Ep 107: The Highs & COVID-era Lows of Bangkok‘s Restaurant Scene, with Jarrett Wrisley

About This Episode

18 Nov 2021 • 26m00s

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.

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