Crowne Plaza Vientiane Welcomes a New Executive Chef

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Crowne Plaza Vientiane is delighted to introduce the hotel’s new Executive Chef, Louis Yu-Ming Poh, who is originally from Malaysia and has worked in luxury hotels in Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and most recently in the Maldives.

Mr. Louis is keen to learn about the culture of Laos, through its food and heritage, and is looking forward to visiting monuments and temples in the country to know more about Lao traditions, legends, and history, as well as share his wealth of culinary experience.

In his passion for creating exquisite dishes, he brings attention to detail with an artistic flair and a refined palate that enables him to produce dishes that have perfectly balanced flavors and a modern style.

He believes that food provides much more than just physical nourishment – it brings joy, rekindles memories, and forges bonds. He works to honor the flavors of each ingredient, and bring them together in a completely harmonized, healthy, and well-balanced dish. 

This results in the food you will remember long after you have finished your meal. Cooking is his passion, whether it is a new dish that he is creating, a humble traditional recipe, or a modern take that brings together the finest ingredients with the skills he has developed over the decades. 

He is determined to consistently provide fresh, high-quality dishes, whilst exploring collaboration with local food producers. Since 2020, Crowne Plaza Vientiane, under its sustainability program ‘Journey to Tomorrow’, has focused its menus around more locally grown produce to benefit both local producers and the environment.

Mr. Louis intends to build on this, thereby giving back to the community. His vision is a menu that combines Lao ingredients, with select items brought in, and treated with respect to create dishes that fuse the very best of the west and the east whilst giving traditional dishes a modern flair.

He has extensive experience which began after culinary school when he worked for a five-star beach resort in Penang and experienced every aspect of working in the kitchen. This has provided a strong foundation, for his next three decades of working for top-class hotels.

He has particularly enjoyed those restaurants where his creativity has been challenged by creating modern dishes that reflect a bygone era, whether it be at The Slate Phuket, a restaurant whose menu, led by the hotel design, was set in the tin mining era, or designing the menu of Baba Yaya’s long lost recipes.

These were particularly poignant incidents since creating recipes for The Slate evoked memories of his childhood with his maternal grandparents and his birthplace in Tronoh, Malaysia, whilst he is also of Baba Yaya heritage through his paternal grandparents in Penang, Malaysia.

Alongside his work as an Executive Chef, which has included designing the menus for hotel openings, overseeing several hotels in a group, and managing around 75 staff, he has spent time at a Michelin-starred restaurant in France and has also led a group of Thai chefs in a Thai Food promotion at the Sha Tin Club within the prestigious Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Although he has been awarded a Red Ribbon for Disciples d’Auguste Escoffier – Association pour le transmission et l’évolution de la Cuisine, it is when waiters return with empty plates, and he knows that the diners have enjoyed their meal, that he truly feels his mission has been accomplished.