Having studied Chinese in Beijing, and worked as a restaurant critic in Shanghai, Jarrett Wrisley worked on a TV shoot in Chengdu with Anthony Bourdain. Shortly after, he moved to Bangkok and opened his own restaurant.
Soul Food Mahanakorn quickly developed a local and global following, and became a crucible of contemporary Thai cooking with American accents.
This week, Gary chats with Jarrett - who is a former colleague in Shanghai - about the 2010s era of inspiring culinary creativity in Bangkok.
At the height of Soul Food Mahanakorn’s powers - and having opened other restaurants in Bangkok and a spin-off in Hong Kong - COVID-19 intervened. Tourists were locked out, and local dining preferences changed.
The subsequent months saw the collapse of a once thriving and dynamic dining scene, and resulted in Jarrett closing his beloved restaurant. Frustrated by the situation in Thailand, he decide to leave. Having written a culinary road trip book in Italy, he pondered his next move.
Jarrett is currently living in snowy Montana, in the US - but says he’ll be back in Asia some time in future. We can’t wait!
Click the link to find out more about Jarrett’s book, Roads to Rome, which he co-wrote with Paolo Vitaletti and is mentioned in the show.