Thai by birth, multiracial Thai-Chinese-Australian chef Pam (Pichaya Utharntharm) was brought up in Bangkok, Thailand. Pam started her culinary career when she moved to the United State and spent years of training in the awarded Jean‑Georges restaurant. Today Chef Pam returns to her hometown running her restaurants in Bangkok. She is one of the most influential chefs in Thailand.
“I was born into a family of the 4th generation Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine producer (中草药制造商 – zhōng cǎo yào zhì zào shāng). Our family origin starts right here, at this very POTONG building.”Pitchaya Utharntharm
“Salt, Acid, Spice, Texture, and Maillard Reaction”
Different times and locations can greatly influence one tasting profile over another. Through her research and culinary journey, Chef Pam defines her own framework by mastering each element. Every element encompasses its very own unique and inherent properties and when combined, they work simultaneously to create one united universe. This has led her to develop a culinary principle – THE 5 ELEMENTS – which become the determination of the cuisine at POTONG.
At her restaurant, all dishes are enforced with the same principle and are equally important. Each dish besets this 5-element philosophy and finds its ultimate statement in our dining room setting.
“Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch”
The underlying inquiry Chef Pam posed to herself at the absolute starting point of making her first course was, how do I create an exceptional and extraordinary experience? Can it be possible to formulate a memory for her guests and ‘liberate’ one to join her memory at the same time?
It only takes a moment to make memories and a lifetime to forget them. Pam believes that with the right setting, memory can be formulated and that can only happen when these senses are initiated simultaneously.
POTONG roughly translates as “simple”, it is the name of Chef Pam’s family business, representing Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine since 1910. It was built to last with techniques ahead of its time and with the distinctive design of SINO-Portuguese, it became one of the tallest and most anticipated buildings when constructed in Chinatown, Bangkok. For 4 generations, spanning over 100 years, Chef Pam’s family lived here while producing Chinese medicine products under the name “保坤益母藥” (bǎo kūn yì mǔ yào). This 5-story-tall building has a tale of its own; from one age to another.