Talented and charismatic, native Cambodian Tim Pheak has been appointed to the position of Executive Chef at Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild.
Bensley Collection – Shinta Mani Wild is a radical concept for a unique luxury tented camp experience within the remote wilderness of the Southern Cardamom National Park, three hours’ drive from Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
The unique location and logistics make the role of the Executive Chef both exciting and challenging, given that there are no wholesalers, suppliers or large supermarkets nearby. His best ingredients are literally at his feet in the middle of the jungle – his natural Cambodian larder.
Chef Tim Pheak is proud of his Cambodian heritage and excited to join the team at Bensley Collection Shinta Mani Wild as he takes the helm as Executive Chef and directs the culinary team and cuisine at the tented camp. With menus changing daily and using freshly foraged ingredients, he will use his creativity and extensive knowledge to produce sumptuous cuisine for his guests.
Following a 3-year hospitality course, Chef Tim trained as an intern at the Sofitel Siem Reap for 6 months, training in every section of the kitchen. In addition to working in Cambodia, he has worked in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Maldives, including a year on the Aqua Expeditions ship that cruises the Mekong. For much of his career he worked under Chef Neil Wager, the Executive Chef at Song Saa Private Island in Cambodia at the time, who took him under his wing and mentored him in a variety of cooking techniques and styles, moulding him into the International Chef that he is today.
Chef Tim has successfully participated in several culinary competitions, most recently winning a gold medal in the 2019 Asian Gourmet Challenge of the Year held in Thailand which had participants from 14 countries.
After 6 years of travelling the World, Chef Tim yearned to return to his beloved Cambodia in 2016 working as Executive Chef at a 5-star hotel in Siem Reap. He is passionate about Khmer cuisine and wants to showcase it to his guests, reinventing timeless classic dishes with modern and elegant interpretations. Chef Tim insists on using the freshest local ingredients, organic wherever possible.
“The entire ethos of Shinta Mani Wild being an eco-resort, showcasing sustainability, nature and the environment is very much in line with my own beliefs from a culinary standpoint and I’m really excited to join and be part of the team at this incredible property,” said Chef Tim.