One of the most appealing aspects of renting a private holiday villa is that you can also enjoy the services of your very own personal chef. Chef Petch prepares top class cuisine for villa guests on Koh Samui in Thailand, so we asked her for some insights into the culinary side of luxury island living.
Food and drink are both key ingredients for a memorable holiday, and in Thailand and Bali, the best private rental villas often employ a trained cook or experienced chef on the permanent staff team. These skilled culinary creators prepare a range of delicious local and global dishes for guests during their stay, adding to the personalised pleasure of the villa experience.
Pongpetch NooKong, also known as Khun Petch, is Head Chef with Luxury Villas and Homes on Koh Samui. She rotates between some of the most popular properties on the island, preparing meals for guests in the villas at Dhevatara Residence
and Dhevatara Cove
, as well as for the owner and guests at Suralai
and the many repeat visitors
that choose Baan Jakawan
for a private stay.
We asked Khun Petch for some background on herself, her cuisine and the experience of working as private chef in a private villa on Thailand's most popular boutique island, Koh Samui.
" Before I joined Luxury Villas and Homes I worked in a number of resorts on the island," she explains, "including the restaurant at Blue Lagoon Hotel, also Rice Restaurant and Eat Sense Restaurant in Chaweng. I prefer working in a private villa because there is more time to prepare the food and I also get the opportunity to meet the guests and learn exactly what they like to eat. The atmosphere is generally very relaxed and the staff work well as a team, not only taking care of our individual jobs, but also to make sure everything works smoothly and the guests have the best time."
When it comes to the type food she prepares for her villa guests, Khun Petch enjoys introducing new Thai and fusion dishes, especially desserts, which she often adds to the meal in order to provide diners with a brand new taste experience.
" I really enjoy making surprise desserts for our guests," she says. "Sometimes it might be an international dish, but with a local twist, like mango panna cotta, or I will serve Asian sweets like tub tim krob
, which is inspired by Chinese food and has stuffed water chestnuts in syrup and coconut milk with crushed ice. I also make sarim
, a Thai dessert of chilled sweet vermicelli noodles in coconut milk."
On the savoury side of the palette, Petch says people generally prefer to order the more classic dishes. The ones they are familiar with from the menus back home. But she also enjoys recommending and preparing local delicacies for guests, so she can introduce them to the wide variety of flavours on offer in Thai cuisine.
" The two favourite dishes for most villa guests are Pad Thai and Red Curry with duck," she says, " but I also recommend them to try something new from Southern Thailand when they are staying on Koh Samui, such as Gaeng Liang Goong Sod
, which is a Thai hot soup with prawns and vegetables, or another local favourite baked pork spareribs with Thai herbs."
It may come as a surprise to learn that the cost of private villa dining is generally lower than eating out or dining at a hotel or resort's on-site food and beverage outlets. This, along with other appealing factors like privacy and personalised amenities, is why people from all over the world are opting to rent private villas as this perfect tropical island escape.
by MAX VEE