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Catering to please

The men of Maven, from left, chef Chalee Kader, Chitbhum

The men of Maven, from left, chef Chalee Kader, Chitbhum

With knockout cocktails and great food, Maven's parties will have your guests pleading for more



Tired of running around preparing a kick-ass house party? Then call up the guys from Maven Catering to handle the hassle for you.

Launched as a bar catering company back in 2007, Maven Catering has expanded and today offers a selection of gourmet cuisine alongside cutting-edge cocktails. Whether it's a product launch, shop opening, a wedding reception or private party, if you want a decent spread of tailor-made, thematic yummies and signature cocktails, Maven is one of the very few companies to offer such a service.

"Just tell us what you want food and drinks you like, what the party's theme is, and we'll come up with exclusive options for you. Of course, you can get similar catering service from hotels and big restaurants, but ours cater to more specific needs. You can design your party with the kinds of drinks you like - with your choice of spirits - that go with matching savouries and sweets," says Maven Catering's founder Chitbhum "Golf" Bhumichitr.

His love of cocktails and nightlife inpired him to learn more about the mixology and bar business during his two years of studying in the UK. When he returned, the bar catering business in Thailand was still in its infancy but his determination and deep passion for cocktails drove him to establish Maven and to plough ahead with his ideas.

"You might have heard of Flow Cocktail [which has now ceased to operate though it has reopened as Hyde & Seek Gastro Bar]. They were the first to introduce this kind of business to Thailand. The scene now is getting more competitive, with several more catering companies and more and more quality bartenders. It's a great challenge for us to keep ahead of the game, introduce new cocktail and food trends and please our customers with what they've never experienced before while at the same time meeting their expectation.

"Though the cocktail scene in Thailand is not as advanced as in Europe and the UK, it's growing very fast. Drinkers these days are more discerning, more sophisticated and they know good cocktails from bad ones."

Other creators in the team include mixologist Ronnaporn "Nueng" Kanivichaporn and chef Chalee Kader, who came aboard in 2009. While Nueng focuses on mixology arts, Chalee cooks up fine dishes. Together, they have created many themed events such as a wintery dinner with frosted drinks and food served on smoky platters, as well as the high-profile black party for Johnnie Walker with black dishes paired with stern-looking, dark-hued cocktails.

"The trend now is localised cocktails," says Nueng, a wresting commentator and former TV star. "That's when you involve local ingredients - anything from indigenous vegetables and herbs to authentic cultures - in the cocktails. Once we organized an event in Chiang Mai, and I created drinks with 'dok gnew' (the flower of the cotton tree), which is commonly used in Northern-style curries and soups. And sometimes I use ingredients from the Chalee's kitchen, too."

With demand increasing, there is definitely room for business to grow. "We have business from both local and international clients, who came to Thailand for private functions and parties," Golf says. "We just need to keep with the very diverse demand and the global trends. If there were sufficient education and training in fine cuisine and mixology, I really believe that the scene here would be second to none."

Party planner

_ Check out www.MavenThailand.com or www.FaceBook.com/Maven.




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