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David Thompson (chef)

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David Thompson
David Thompson addresses a plenary session at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, 2012
Sydney, Australia
Culinary career
Cooking styleThai cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
  • Long Chim Perth, Long Chim Sydney, Aaharn Hong Kong, Aksorn Bangkok, Chop Chop Cook Shop
Previous restaurant(s)
  • Darley Street Thai, Sailor’s Thai, Nahm London, Nahm Bangkok, Long Chim Singapore, Long Chim Melbourne and Long Chim Seoul

David Thompson (Thai: เดวิด ทอมป์สัน) is an Australian chef, restaurateur and cookery writer, known for his skill and expertise in Thai cuisine.


Thompson made his name at Darley Street Thai in Sydney, which he opened in 1992 in Darley St, Newtown upon his return from living and working in Bangkok for several years. He then opened Sailors Thai in 1995, also in Sydney. The success of these restaurants got him noticed by Singaporean hotelier Christina Ong, who asked him to open a restaurant in one of her COMO hotels.[1]

Nahm opened in 2001 in The Halkin hotel in London,[2] and received a Michelin star[3] within six months.[1] It was the first Thai restaurant to gain this award.[4] Thompson received the "London Chef of the Year" award at the Carlton Evening Standard Food Awards in 2003.[5]

In 2010, he opened a second branch of Nahm in another hotel belonging to the COMO Hotels group, the Metropolitan in Bangkok.[6] In 2012 Thompson closed Nahm London to concentrate on Nahm Bangkok.[7] In 2014, Nahm was listed as Asia's best restaurant[8] and remained on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list for seven consecutive years.[9] Nahm was awarded a Michelin star in 2017 when the Michelin Guide first included restaurants in Thailand.[9]

In 2014, Thompson founded the Aylmer Aaharn Thai food group which came to manage operations across six countries including Thailand and Australia.[9] In that year Thompson was also the headline chef for the inaugural Wonder Feasts series at the first Wonderfruit festival, in Thailand.[10]

In 2015, Thompson was interviewed on Bloomberg Television series High Flyers in Singapore.[11]

In 2015 Thompson commenced a chain of low-key Thai restaurants with Long Chim Singapore and Long Chim Perth. Branches in Sydney (2016), Melbourne (2017) and Seoul (2018) followed. The Singapore and Melbourne restaurants closed in 2019 and the Seoul restaurant in 2020.[12]

In 2016 Thompson was recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award at Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Awards for his dedication and commitment to Thai cuisine.[13]

In 2018, Thompson left Nahm Bangkok and opened another Thai restaurant, Aaharn, in Hong Kong.[14]

In 2023, Thompson opened Chop Chop Cook Shop on the first floor of an art deco building on Yaowarat Road in Bangkok.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Thompson is married to his Thai business partner, Tanongsak Yordwai.[16]


Thompson has also written three books. The first, Classic Thai Cuisine was published in 1993. The second, Thai Food, a comprehensive account of Thai cuisine, covering its history and role in society, as well as numerous recipes and menus, was released in 2002.[17] His third book, Thai Street Food, is a collection of his favourite 100 recipes of the street.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Chef David Thompson of Long Chim - Biography". Archived from the original on 17 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Bangkok: Q&A with David Thompson of Nahm Restaurant".
  3. ^ "Michelin Star Restaurants in London - 2011". Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  4. ^ "Nahm". Archived from the original on 20 June 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
  5. ^ "David Thompson | FOUR Magazine". www.four-magazine.com. 4 March 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  6. ^ "David Thompson's nahm to open in Bangkok in July | CNN Travel".
  7. ^ Bolles, Scott (26 November 2012). "Aussie chef Thompson's celebrated London restaurant Nahm to close its doors". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  8. ^ "David Thompson to leave Nahm in Bangkok to focus on new projects". UI - 50B - STORIES. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  9. ^ a b c "CHEF DAVID THOMPSON CONCLUDES RELATIONSHIP WITH COMO HOTELS AND NAHM RESTAURANT AFTER 18 YEARS". Lotus - London restaurant PR, Food&Drink Communications Agency. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  10. ^ "Michelin chef at Wonderfruit". Food and Travel. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Meet Celebrity Chef and Restaurateur David Thompson". Bloomberg. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  12. ^ "Long Chim Melbourne to close". Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  13. ^ "David Thompson". advance.org. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  14. ^ "5 Questions With Chef David Thompson On Life After Nahm". MICHELIN Guide. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  15. ^ "David Thompson opens Chop Chop Cook Shop in the heart of Chinatown". bk.asia-city.com. 20 September 2023. Retrieved 22 April 2024.
  16. ^ "An audience with Australia's unofficial cooking ambassador to Thailand, David Thompson". 23 October 2017.
  17. ^ Thompson, David (2002). Thai Food. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 978-1-58008-462-8.
  18. ^ Thompson, David (21 September 2010). Thai Street Food. Ten Speed Press. p. 372. ISBN 978-1-58008-284-6.

External links[edit]