GERRY GRAHAM – THE CHEF AT SUNNY’S
When speaking to Gerry it’s a good idea to tune your ear into his accent as life in Pattaya has done nothing to dull the Scottish lilt but believe me doing so is well worth the effort as Gerry has some fascinating stories to tell. Some I am able to include here and some I thought best to keep “off the record”. Gerry will be known to many as the chef that put the Steak in Steak and Co in Pattaya and now is making a real name for both himself and Sunny’s on the “darkside”.
I first met Gerry at a little place called “Bite me Bistro” on third road. I was attending a birthday lunch and he was chatting to a fellow chef. Now, I know all about good food but frankly am rubbish at cooking or preparing it but it was evident straight away that Gerry certainly knew “his onions” – if you’ll forgive the pun!
Fast forward to our recent meeting at Sunny’s where Gerry Graham, a worthy Pattaya Personality for this month’s issue showed me that his enthusiasm for food and general pride in being a chef is still very much in evidence. He is now part of the dynamic team at Sunny’s, really making a name for themselves, as those of you who love to photograph food and share on Facebook are well aware..He first met Packky when teaching her how to make bread and pizza for her takeaway business. She and husband Graham had been looking for years for a space with enough room to be a destination place for the whole family. So when they found the perfect plot on Soi Khao Noi/Soi Nernplubwarm it was an opportunity too good to miss and they soon decided having Gerry in the kitchen would be just perfect.
So even after being offered the chance of a job in Houston as a man of his word, Gerry would not let down his friends and so decided it was definitely Thailand and not Texas that was to be his home. So I was keen to know if Gerry thought he’d made the right choice? After all, in his professional history he has had some very interesting offers. At the tender age of 17 straight from school in Scotland he worked at Mama Mia and then opened Trattoria Trevi for “a lovely Italian family” . He then went on to work for Claudio in Glasgow and Da Claudio in Motherwell where he was head chef for 9 years and which he proudly tells me is still going strong.
After leaving Da Claudio he went on to what is known in the profession as “the chef’s circuit” working at all the major events Royal Ascot, Wimbledon, Silverstone, Henley, Wembley,the VIP area of Chelsea Football club, The O2 London and The Air Show in Paris..He even cooked for the Queen’s cousin having to produce over 500 scones for assembled guests at a special event in the Savoy Grill Marquee at Royal Ascot where there was also an accompanying fashion show. He has worked for Airdrie Football Club as their Executive chef for 2 years and even opened his own place “Gerards” which he built up and sold on to further his career.
For five years he had some really prestigious work cooking at events for The Roux Family and so impressed was the world famous Albert Roux – he offered Gerry a job in a restaurant he was opening in Edinburgh. Gerry turned this down as he had already settled on the idea of moving to Thailand but to this day he returns to the UK every year to do a couple of weeks work for them. However, for the rest of the year the UK’s loss is Pattaya’s gain.
Since moving to Thailand Gerry has cooked at the soon to be sold British Embassy in Bangkok and also at a special children’s fundraising gala organised by the Rotary club and now Sunny’s in particular, is his home. In fact Gerry was only too happy to show me around this new home and in particular his kitchen which is, as the “chef’s whites” he wears spotless ! In a country like Thailand where high standards of hygiene are crucial the cooking areas, the cold store room and every surface are meticulously cleaned.
From the preparation to the plating up and then to the table, when Gerry prepares your meals what comes across is his love of food on the plate and at Sunny’s with their constantly changing ideas and plans for more delights to tempt us with – such as the newly introduced Chinese menu then yes, Gerry is pleased he has made the change to live over here.We should be pleased too!