Chef Paul Smart

Chef Paul Smart, Sofitel So Bangkok, Thailand

What do you do and how did you get into the industry? 

I was 16 working part time at a local restaurant in Australia in the kitchen as a cook’s helper. I wanted a career out of it so I started a four year apprenticeship to become a qualified chef. I studied all parts of cookery and become a certified Chef in 2001.

Tell us about your experience participating in Iron Chef Thailand and winning!

It was in 2012 when I was selected to compete in Iron Chef Thailand. I had one hour to compete against Chef Ian (one of the best chefs in Asia) to make four dishes in one hour with the secret ingredient which was Stingray. I had extra time so I made a fifth dish which was a dessert with the stingray and the judges voted me as winner by ½ a point. This lead on to competing two more times. I am currently undefeated.

Share with us an interesting story from behind the scenes.

Most people don’t know this but many chefs feel bad killing live lobsters and cooking them fresh for the guests, but they must do it as the guests request it and they taste So Good!

What’s the best/ worst part of your job?

The best part of the job is coming up with new dishes and seeing them sell and people talk about them. The worst part is the paperwork side which just needs to be done!

What’s your personal favourite meal/ drink at Park Society?

My favourite meal would be a nice Wagyu steak served medium rare and my preferred drink is  a Mojito in any bar.

What’s one of the funniest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?

It has to be seeing the butcher pluck feathers out from woodcock birds during meat preparation. It was funny because it looked like he was having a pillow fight with feathers flying everywhere!

The perfect day off would be…

… spending time with my wife and two kids, watching some sport, and having an afternoon BBQ with a beer.

A day in the life of a chef is…

Waking up at 7am, breakfast service till 10:30am, morning meeting in between around 9am-10am , spot check kitchens, check food set ups, paperwork, prep, lunch service from noon to 3pm, eat lunch/, some more paperwork, meeting, prep, dinner service from 6pm until 10:30pm, and lastly check functions in preparation for the next day.

What do you do for fun?

I play cricket, go surfing, go-karting, play football and go fishing.

What’s something you’d like guests to know about Park Society?

Park Society on the rooftop of Sofitel So Bangkok is a great modern cuisine restaurant with a chef’s table concept and great views of Bangkok.

What’s your favourite food and wine pairing?

Definitely wine and cheese together can never go wrong!

What’s your view on the Bangkok food scene?

It is very competitive and diverse with something to offer for everyone.

What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?

We will have 10 Michelin Star Chefs from round the world coming together for the 4th Annual So Amazing Chef Event for 5 Days in October.

Check out some of Chef Paul’s dishes at Park Society here. 

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  1. Give the young Aussie a tick.
    That is not a bug tick (ha ha ) – that is an excellence tick.

    • He's a humble guy – just gets down to business and makes excellent food. In general, we're not particularly fond of hotel buffets, but the one he runs at Sofitel So is worth visiting.

    • The Brisbane Sofitel has a daily buffet luncheon.
      The array of food – hot and cold is incredible.
      Don't eat for 24 hours before hand so you can – not really glutton
      yourself – but to eat as much variety as possible.
      Cost: $59 per head
      Wednesday is seniors day and for seniors the cost is $39.
      On this day – BOOKINGS are ESSENTIAL.
      I wonder why???? ha ha

      You can also order a la carte if you refer, but I'd say you have rocks in
      your head if you do – that cost can be VERY high.

  2. I really enjoyed this review, thanks so much for sharing it.

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