – Porto, Portugal
Cheval Blanc 3 Michelin stars – Basel, Switzerland
Best Thai restaurant in Bangkok..