Fly on the Corporate Wall

Economy October 05, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

2,425 Viewed

BTS boss would rather be cooking Keeree Kanjanapas, chairman of BTS Group, is known for his massive investments in various industries both in Thailand and Hong Kong, but few people know that another of his passions is cooking.

He first opened the Thai-food restaurant Tin Tin in Hong Kong and later a Tae Chiew Chinese restaurant called Golden Island, and cooks at both. The business has held his attention, complete with hands-on management. He spent so much time in the kitchens that his culinary skills greatly improved.

Now that he has launched the Eastin Grand Sathorn hotel, he’s grabbing the chance to reap benefits from his experience running restaurants. The hotel’s Chinese restaurant, Chef Man, is a joint effort with his son Kawin, who happens to share his dad’s flair with pots, pans and dining decor. Together they selected the furniture and designed the menu for Chef Man.

As a devoted foodie, Keeree is very careful in selecting every ingredient himself. The taste must be right – not that he’s simply interested in pleasing the customers. He just wants to enjoy good food. For a must-have dish like Peking duck, he went searching for just the right duck roaster – and it cost him Bt1.8 million.

Keeree also studied the methods for preparing and cooking the duck and hired a roaster specialist to cook at the restaurant. The hotel hasn’t had its grand opening yet, but his crispy-skin Peking duck already has many loyal fans.

Don’t expect Keeree himself to be a big fan of any particular dish, though. He loves cooking for others, but he always watches his weight. His famous dishes include steamed fish with soy sauce, boiled pork knuckle and barbecued spare ribs, and all of his employees love them too.

His favourite pastime is also linked to food. Keeree spends weekends on his yacht fishing. The biggest fish he catches gets cooked for the staff.

And the billionaire also enjoys strolling through fresh markets. He likes to buy his vegetables from vendors, as well as cheap snacks, and sometimes he just buys everything in sight to "share the wealth" among all the small-time vendors. Not that he uses all that stuff in his cooking – he gives a lot of it away.

So if you spot a chubby fellow at the market carrying lots of plastic bags, just trust your eyes. That will be Keeree enjoying his favourite time of the day.