THAI ARTISANAL CHEESES
Blessed Are The Cheesemakers
Thailand's gastronomic landscape is set to be transformed as VIVIN Grocery's Thai Cheese Tour embarks on an ambitious journey to celebrate the country's burgeoning artisanal cheese scene. This much-anticipated tour is not just a travelling tasting event; it's a cultural odyssey that brings the rich flavours of Thai cheeses, exquisite charcuterie and artisan breads to food enthusiasts across the nation. The tour launched in the vibrant heart of Bangkok in September 2023 and promises to be a year-long culinary adventure, touching the picturesque Royal Coast of Hua Hin, the tropical paradise of Koh Samui, the cultural haven of Chiang Mai and the serene vineyards of Khao Yai, before circling back to the origin of inspiration, VIVIN Grocery, in September 2024. Labelled as *a cheesy tour that will rock the nation*, it's an event that aims to showcase the culinary innovation and expertise that Thailand has to offer.
Collaborating with the crème de la crème of the hospitality industry, including 5-star hotels and Michelin-star-rated restaurants, VIVIN Grocery's Thai Cheese Tour is set to elevate the profile of Thai artisanal cheeses to new heights. With the participation of celebrated local producers like Jartisann Cheeserie and Chiang Rai Cheese, each stop on the tour will offer a symphony of flavours paired with the finest wines from the award-winning GranMonte team. This epicurean journey will not only highlight the exceptional quality of Thai charcuterie from VIVIN Grocery and the craftsmanship of local bakers, but also aims to forge a new appreciation for the art of cheese and winemaking in Thailand. The Thai Cheese Tour is more than an event; it's a statement that Thailand is ready to take its place on the world stage of cheese and wine connoisseurship.
Nestled in the heart of Thailand's bustling food scene, VIVIN Grocery stands as a bastion of artisanal excellence. More than just a grocery store, VIVIN is an epicurean delight that champions the locavoremovement. Since its inception in 2013, VIVIN has had a steadfast commitment to quality, offering an impressive array of local Thai cheeses—boasting the largest selection in Thailand. Their shelves are a celebration of Thailand's culinary richness, featuring a diverse collection of cold cuts and charcuterie crafted in-house, each slice a testament to the store's dedication to artisanal methods and superior ingredients.
Beyond their own creations, VIVIN Grocery's influence extends to the very heart of production. Their close collaboration with select local suppliers ensures that every item on their shelves meets rigorous standards of natural and organic certification. It's a partnership that cultivates excellence and innovation, leading to the development of new products that honour traditional techniques while embracing modern twists. At VIVIN Grocery, every bite is an experience - an opportunity to savour food that's not only delectable and accessible but also kind to the environment and supportive of local artisans. With over 400 products, including organic staples and unique homemade delicacies, VIVIN Grocery is more than a store; it's a community where food is celebrated, traditions are preserved and the future of sustainable eating is forged.
In the verdant valleys of Khao Yai in Thailand, GranMonte Asoke Valley has been quietly revolutionising the art of winemaking in the Kingdom, earning an enviable reputation that stretches far beyond its borders. At the helm is Nikki Lohitnavy, a visionary vintner whose deft touch has garnered GranMonte wines over 100 prestigious awards in just four years, including the illustrious title of Best Wine From South East Asia for their 2021 Durif at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition 2023. The GranMonte range is a spectrum of sophistication; from the crowd-pleasing Heritage Syrah blends to the esteemed Asoke Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah, these wines are a testament to Thailand's potential to craft world-class reds. Nikki’s creations are not just drinks, but narratives in a bottle, inviting connoisseurs on a vinous odyssey that echoes the rich, tropical essence of their terroir.
Tucked away in the lush landscape of Chiang Mai, Jartisann Cheeserie emerges as a beacon of culinary innovation, crafting cheeses that are as unique as they are delicious. Spearheaded by the self-taught Cheese Master, Jarutat Snidwongse Na Ayuthaya and his partner in both life and cheese, Ann, Jartisann isn't just producing cheese; it's creating edible art. Their cheeses, born from original recipes and infused with a distinctly Thai character, represent the zenith of artisanal endeavor in Thailand. This is not just cheesemaking; it's a passionate exploration of flavour, where every batch is an experiment and every cheese a masterpiece. With a range that spans the gamut from soft and creamy to robust and aged, Jartisann introduces cheese aficionados to new dimensions of taste, marrying traditional techniques with the vibrant essence of Thai ingredients.
Chiang Rai Cheese
Chiang Rai Cheese stands as a beacon of culinary excellence in Thailand's cheese landscape, distinguished not just by its flavours, but by the dedication to quality and community that goes into its creation. At the heart of this exceptional cheese lies the essence of Chiang Rai itself - the milk. Sourced exclusively from dairy cattle and goats nurtured by local farmers in the northern province of Chiang Rai, the milk's unparalleled quality sets the foundation for a cheese that is truly one-of-a-kind. The farmers, united under the Chiang Rai Dairy Co-operative, are the unsung heroes in this story. Their commitment to ethical and clean farming practices, combined with continuous technical training, ensures that the milk they produce is of the highest standard. This dedication to excellence is palpable in every bite of Chiang Rai Cheese, a product that not only tastes unique but also embodies the spirit of its origin.
Thai Cheese Tour
A CHEESY TOUR THAT WILL ROCK THE NATION
The Thai Cheese Tour is the brainchild of VIVIN Grocery co-founders, Nicolas Vivin and Samantha Proyrungtong. The tour made an indelible mark on the culinary map of Thailand with its kick-off at the Michelin-starred J'AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain in Bangkok on September 24, 2023. The event was a resounding success, capturing the hearts and palates of Bangkok's gourmet enthusiasts, swiftly selling out and setting a high bar for the subsequent tour dates. Feast Thailand was amongst the lucky attendees at an industry-only soiree hosted by VIVIN Grocery in Thonglor on November 6, witnessing firsthand the tour's captivating blend of fine cheeses, expertly paired wines and artisanal charcuterie. This exclusive event not only showcased the potential of Thai cheesemaking but also underscored the tour's commitment to bringing world-class culinary experiences to Thailand.
Looking ahead, the Thai Cheese Tour promises more such memorable experiences across the Kingdom throughout 2024. With upcoming events at the Dusit Thani Hua Hin Hotel in January, the chic shores of Explorar Koh Samui in March, the serene Anantara Chiang Mai Resort in May, the luxurious InterContinental Phuket Resort in July, the picturesque vineyards of GranMonte Asoke Valley in Khao Yai in August, and culminating once again in Bangkok at VIVIN Grocery in September, the tour is an itinerary of epicurean delight. For those with a penchant for fine cheese and the epicurean lifestyle, these dates are not merely events but essential entries in the diary of any discerning food lover. The tour's ongoing journey stands as a celebration of Thailand's artisanal cheese and gourmet scene, an invitation to indulge in the exceptional and a reminder to book your spot for the next delectable destination on this gastronomic adventure.
Tour Dates & Links:
24 September 2023 - J'AIME by Jean-Michel Lorain - Bangkok
27 January January 2024 - Dusit Thani Hua Hin Hotel - Hua Hin
29 March 2024 - Explorar Koh Samui - Koh Samui
3 May 2024 - Anantara Chiang Mai Resort - Chiang Mai
27 July 2024 - InterContinental Phuket Resort - Phuket
11 August 2024 - GranMonte Asoke Valley - Khao Yai
20 September 2024 - VIVIN Grocery - Bangkok