Introducing Nooror Somany Steppe of Blue Elephant Group
Charming and talented Nooror Somany Steppe is the founder of the world-famous Blue Elephant Group of restaurants and cooking schools spanning the globe from London, Brussels and Paris, to Bangkok and Phuket. We caught up with her over lunch at the Blue Elephant in Phuket Town situated in the fabulous Old Governor’s Mansion.
How did you get your start in the world of cuisine?
I was born in Thailand’s Chachoengsao Province where my mother and sister owned a small restaurant, so I grew up surrounded by cooking and developed a passion at an early age for everything associated with food, produce, cuisine and cooking. By working in our restaurant I developed the skills for cooking authentic Thai cuisine. Later on I went to cooking school and then started to travel as a chef.I met my husband Karl Steppe in Belgium and together we opened the first Blue Elephant in Brussels in 1980. There are now 12 branches globally and our mission was always to bring authentic, Thai cuisine to our customers, using the finest ingredients and following the style of cuisine that was prepared and served in the royal households throughout history.
How has the Blue Elephant Group evolved over the years?
We pioneered and experimented with many new recipes and dishes and introduced a strong ethos of organically-grown and healthy produce. We have become quite cosmopolitan in our sourcing of produce. So while many of the herbs that we use are from the Royal Projects program, we also use the best New Zealand lamb in our Massaman curry….it’s a matter of going wherever the best produce and ingredients can be found.
I have also introduced a number of new dishes with the authentic taste of traditional Thai cuisine over the years as I believe Thai food should be dynamically evolving and change with the times. Hence the Blue Elephant menu has a section devoted to the Thai Cuisine of Today alongside more traditional segments such as Thai Cooking of the Past and Royal Thai Symphony, which includes Royal Thai dishes.
As the success of the Blue Elephant grew we were also able to export our own cooking packs and sauces under our Blue Spice label.
What is new at Blue Elephant Phuket
The Phuket Blue Elephant is located in the stately majesty of the famous Phra Pitak Chinpracha Sino-Portuguese Mansion, built in 1903. We spent two years renovating the mansion and fabulous grounds and now we are able to host large corporate gathering, parties, and weddings in a style that cannot be matched anywhere else in Phuket.We will be introducing a special menu afternoon menu from 2:30pm to 6pm each day in 2015 and we are looking at a weekend brunch menu as well.In addition, I’m helping Thai Intentional with menus on their Bangkok/ Brussels flights and with Asian Free Trade Integration starting next year our Halal food products will become increasingly important.
Blue Elephant Governor’s Mansion Phuket Restaurant & Cooking school
96 Krabi Rd, Phuket town ,83000
Tel.+66 (0)76 354 355-7