An interview with the Chef de Cuisine of Phuket’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, PRU.
Montara Hospitality’s Farm-To-Table Restaurant, PRU at Trisara Phuket, was awarded one Michelin star last month at the Michelin Guide Thailand Star Revelation 2019 Gala Awards. In achieving this honour, PRU becomes the first and the only restaurant in Phuket to receive the prestigious accolade.
The restaurant’s critically acclaimed Chef de Cuisine, Jim Ophorst, is touted inthe guide as an “inspiring voice of change” for elevating the farm-to-table movement in Thailand. Still, only 29 years old, Chef Jim who is originally from the Netherlands, has built a reputation for his imaginative cooking style and innovative techniques.
In 2016,Chef Jim joined Montara’s Trisara where his raw talent and conviction inspired the conception of PRU. He is a two-time semi-finalist for S. Pellegrino’s annual Young Chefs Award in 2016 and 2017. PRU’s culinary concept “Plant, Raise,Understand” stems from Chef Jim and his team’s close relationship with local suppliers and farmers as well as the opportunities to forage and discover new ingredients from the restaurant’s farm “Pru Jampa”. The farm neighbours beautiful lakes whose banks are home to various local plants, herbs, organic vegetable gardens, free-range chickens and ducks.
“I’m excited to discover new ingredients all the time because it pushes my creative boundaries,” said Chef Jim. “My ultimate goal is to create a 100% locally sourced menu. To cook something great, you need great products from great farmers. Great farmers are from strong communities. So, at PRU, we don’t want to be just a kitchen. We want to strengthen the local farming community. This will yield better ingredients for better dishes at PRU. In the end, it is all about the happiness in every angle—from the farmers to the restaurant team, to the guests at our tables,” added Chef Jim.
Located at the ultra-luxe Trisara resort, PRU is now officially part of the exclusive collective of dining establishments that can refer to themselves as Michelin-starred. For Montara Hospitality, the recognition signals greater aspirations for growth within in the culinary scene. “The Michelin Star Award for PRU puts Phuket on the foodies’ world map and establishes Montara as a leader of innovative culinary destinations,” said Quentin Fougeroux, Montara’s Group Director of Food and Beverage.