Meet Our Executive Chef: Sony, Head of Kitchen Operations
“Ruling the kitchens with an iron fist, in a velvet glove”
Long have our five-star reviews both on and offline been linked to the incredible recipes and cooking techniques of our Thai team of chefs. Well, meet the woman behind it all; meet Sony (Nusura Padungwong).
Sony is our Empress of The Kitchens. Our Queen Bee alongside both her husband, Thor and our Founder & CEO, Andy. They have made an almighty team in cultivating the Koh concept into the much loved and growing success it is today. So, let’s take a look back at where it all began…
Having trained as a chef in Thailand before moving to England, Sony worked in the renowned Fat Boys, London and The Golden Elephant, St Albans, before moving to the South Coast. In 2009, both Sony & Thor joined forces with Andy & Co. to bring a whole new Asian-fusion concept to life within a new dining experience – what we now call our ‘Complete Dining Experience’. That’s: Authentic Thai food served in a European tapas-style of dining for people to sample and share in an ultimately social and relaxed environment. Who better to partner with than the two best chefs in the game? Bringing to the table (ahem) their authentic homemade recipes which have been carefully refined from their traditional service.
The rest, as they say, is history!
Sony has since overseen the kitchen’s expansion to over 70 of the very best Thai chefs and adopts the role of heading up our Kitchen HR Department, Chef Operations and Recruitment. No small task, might we add! Sony is the ultimate female powerhouse – even in her pint-sized form. She ensures that every dish is perfect and that every single chef is both kept in line and very well cared for. Sony oversees a vibrant team of Thai chefs and nurtures the next generation of Thai chefs coming through the ranks.
Sony is an embodiment of Koh. She loves everything about it from our family values, our passion for our staff and our quality of both food and service. Whilst much has changed since 2009, those factors all still remain deep-rooted in our brand.
Now at 50, (what!? She only looks 35!!!), Sony spends her free time trying to satisfy as insatiable need to shop and purchase all things PINK! Meanwhile, we all continue to wonder how and why Sony hasn’t aged in the last two decades. Our theory is that it’s all the coconut milk in her Thai food – an anti-aging superfood consumed daily. And that, ladies, is why you never need another excuse to eat Koh again. It’s the (unofficial) key to never showing signs of age.
When asked about her almighty contribution to the business, CEO & Founder, Andy Lennox had the following to say:
“Sony is an absolute asset to the business and has a real interest in everything ‘Koh’. Ultimately she is also one of the loveliest and kindest people I know. She is always there for everyone and everything, whether that be supporting a kitchen because of a bereavement; because someone has fallen ill or helping a chef out because they are struggling financially or personally. She also plays ‘Thai Godmother’ to my young son as part of our family. Sony’s dedication to this company is emotional. She is an inspiration to us all!” Andy, CEO