The Baan Rim Pa Team
No other restaurant on Phuket can match the ultimate Thai dining experiences provided by the Baan Rim Pa. Most of the Baan Rim Pa Team have been with the restaurant for many years. This says a great deal for the family atmosphere which continues to make this restaurant the first choice for many.
The Man Behind Baan Rim Pa
Tom McNamara (1946 to 2008)
FOUNDER & ONCE A WORLD-RENOWNED RESTAURATEUR
Tom McNamara first came to Phuket in 1988 to fish! Having been to Bora Bora and enjoyed the experience, he decided that Phuket must be ripe for game fishing. Unfortunately, when he arrived, all local game fishing experts told him that there was no marlin in the Andaman Sea around Phuket … on his first trip he caught a 280-pound marlin. Tom basically got what he wanted.
Having had one stroke of good luck, he thought that Phuket may be the place to find more, so he stayed. Opening Baan Rim Pa in 1989.
Tom previously owned and ran restaurants in New York City, France, England and The Caribbean. Each had its own design, theme and flavour. In Phuket he decided that the only way to provide completely authentic Thai food was to search for recipes originally cooked only for the Thai Royal Family… authentic Royal Thai Cuisine. To achieve this, he managed to track down descendants of the original chefs for past Thai Royal Families. These recipes were only previously put together in The Grand Palace. His home at the time, on a small rocky outcrop overlooking Kalim Bay, became host to the many friends who popped by to try out these fabulous “new” recipes. Home turned into restaurant and Baan Rim Pa was born. The rest, as they say, is history.
In November 2008 Tom passed away after a long battle with cancer. Tom’s family along with close friend Khun Das who has managed the restaurants since their inception will carry on his legacy for many years to come.
Chalermpol (Das) Na Nakorn
Das joined Baan Rim Pa from the beginning as General Manager at Baan Rim Pa. He and Tom McNamara worked closely together and after Tom’s passing, he became Managing Director and part owner.
Originally he trained in his hometown, Bangkok, Das secured a position in the Thai Restaurant of The Oriental Hotel. Here he met Charlie Amatyakul, the Head Chef at The Oriental and they became firm friends. A few years later, Tom McNamara stayed at The Oriental for three months, asked Charlie to help create Baan Rim Pa’s Royal Thai Cuisine menu and was recommended Das at the best person to manage the restaurant.
Even in his position, he is still totally hands-on and works closely with his restaurant managers. “We try to provide a personalised service”, he says. “At the end of the day, I am satisfied if the guests leave after having had a very good time and, of course, that the staff also feel happy and have done their best”.
Pensiri (Pen) Tuangthong (McNamara)
Pen is the wife of our late founder, Tom McNamara. Since Tom’s passing in 2008, she has taken an active role in the management and leadership of the Baan Rim Pa restaurant Group alongside of the M.D. Chalermpol (Das) NaNakorn.
Pen is found most nights in the restaurant overseeing the staff and greeting guests. She believes this is a family company and the staff are all part of the family which is what makes us a success which continues to grow year after year and why a lot of our staff have been with us for many years.
Pannawath (Nub) Na Nakorn
BUSINESS OPERATIONS MANAGER
Nub is the son of Managing Director/Owner of Baan Rim Pa, Chalermpol NaNakorn. He was born in Phuket where he grew up and studied. In 2015 he graduated with Bachelor Degree from Prince of Songkla University, Phuket. He was on the faculty of Hospitality and Tourism and majored in Hospitality Management.
With a plan to join his father at Baan Rim Pa he completed work experiences as an intern at 5 star hotels, Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort and Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong each year during study.
In 2016 he joined Baan Rim Pa working closely with his father to learn the business side of the restaurant. Nub has great experience in computers and also photography which have proven to be an asset in many areas of the operation.
In 2019 he became Business Operations Manager and assisted in the day to day operations and management of the restaurant.
