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Bangkok's Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij wins Asia’s Best Female Chef Award

Now you don't have to travel far to get a female foodie fix.

Bangkok-based Pichaya ‘Pam’ Soontornyanakij wins Asia’s Best Female Chef Award for 2024. Pam is a culinary expert, celebrated TV personality, and chef-owner of Potong (No.35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023) and is one of the most prominent faces in Thailand’s culinary landscape. This coveted award is voted for by the 318 members of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy and provides an opportunity to celebrate women in gastronomy who persist in pushing the limits of excellence through their skills, expertise, and artistry. Chef Pam will be honoured at the live awards ceremony on 26 March 2024. 

Potong, which translates as ‘simple’, offers a culinary reflection of Chef Pam’s Thai-Chinese heritage and is a nod to her family's Chinese herbal medicines business. Housed in the ancestral building that served as a traditional Chinese medicine pharmacy, Potong blends tradition with avant-garde culinary techniques, offering 20 inspiring dishes in a tasting menu that embodies her 5-Element philosophy of ‘Salt, Acid, Spice, Texture, and Maillard Reaction’. Potong is one of Bangkok’s most lauded restaurants and has ranked No.35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 and No.88 on the extended list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023, further solidifying the chef's status as a trailblazer in the gastronomic world.

Chef Pam's commitment to empowering female chefs is evident in her pivotal role with Gastronauts Asia and Women in Gastronomy (WIG). She recently started her own scholarship programme called WFW (Women for Women) together with the American Women’s Club of Thailand, a non-profit organisation, to support female students in rural areas of Thailand to achieve their dream of becoming chefs.

On winning Asia’s Best Female Chef Award 2024, Chef Pam says, “I'm deeply honoured. This award goes beyond personal achievement — it celebrates my beliefs, respect for heritage, and a relentless pursuit to better myself. May this accolade inspire young female chefs to break barriers and ignite grand culinary dreams. I believe that with passion and dedication, anyone can carve their path to success. I am grateful to 50 Best for this recognition — it's not just mine, but a triumph for every aspiring chef worldwide.”