A Taste of Love

Chef Renu Homsombat, corporate chef of Banyan Tree‘s Saffron restaurants, talks about her mother's influence on her cooking.

There are so many things I have learnt from my mother, not least the knowledge of food and a love of cooking. She believes that cooking must always come from the heart. The most memorable dish of my childhood, and still a favourite today, is her Thai omelette with mackerel, chilli chutney and local green vegetables. It's not just delicious, it's filled with my mother's love and it makes me happy every time. My mother has influenced the way I cook. I share her work ethic, doing everything to its best, be it the attention to detail of every dish, or selecting the finest local ingredients for an authentic Thai taste. Travel has also refined my cooking methods. It's an ongoing learning process, sourcing new and healthy ingredients and researching innovative methods and presentation techniques.


A chef can bring happiness to guests through their dining experience. By the same token, that experience can be spoiled if the chef lacks care and attention. My mother taught me to treat every guest as you would treat the ones you love. The most important ingredient in good five-star cooking is that of devotion.

PHOTOS: Mark Teo/Ching

Time to dig deeper and explore the exotic brew of South East Asian culture: