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Gastro Diplomacy in Thailand

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Hailey Yoo

on 17 April 2014

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Transcript of Gastro Diplomacy in Thailand

What comes to your mind when you think of Thailand?

Thai food = internationally famous.
“Harmony” is the guiding principle for each dish.

Thai food & Thai cuisine are distinctive in their charms and characters.

*Thai cuisine is a blend of old Eastern and Western influences.
(The cuisine is) a proud heritage of the Thai and handed down through generations.
The elaborate arrangement of Thai food and the decorations with fruit and vegetable carvings make it all the more inviting
Represents wisdom and culture of the Thai nation.

The characteristics of Thai food depend on who cooks it and who it’s cooked for.

Food sometimes brings people together.

National cuisines have spread through migration, trade routes, and globalization.

Countries packaged and delivered to foreign audiences—both by state and non-state actors—as a means of expressing a country’s culture and values.

This form of cultural diplomacy, whether deliberate or unintentional, has been coined “Gastro diplomacy.”

Major objectives
Thai food and cuisine
Image by Tom Mooring
Foods and Gastro diplomacy
Gastro Diplomacy in Thailand
Gastro-diplomacy = a method of building reputation of
one’s country through promoting one’s national cuisine.

It offers foreign publics the opportunity to engage with other cultures through food.
This form of edible nation branding is a growing trend in public diplomacy.

the boom in restaurants will not only introduce delicious spicy Thai food to thousands of new tummies and persuade more people to visit Thailand, but it could subtly help deepen relations with other countries

Stages in Development of the Thai Food Industry
Have you tried Pad Thai?
Traditional Thai cooking methods:
stewing and baking or grilling.

Culinary influences from the 17th century onwards included Portuguese, Dutch, French, Chinese and Japanese.

e.g. chilies were introduced to Thai cooking during the late 1600s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for them while serving in South America.


-interested in globalization of cuisine


-“The Global Thai”

- “THAIFEX-World of Food Asia”


- ‘Amazing Thailand’
- “Thailand Brand” certification

- 8500 restaurants all over the World

-“Kitchen of the World”

Global Thai Program
In 2002
to increase the number of Thai restaurants worldwide
From 5,500 to 8000 by 2003

source: Thai Government Public Relations Department
The Kitchen of the World
- “Thailand: Kitchen of the World”
- to increase the number of Thai restaurants overseas to 20,000 by 2008 & address the issue of food security.

The government
- provides support in the forms of training, information, and finance
- standardization of Thai cuisine
- government certification “Thai Select”
- encourages Thai investors to invest in Thai restaurants overseas

Thai select

Standards of Quality
- To control the standard of Thai restaurants overseas
- Certification from the Department of Export Promotion of the Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government given to Thai restaurants that meet specific quality standards.
- Currently 1,200 Thai restaurants worldwide that have been given this certification.

areas with facilities according to Health and Safety requirements.

an experienced Thai Head Chef or a Chef with no less than one years experience and training in preparing Thai cuisine.

usage of Thai raw materials and equipment

must be inspected and approved by the committee

An interesting eBook was published to promote the campaign
1. discussing the agricultural highlights of Thailand,
2. promoting unique Thai products,
3. teaching about the diet of Thailand,
4. sharing recipes for favorite Thai dishes.
5. offering information about partnerships between the government and Thai universities that teach the culinary arts

Video Clip
Kitchen of the World
* Established the "Thai Select" certification program
- Encouraged the use of ingredients imported from Thailand
- Improved the standardization and quality of Thai food

* Encouraged more Thai chefs to open restaurants abroad
* Thai cuisine ambassadors
- Jet Tila
- The first Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine by the Royal Thai Consul General in Los Angele
- Tasked with spreading Thai awareness nationwide and role as a guide to the cuisine
- Touring the United States on behalf of the Thai government, giving food demonstrations, making media appearances and coordinating events

Influence on other nations
* The birth of ‘Kimchi Diplomacy’ in Korea and ‘Dimsum Diplomacy’ in Taiwan
* ‘Kimchi Diplomacy’:
- Government Level: ‘Korean Cuisine to the World’
A goal of increasing the number of Korean restaurants abroad
The cultivation of Korean celebrity chefs Le Cordon Bleu and the
Culinary Institute of America
* Citizen Level:
- Active Korean diasporas with new forms of Korean food
ex) Korean taco

Leading to Kimchi and Dimsum diplomacy, etc
Changes made over time
The rising popularity of Thai food
* Mixing and Matching of Thai Food in Globalization
- Undergoes the processes of blending and reformation as it travels into transnational space

* Thai cuisine as Healthful and slimming
- “The newest exotic cuisine sweeping the country”

Global Rank
* “What is the food that first comes to minds when asked about ethnic cuisines?”
- Thai food is ranked at number 4 after Italian, French, and Chinese

* “What is your favorite cuisine?”
- It is ranked number 6 behind Italian, French, Japanese, Chinese, and Indian

“World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods”

Thoughts for Improvement
- Encourage better quality-proved restaurants
- Encourage using ecofriendly packaging materials
- Maintain it’s food authenticity

kob kun kaa:-)
Any Questions?
1310708 Jihye Choi
1316805 Hanbin Yoo
1215329 Jiyeon Choi
1215719 Gyu Min Park
1315111 Yoorin Kim
1311095 Ha Eun Lee
#1 Thailand’s massaman curry

#8 Tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup)

#19 Nam tok moo (Thai spicy salad with pork)
Major objectives
Full transcript