Pimalai Resort & Spa, the five-star sanctuary on the southern Thai island of Koh Lanta, has announced the appointment of Mr. Olivier Pauchard as its new Food & Beverage Manager, as it continues to raise the bar for dining and social experiences in this idyllic destination.
A French culinary expert and former head chef, Olivier has extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry. Growing up on a farm in the north of France, close to the Belgian border, he was surrounded by fresh produce and learned how to transform raw ingredients into delicious and nutritious dishes. As he grew older, Olivier experimented with cooking techniques and his food became more creative, innovative and adventurous. He knew that a career in the epicurean arts beckoned.
Having graduated with a degree in Hospitality & Tourism from the University of Toulouse, he rose to achieve prestigious head chef roles at leading establishments in Switzerland. Olivier moved to Asia in 2015 to embark on the next exciting phase of his career, and he has never looked back, working at leading hotels and restaurant chains in Vietnam and Thailand, including a spell as Director of F&B for Belgo, the renowned Belgian craft beer company, before joining Pimalai, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH).
As F&B Manager at Pimalai, Olivier will oversee the resort’s popular restaurants and bars, including Rak Talay, which serves the freshest Andaman seafood by the beach, Seven Seas, a spectacular international fine-dining destination nestled in the hillside overlooking Kantiang Bay, Spice & Rice, the highly authentic Thai restaurant that focuses on local and seasonal produce, and The Banyan Tree Poolside Café, which specialises in light bites and daytime refreshments. These venues are consistently ranked as the top restaurants in Koh Lanta, and among the highest rated in Krabi province on online review sites such as Tripadvisor.
While Pimalai is already a highly sustainable destination and a member of SLH’s Considerate Collection, an exclusive community of socially responsible and eco-conscious luxury hotels, Olivier revealed that he will now further enhance the connection between farm and fork.
“I am thrilled to be here at Pimalai. The resort’s commitment to using fresh, local ingredients is commendable, and the talented chefs here consistently deliver delicious dishes that highlight the unique flavours of southern Thailand. Pimalai has built up a well-deserved reputation for the last 21 years. But of course, there is always room for improvement and innovation. One of our priorities is to focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness, which means working with more local farmers and fishermen to source ingredients, reducing food waste, and implementing environmentally-friendly practices in our bars and kitchens,” Olivier stated.
“Overall, Pimalai’s F&B vision is to challenge the status quo and deliver exceptional dining experiences. We’ll be introducing new menu items that showcase the best of Thai and international cuisines, as well as offering more customised options for guests with dietary preferences or restrictions. We will also focus on expanding our beverage offerings to include more creative and unique cocktails, as well as a wider selection of wines and spirits,” he added.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome Olivier to the team at Pimalai. His career as a chef and F&B manager gives him a 360-degree view of the hospitality industry, especially in Asia where he has spent the last eight years. He is also still a young man with exciting ideas – especially in areas of sustainability. At Pimalai, we have a strong culinary heritage and a commitment to social and environmental responsibility, so Olivier is perfectly aligned with our vision. We look forward to creating truly memorable gastronomic journeys for all our guests,” said Brice Borin, Pimalai’s General Manager.
With just 121 stylish rooms, spacious suites and spectacular pool villas spread across 100 acres of unspoiled jungle, cascading gently down to a 900-metre-long stretch of sand at Kantiang Bay, Pimalai is a haven of tranquility. Guests can unwind with a wide range of activities such as kayaking, cycling, jungle trekking, Thai cooking classes, muay Thai boxing, yoga, offshore excursions and more. The award-winning Pimalai Spa offers deeply soothing therapies in the midst of the lush jungle, and elegant infinity pools appear suspended in the forest canopy. It is little wonder that this five-star destination was named as the second best resort in Southeast Asia in Travel + Leisure’s annual “World’s Best Awards.”