Chef Ploy Plates With Pride in Hua Hin

Meet Chef Ploy Natnicha Boonlerd, a formidable culinary force from Thailand’s Ami—known for natural wine and inventive plates.

Chef Ploy brings her award-winning passion and dedication to the kitchen on June 29 at The Standard, Hua Hin. Her exclusive dinner (Plated With Pride) brings full-circle flavors for Praça. Chef Ploy’s journey has taken her from air hostess to rocking it as one of the final four in Masterchef Thailand Season 1—and even taking on the competition in TOPCHEF Thailand 2023. 

We caught up with Chef Ploy ahead of the dinner to talk Pride, her special menu and more.

What does Pride Month mean to you?  

It is the month that I can step up to the light, proud of what I am and what we are, and show to everyone that every gender can achieve the goal equally.  


Tell us how you developed this special menu in Praça. What’s the story behind it?  

This month gives me a chance to do something different. First, I am thinking about what love is. What does it mean to me? The answer is, love means doing what I like without caring what other people think and to stay with it proudly for my entire life. So, my food for this event is the basic Thai food that I used to eat at home that was cooked by my grandmother. My idea is to make it more fashionable, more contemporary and more fun.

You have experience in the natural wine space: What’s something people (us) often get wrong when pairing wines with dishes?  

As I said—with love, nothing is wrong. It’s exactly the same when it comes to wine pairings. Look at strict guidelines as suggestions, and choose what you love.


Are there LGBTQ+ chefs in the culinary world who you look up to? Are there up-and-coming chefs you’re mentoring?  

Kristen Kish is my idol! She is the winner of Top Chef America and now she is a judge on Top Chef. She showed through her social media that she is qay, and makes a beautiful couple with her fiancé.


How can the food scene remove some of the obstacles queer people face developing their talent and profile?  

When people eat, they taste the food. If it is delicious, that’s it. Whoever cooks the dish is not more important than the taste of the food—so people of all genders and identities can cook at a high level.  

If MasterChef Thailand invited you back (again) for an all-stars season, would you do it?  

I have already returned to MasterChef All Star Thailand. It’s my pleasure to get back to the place where I grew up.  


When you’re not working, how do you plan to celebrate Pride this year?  

Absolutely—at The Standard, Hua Hin! I love the atmosphere, design and vibe for Pride Month. 


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