Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

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Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

Lao Tola, pastry chef at The Tiger's Eye: "As the pastry chef, I specialise in making pastries, breads, ice cream and desserts. I love learning new recipes and working in this team because we’re like a family and have lots of fun at work. My favourite ingredient is chocolate. We use 70% couverture chocolate from Switzerland, which has no sugar and is very versatile – we use it for cakes, ice cream and lots of other desserts. I really like to use it for chocolate mousse along with cream, gelatin, egg white and passion fruit puree.” Photo: Sam Jam

Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

Roselle flower with coconut and dark chocolate. Chef-owner of The Tiger's Eye on Lao Tola: "Tola is like a sponge. Everything you show him how to do, he writes it down, takes photos of it and researches it on the internet. He’s a really switched-on, sharp guy. The pastry workload is about twice that of any other section, but by thinking things through he always manages to stay really calm.” Photo: Sam Jam

Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

Srey Peo, sous chef at Phum Baitang: "“I love working as part of our team. All my colleagues are very friendly and very helpful – we work very well together – and I enjoy every part of my job. My favourite ingredient is Kampot green peppercorn because it is something very special from Cambodia, and we cannot compare it with other countries – it is the best. It works particularly well when stir-fried with seafood.” Photo: Sam Jam

Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

Stir-fried prawns with fresh green peppercorns. Phum Baitang's executive chef Uyung Al Wazir on Srey Peo: “I think Srey Peo’s main strength is her mastery of Khmer cuisine. She had a great deal of input into our Khmer menu. She is also very open minded and loves to travel – she’s been to Vietnam, India – which is very important for a chef.” Photo: Sam Jam

Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

The team at Cuisine Wat Damnak. Clockwise from top left: Khuon Sotheareak, Pronh Dara, Phay Phanny, Khon Phaleap. Khuon Sotheareak: "Being a chef is my dream job. I love making people happy by cooking for them. My favourite ingredients are found in Cambodia; they are galangal and kaffir lime leaf. They smell very strong but can be used in many different dishes, even cocktails. Galangal gives soups a wonderful aroma and distinctive taste, while kaffir lime leaf is great in stir fries and for marinades.” Photo: Sam Jam

Meet the rising stars of Cambodia’s creative culinary scene

Refried palm sugar-braised pork shank with fresh green peppercorns and cauliflower stems. Chef-owner of Wat Damnak, Johannes Riviere, on his team: “Phaleap is from the countryside, while Phanny started here as a cleaner, but they have very good knowledge of local fruits, herbs and other ingredients. The two boys are from wealthier backgrounds and they have a great understanding of the building blocks of putting a dish together.”

A new generation of chefs is pushing the envelope in the Kingdom’s top kitchens

Photography by Sam Jam Interviews by Dene Mullen

Lao Tola, pastry chef at The Tiger’s Eye: “As the pastry chef, I specialise in making pastries, breads, ice cream and desserts. I love learning new recipes and working in this team because we’re like a family and have lots of fun at work. My favourite ingredient is chocolate. We use 70% couverture chocolate from Switzerland, which has no sugar and is very versatile – we use it for cakes, ice cream and lots of other desserts. I really like to use it for chocolate mousse along with cream, gelatin, egg white and passion fruit puree.” Photo: Sam Jam
Roselle flower with coconut and dark chocolate. Chef-owner of The Tiger’s Eye on Lao Tola: “Tola is like a sponge. Everything you show him how to do, he writes it down, takes photos of it and researches it on the internet. He’s a really switched-on, sharp guy. The pastry workload is about twice that of any other section, but by thinking things through he always manages to stay really calm.” Photo: Sam Jam
Srey Peo, sous chef at Phum Baitang: ““I love working as part of our team. All my colleagues are very friendly and very helpful – we work very well together – and I enjoy every part of my job. My favourite ingredient is Kampot green peppercorn because it is something very special from Cambodia, and we cannot compare it with other countries – it is the best. It works particularly well when stir-fried with seafood.” Photo: Sam Jam
Stir-fried prawns with fresh green peppercorns. Phum Baitang’s executive chef Uyung Al Wazir on Srey Peo: “I think Srey Peo’s main strength is her mastery of Khmer cuisine. She had a great deal of input into our Khmer menu. She is also very open minded and loves to travel – she’s been to Vietnam, India – which is very important for a chef.” Photo: Sam Jam
The team at Cuisine Wat Damnak. Clockwise from top left: Khuon Sotheareak, Pronh Dara, Phay Phanny, Khon Phaleap. Khuon Sotheareak: “Being a chef is my dream job. I love making people happy by cooking for them. My favourite ingredients are found in Cambodia; they are galangal and kaffir lime leaf. They smell very strong but can be used in many different dishes, even cocktails. Galangal gives soups a wonderful aroma and distinctive taste, while kaffir lime leaf is great in stir fries and for marinades.” Photo: Sam Jam
Refried palm sugar-braised pork shank with fresh green peppercorns and cauliflower stems.
Chef-owner of Wat Damnak, Johannes Riviere, on his team: “Phaleap is from the countryside, while Phanny started here as a cleaner, but they have very good knowledge of local fruits, herbs and other ingredients. The two boys are from wealthier backgrounds and they have a great understanding of the building blocks of putting a dish together.” Photo: Sam Jam

Links:
The Tiger’s Eye
Tel: +855 (0)23 212 917  Website: thetigerseye.online

Phum Baitang
Tel: +855 (0)63 961 111  Website: zannierhotels.com/phumbaitang

Cuisine Wat Damnak
Tel: +855 (0)77 347 762    Website: cuisinewatdamnak.com

 

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