Meet Chiva Som’s Executive Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat, the guru of spa cuisine

Paisarn Checninsirinat

Paisarn Checninsirinat - Credit: Archant

Cheshire Life’s Style Editor Janet Reeder heads to the Chester Grosvenor for a lunch date with Chiva Som’s Executive Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat and discovers why celebrities just love his healthy cuisine

Forget the idea that celebs in a bid to maintain size zero perfection are deluding themselves into believing that three lettuce leaves are a main course it’s so not true. Well at least at top Thai health resort Chiva-Som

When Kate Moss, Elle McPherson, Liz Hurley, David and Victoria Beckham visit for a little R&R it is to be pampered with exquisite dishes as I discovered when I went to meet Chiva-Som Executive Chef Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat at the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester .

As a Michelin starred establishment the Grosvenor doesn’t let any old chef take control of the kitchen but then Chef Paisarn isn’t any old chef, he’s a guru of spa cuisine who has a legion of devotees who return time and again to the Elegant Resorts Hotel, where he has worked since 2003, to recharge their batteries.

And if that sounds somewhat po-faced, he assures me that first and foremost having fun is on the menu at the Elegant Resorts destination.

‘Food is celebration. It’s fun it’s something to be enjoyed - then I just add on my nutritionist knowledge,’ he says as we chat before lunch.

‘At the beginning of my career I learned Escoffier, French cooking and I think I was lucky not to be a nutritionist first of all because I learned first and foremost about enjoying food from the French. The nutrition came later.

‘For me, making one dish has several components. It has to be healthy, it has to taste good it has to look good, all three are equally important.’

Healthy and fun - sounds like the perfect combination for those Cheshire ladies (and men) with a hedonistic streak. Plus he’s in the final stages of a masters degree in anti-ageing and understandably, like every other women of a ‘certain age’ I’m curious to know what the secret is to looking younger.

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‘I think anti ageing isn’t just one element it is pretty much a lifestyle you have to achieve,’ he tells me.

‘Wake up, take some lime juice in warm water to alkalise your body, do some light exercise to start, yoga and stuff, then you have a good breakfast. I serve raw and cooked food together as raw food is definitely more healthy because the nutrients remain. Mid morning have a drink like a powerful super fruit juice, then at lunch you can eat well, afternoon take some exercise then have something like a smoothie and at dinner time try to eat before eight O’clock.’

This sounds suspiciously like the kind of regime it would be easy to do at Chiva Som resort, where the days are mapped out to suit your needs. Less so in an ordinary life filled with work, chores and wine!

However, Chef Paisarn has now produced a new collection of recipes offering health foodies inspiration and guidance on re-creating some of his well-loved dishes and offering a blueprint for eating well, that makes the healthy anti-ageing goal a little more achievable.

And there’s little doubt his brand of Thai spa cuisine combined with the holistic therapies available at Chiva-Som are working.

‘In Chiva-Som the biggest compliment I get is ‘chef I don’t feel like I am coming to a health resort, I’ve lost weight my blood sugar is going down and my blood pressure is getting better all without trying,’ he tells me.

And for someone about to cook lunch for 40 VIPs he’s a walking advert for serenity as he poses for photographs he tells me how he’s fallen for Chester.

‘I love it. It’s like walking around Liberty in London but on a larger scale,’ he enthuses.

‘I love the history and the friendliness of the people here. It’s so different from London.’

For more information about Chiva-Som visit

We ate...

Chilled cucumber and avocado soup with pan seared scallop

Sole and XO sauce

Poached pears and prunes in Jasmine tea, coconut and pistachio crème Anglaise

Lemongrass tea

We drank...

2013 Santa Cristina Campogrand, Umbria, Italy

2010 Bolney Estate Lychgate red, West Sussex, England