Dusit International is set to expand its hospitality education business in the kingdom with a unique joint venture offering experiential training in Italian, Japanese, and Thai cuisines – plus exclusive incubation services for food and beverage startups – in a state-of-the-art facility in Bangkok.
Called The Food School, the project occupies 3,200 sq m of thoughtfully designed space set over three floors at the new Creative & Startup Village in the city’s Sam Yan district, just a five-minute walk from Sam Yan MRT underground station.
Equity partners in the THB 336 million development include Dusit International; Glowfish Co-Working Space (under privately owned real estate investment company, Heritage Estates Co., Ltd.); Allied Metals, one of Asia’s leading suppliers of professional kitchens and kitchen infrastructure; and La Scuola Internazionale di Cucina Italiana (ALMA), recognised as the world’s leading education and training centre for Italian cuisine.
Designed to provide an innovative, progressive and experiential learning environment, and targeted at young professionals, keen amateurs, career-switchers, and entrepreneurs seeking to get the best possible start for their food and beverage businesses, The Food School will bring together three globally recognised institutions – including Dusit’s own Dusit Thani College; Japan’s renowned Tsuji Culinary Institute; and ALMA. Each will offer long-course modules in Thai cuisine, Japanese cuisine, and Italian cuisine and bakery, respectively.
Students will also have access to The Food School’s unique entrepreneurial incubator platform, The Test Kitchen, which will offer facilities for product testing and experimentation; business planning services; professional coaching and mentorship from renowned local chefs; and exclusive opportunities to get financial support from investors during specially arranged pitching sessions.
Alongside sourcing sustainable produce from selected farms throughout Thailand, the academy will bring in premium imported ingredients to ensure authenticity. Regular events will showcase innovations and new food and beverage business trends. A community dining room, meanwhile, will serve as a venue for students, instructors, locals, visitors, mentors and mentees to exchange ideas and evaluate new concepts.
“The Food School aims to create a vibrant, dynamic and collaborative ecosystem that brings together Thailand’s food community to drive positive social, environmental, and economic developments in the food and beverage industry at large,” said Ms Suphajee Suthumpun, Group CEO, Dusit International. “Three clear highlights set The Food School apart as a unique proposition in Bangkok. First, it is the first mover in the market to offer multi-cuisine training and business incubation all under one roof. Second, its Test Kitchen facilities will provide an unrivalled opportunity for experienced or fledgling chefs and savvy entrepreneurs to trial new concepts, receive advice on these concepts from seasoned industry experts, and tap into Thailand’s dynamic food and beverage market. Third, the Food School will play an active role in the food and beverage community by hosting regular events that bring together key industry players to discuss the latest trends, evaluate concepts, and brainstorm the way ahead for established and upcoming food and beverage businesses alike.”
Ms Suthumpun said that no other facility offers such comprehensive services for culinary startups and young professionals in Bangkok.
“By responding to the professional needs of the market in the new normal, fully leveraging Dusit’s rich experience in providing hospitality education for more than 20 years, and offering direct access to mentorship from celebrated chefs and well-known restaurateurs in Thailand, and later globally, we look forward to helping The Food School’s students, entrepreneurial associates, and community supporters to fulfill their potential with services, facilities and hands-on learning specially created to equip them for success in the brighter post COVID-19 days ahead.”
Ms Prim Jitcharoongphorn, Chairperson of the Executive Board at Allied Metals, said, “The highlight of The Food School facility is the design of kitchen classrooms that fosters teamwork and collaboration among peers. Our facility is equipped with eco-friendly equipment which is energy-efficient, user-friendly, and versatile. Kitchens at The Food School are truly state of the art. We are delighted that our innovative solutions will contribute to the sustainable development of culinary talents in Thailand by facilitating maximum productivity with minimal environmental impact.”
Mr Gavin Vongkusolkit, Managing Director of Heritage Estates Co. Ltd & Founder of Glowfish Co-Working Space, said, “Glowfish is all about people, community, and genuine collaboration, and any partnership or project we undertake will always be built on these solid foundations. Bringing our expertise in value-driven collaboration to The Food School, we look forward to building a thriving ecosystem of creativity and innovation, not only for Thailand’s food industry but also for the wider benefit of tourism, agriculture, wellness, sustainability, entrepreneurship, education and many connecting parts of our society and economy.”