Lukkaew grew up in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, within a family immersed in hospitality businesses, including renowned establishments such as The Khanom Golden Beach. She pursued a career in engineering and management at Schlumberger, ascending within five years to oversee a $48 million business across nine countries. In her final seven years, she orchestrated a transformative project, ascending to a top management role among 200,000 employees in a $68 billion company. Over this period, she achieved $500 million in savings for Schlumberger through 20 projects.
In 2019, Lukkaew decided to settle down in Houston, where she began cooking up business models for three restaurant concepts, all with the aim of bringing the flavors and ambiance of Thailand to the Bayou City. Her first concept, Kin Dee Thai Cuisine, opened its doors in 2020 and has quickly become a beloved spot for locals and visitors alike. Guests are invited to experience the essence of Thailand through meticulously crafted dishes and cocktails.
Her second concept, MaKiin will showcase the be the elevated experiences of Thai Culinary Art, emphasizing stylish presentation and authenticity. MaKiin's award-winning chef duo will pay tribute to the four regions of Thailand and the royal family, reflecting their shared roots, culinary exploration, and deep passion for creating exceptional, ingredient-driven dishes that celebrate the rich heritage of Thai cuisine. Showcasing creativity and deliciousness with her award-winning chef partners, coming soon summer 2023.
Lukkaew's third concept, M Express Thai Kitchen, is currently in its prototype phase as a ghost kitchen at Fair Food Co. The trendy, quick-service restaurant revolves around dedicated delivery and to-go service featuring a fusion of classic American and Thai cuisines. Lukkaew plans to have a storefront up and running by early 2025.
Lukkaew'svision of introducing the diverse and delectable flavors of Thailand to Houston demonstrates her commitment to creating innovative and memorable dining experiences for the community. She is determined to nurture and empower aspiring chefs and individuals with a passion for hospitality, and will never stop searching for promising talents, providing them with opportunities to make their dreams come true.
Her approach is not just about providing chances; it's about fostering a collaborative environment that encourages creativity and innovation. With her background in the hospitality industry and passion for Thai cuisine, Lukkaew is poised to redefine the city's culinary landscape, leaving a legacy of exceptional food and lasting memories for everyone to savor.
Chef O's culinary journey began in Chiang Mai, the largest city in Northern Thailand. At the young age of 18 in 2009, he started his career as a Commis Chef at the prestigious 5-star hotel Furama Chiang Mai. Here, he gained invaluable experience and honed his culinary skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals. In 2010, O took on a position as a Commis Chef at JUD a Culinary Delight, where he worked in various sections of the kitchen, performing essential food preparation and cooking tasks under the supervision of a Chef de Partie. This opportunity allowed him to expand his culinary repertoire and further develop his expertise.
Continuing his journey, O held several Demi Chef positions from 2011 to 2014 at three luxurious resorts in Koh Samui: Chaweng Buri Resort, Dara Samui Beach Resort & Spa, and Impiana Resort Chaweng Noi. These roles provided him with a deeper understanding of resort-style dining and allowed him to showcase his culinary talents to a diverse clientele.
Driven by a passion for culinary excellence, O joined the Northern Chef's Association and began participating in culinary competitions, including Iron Chef Thailand in 2016. In the heat of season 5, O assumed the role of a Sous Chef, steering his team to an awe-inspiring triumph in the high-stakes "Stinky Bean" competition. This intense culinary showdown tested O’s strength as he operated within tight time constraints to craft a symphony of five dishes, all centered around the bold and distinctive flavors of stinky beans. O's exceptional culinary skills and creativity also garnered him a series of prestigious awards. In 2018, he clinched the title of Winning Thailand Chef in the Real California Milk Competition, an accolade granted as part of the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge. This victory secured him a coveted spot at the Culinary Institute of America, making O the only chef from all of Southeast Asia to be selected for this prestigious opportunity in St. Helena, California. In 2019, O's talent was further celebrated as he won the prestigious Professional Overall trophy in Thailand's International Culinary Cup and the Champion trophy for Best Ultimate Establishment Award in the Thailand Ultimate Chef Challenge, an esteemed culinary contest in Asia.
In 2019, O took on the role of Sous Chef at Noi Thai Cuisine, where he crossed paths with Chef Bell. This collaboration allowed him to bring together his knowledge of global flavors and techniques, creating innovative and captivating dishes. In 2020, O's career reached new heights when he became the Executive Chef at Yao Restaurant in Atlanta. It was here that O and Bell solidified their partnership, working together to create remarkable culinary experiences for their guests.
Most recently, Chef Bell and Chef O served as Culinary Consultants at the buzz-worthy Thai restaurant Kin Dee in Houston's Heights neighborhood and now also the newly opened prestigious MaKiin restaurant in the RiverOaks district. Their combined expertise, rooted in their Thai heritage and influenced by their travels, resulted in bold and playful dishes crafted with artisanal precision and exciting flavors.
Chef Bell's culinary journey began in her grandmother's kitchen in Nakhon Sawan, a city located in lower Northern Thailand. This early exposure to cooking sparked her passion for the culinary arts. However, it wasn't until 2007 when she made the move to the United States that her culinary aspirations truly took flight. In 2015, Bell embarked on her professional career in the food industry, securing a position at Coco Asian Bistro in Fort Lauderdale where she took on the role of a manager, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, managing staff, handling guest relations, and ensuring the smooth execution of food preparation. While working in a front-of-house position, she discovered her true calling and realized that her passion lay with cooking.
In 2020, Bell seized an opportunity to pursue her dreams and accepted a Chef position at Noi Thai Cuisine in Oregon. This new role allowed her to further develop her culinary skills and immerse herself in menu development. It was a pivotal moment in her career that helped to refine her techniques and expand her knowledge of Thai cuisine.
After her stint at Noi Thai Cuisine, Bell's talent and dedication led her to Atlanta, where she joined Yao Restaurant in 2021 as the Executive Chef and Mixologist. It was at Yao Restaurant where she formed a culinary partnership with Chef O, and together, they created a dynamic culinary experience for their guests. Chef Bell's expertise in both food and mixology allowed her to create innovative and harmonious flavor combinations, elevating the dining experience at Yao Restaurant. Through her diverse experiences and culinary journey, Chef Bell has honed her skills, developed her own unique style, and cultivated a deep understanding of Thai cuisine. Her passion for cooking and dedication to creating exceptional dining experiences continue to drive her success as a chef.
We are a unique blend of traditional Thai flavors and cooking techniques with American staples like burgers, wraps, hot dogs, and donuts. This creates a one-of-a-kind dining experience that is innovative, delicious, and unmatched in the restaurant industry. Currently serving for to-go, delivery and catering only leveraging the ghost kitchen concept to server our customers.