Chef de Cuisine
Saritwat “Earth” Wanvichitkun
Chef Earth was born and raised in Phuket. He went to Penang, Malaysia, to attend high school and after graduating he was as many young people struggling to figure out what carrier to follow. He decided to go for a soul-searching trip around Thailand and at one point during this trip he arrived in the town of Chiang Rai in Northern Thailand.
One evening he went out to a restaurant to enjoy some local food. The food was delicious, and the restaurant was full of happy people enjoying themselves and the food. Having grown up in a family who owned a restaurant in Phuket, he suddenly realized how food can be a powerful tool to bring people together and that the answer to his soul searching was far closer to home than what he had imagined.
The decision was made – he wanted to be a chef. Chef Earth enrolled in Le Gordon Bleu in Bangkok as he decided that he wanted to master the French cuisine. He studied 4 years at Le Gordon Bleu Dusit Culinary earning a Diploma de Cuisine and Dusit Thani College earning a Bachelor of Culinary Art & Restaurant Management. While studying he did odd jobs in small Wester restaurants around Bangkok to gain firsthand experiences.
Upon graduating he took up a job at the two MICHELIN Star restaurant Mezzaluna at the State Tower, Bangkok, as a trainee. From there he moved on to Bistro Convent working as Chef de Cuisine.
Due to family issues Chef Earth had to return to his native Phuket to help his family. As his mother had fallen ill one of his duties became cooking family meals. It was then he realized that he knew well how to cook French food but when it came to mastering the Thai cuisine his skills were not up to speed and if he didn’t know his mother certainly did.
Chef Earth then made another important decision that he needed to master the art of cooking Thai, especially Southern Thai. His mother became his primary teacher sharing old family recipes and techniques. Another passion was born!
In 2019 he was invited to join the opening team of Nitan restaurant in Phuket as Executive Chef creating a gastronomic experience showcasing Southern Thai classics using contemporary techniques. It was awarded: Best Restaurants 2020 by Tatler Thailand and in 2021 it made it into the MICHELIN Guide. In 2021 Chef Earth won the Iron Chef Challenge in the Thai Twist category.
After his success with Nitan Chef Earth has decided it is time for a new challenge in his culinary journey taking over as executive chef of the one MICHELIN Star restaurant Saawaan.
Saawaan was awarded its first MICHELIN star shortly after it opened in 2019 and has maintained it since. Chef Earth knows that expectations are high! He is looking forward to continuing working with the unique Saawaan menu concept with each dish representing the different techniques used in traditional Thai cooking, such as boiling, steaming, grilling, stir-frying, and fermenting adding his skills as a trained French chef and most likely some Southern Thai flavors from his native Phuket. He also plans to work closely with small scale farmers producing organic and high-quality produce to support them and to ensure that Saawaan gets the best raw materials. “Chefs need to learn about the soil and farmers need to know about the taste” says Chef Earth.
Arisara ‘Paper’ Chongphanitkul
Having discovered her passion for pastry at age 17 while on exchange in France, Chef Paper completed her formal education at the Gastronomicom pastry school in southern France and interned at the Beau Rivage Hotel near Lyon. During her time in Europe, Chef Paper worked alongside pastry greats such as Sadaharu Aoki and Hugues Pouget in Paris and Laurent Gerbaud in Brussels.
In 2011 she returned to Thailand and become Executive Pastry Chef at the award-winning Issaya Siamese Club. Following the success of Issaya Siamese Club, Chef Paper co-founded Issaya Cooking Studio, a renowned cooking school and event space, in 2014 and Issaya La Pâtisserie, a café, at EmQuartier in 2015. In 2016, she co-authored Issaya La Pâtisserie Pastry Cookbook together with Chef Ian Kittichai.
Throughout her professional career, Chef Paper has continued improving her skills and has completed workshops and internships with some of the world’s best Pastry Chefs, including Jordi Bordas and Davide Malizia, and welcomed pastry stars such as Amaury Guichon, Luc Debove and Will Goldfarb to Issaya Cooking Studio. In 2018, Chef Paper was the first Thai national to compete in the Ladies World Pastry Championship in Rimini, Italy.
In 2018, Chef Paper was the first Thai national to compete in the Ladies World Pastry Championship in Rimini, Italy. She became the Pastry Chef of Saawaan, a fine-dining restaurant awarded 1 MICHELIN STAR since 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. In the same year, Chef Paper presented the desserts for the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok Star Revelation and Gala Dinner.
In 2019, Chef Paper co-founded ICI, a creative pastry café. Also, she presented the dessert for the MICHELIN Guide Singapore Star Revelation and Gala Dinner.