Meliá Chiang Mai has welcomed an executive chef and director of food and beverage who bring more than four decades of combined experience to the new urban hotel slated to open December this year.
Thai national Suksant Chutinthratip (Billy) and Filipino national Jay Tadifa Abiang have been named executive chef and director of F&B respectively, taking charge of the F&B team set to place the hotel on Chiang Mai’s culinary map with two restaurants that pay homage to Spain’s famed gastronomy.
Equipped with 27 years of hospitality experience, Chutinthratip comes to the hotel’s pre-opening team after working as the executive chef at Hotel Nikko Bangkok, Rayong Marriott Resort & Spa, and Courtyard by Marriott Bangkok. He was also an executive sous chef for SkyCity Auckland Entertainment, managing VIP and gaming restaurants, as well as Renaissance Ratchaprasong Bangkok Hotel.
Nine of Abiang’s 16 years in the hospitality industry have been in hotel management with Meliá Hotels International. Prior to his appointment at Meliá Chiang Mai, he was the executive assistant manager at The Reed Hotel Managed by Meliá and the F&B manager at Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat in Vietnam. He also worked at Meliá Hanoi as assistant F&B manager as well as a banquet manager and bar manager.
Beginning his hospitality career in 1994 as a cook helper at The Ambassador Hotel and Convention Centre Bangkok’s Le Bistro, award-winning Chutinthratip climbed the career ladder at various properties including Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, a Luxury Collection Hotel Bangkok, The Peninsula Bangkok, Lotus One in Dubai, Raffles Singapore, The Athenee Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel Bangkok, and Le Meridien Bangkok.
After completing a Bachelor of Science with a double major in tourism management and hotel and restaurant management at Baguio City in the Philippines, Abiang started his career as a bartender at Hanoi’s Press Club. He has also been a restaurant supervisor and manager at My Way Café and Lounge in Hanoi and an operations manager in Au Lac Do Brazil Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City.
“With Billy’s wealth of experience at an impressive list of luxury hotels, working in many a pre-opening team, and Jay’s rich knowledge of the Meliá brand and its Mediterranean food concept, we are well positioned to launch Meliá Chiang Mai’s dining landscape during these unprecedented times,” said the hotel’s general manager Edward E. Snoeks.
Comprising a 22-floor tower fronted by an adjoining seven-floor podium building, Meliá Chiang Mai will unveil a host of facilities including two restaurants, two bars, two lounges, a YHI Spa with seven treatment rooms, a fully-equipped fitness centre, swimming pool, ballroom and four other meeting spaces.
Signature restaurant Mai Restaurant & Bar on the 21st floor will specialize in contemporary Northern Thai dishes with Mediterranean influences, with chefs preparing each dish à la minute from an open kitchen. All-day-dining restaurant Laan Na Kitchen will offer authentic Mediterranean cuisine in a vibrant marketplace setting.
Jay Tadifa Abiang is the director of food and beverage at the new Meliá Chiang Mai.