Susanne (Sue) Ultmann
Executive Manager and Marketing Director
Australian born Sue Ultmann has lived and worked in Asia for more than 20 years. Before moving to Asia she spent 18 years as Associate Publisher of Australia’s leading travel industry publication “TravelWeek” magazine. This position sent her to many corners of the globe, promoting, writing and handling the advertising and marketing for the magazine.
With offices and staff in more than 23 countries Sue’s knowledge of working with many nationalities has assisted her since she decided to make Thailand her home. When joining the Baan Rim Pa, she took charge of advertising, marketing and public relations for the three restaurants. Later becoming more hands on in the management role and working directly with the Managing Director to assist in with international business.
Sue has been involved in bringing several television shows such as The Great Outdoors Australia, BBC’s Holiday show, The Travel Channel USA, Travel Asia and Beyond and Destination Thailand, just to name a few, along with many travel writers from all over the world to film and write about the group. Making the Baan Rim Pa Group’s name known worldwide is her main goal.
Group Sales and Marketing
Sujitra (Am) Suwankhoch
Sales & Marketing Assistant
Originally from Phang-Na Province, Am moved to Bangkok to study at Mahanakorn University of Technology where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Computer.
After working for a year in Bangkok she moved to Phuket in 2007 to be closer to family and joined Baan Rim Pa Group as Sales and Marketing Assistant, responsible for advertising design and artwork.
At the time, although she had good computer skills, she had little experience in the area of advertising. Under the direction of Sue Ultmann she has learned quickly and become a great asset to the company. She works closely with the media assessing different types of media which may be of benefit to the restaurant.
Anamika (Tik) Jansamust
Sale & Marketing Executive
Original from Trang, she studied at Ramkhamhaeng University in Bangkok where she gained a Bachelor degree in BA English and Communications. She commenced her career 2005 with Asia Books in Bangkok before moving to Phuket where she joined Wine Connection. In 2013 she started her own business in property sales and rental.
Tik joined Baan Rim Pa Group in July 2015 as she was looking for a new challenge. Her position is working closely with the Executive Manager/Marketing Director in all facets of advertising/PR/Marketing. On a daily basis she visits hotels, tour operators and travel agents to keep them up to date on the happenings at Baan Rim Pa.
Executive Chef - Baan Rim Pa
Originally from Trang in the south of Thailand, Chef Jaree studied cookery at Pranakorntai University in Bangkok before joining the famous Mandarin Oriental. When Baan Rim Pa was established in 1990, she was asked to join the small team by Khun Das (Baan Rim Pa?s Managing Director) who had also been seconded from Mandarin Oriental and has been here ever since.
Chef Jaree has always been a totally “hands on” chef and continues to thrive in the kitchen making sure her team keep to the highest standards and quality expected of “Royal Thai” cuisine. She runs a very tight ship with a small team of 17 in the kitchen. In high season they can produce up to 700 dishes in one day which can be a major challenge for any team.
If you ask her why she is still at Baan Rim Pa, her reply is simple, “I work for good people and I love to cook Thai food and I love Baan Rim Pa.”
Praiwan (Wan) Klongkleaw
EXECUTIVE CHEF - BAAN RIM PA
Originally from Chaiyabhaum in Issan, he is one of the original staff members of Baan Rim Pa. He joined on 1st June 1991 as a kitchen hand and cook, training under the famous Executive Chef Khun Charlie Amaatyakul from Oriental in Bangkok who came to Phuket to train the kitchen staff in Royal Thai cuisine.
Khun Wan worked his way up through every level to become an expert in Royal Thai Cuisine and now has the senior position as joint Executive Chef at Baan Rim Pa.
RESTAURANT MANAGER - BAAN RIM PA
Originally from Phang Na Province, just north of Phuket Island, Suthee came to Phuket after school to find a job. He first worked at the Safari Hotel and Savoey Seafood before joining Baan Rim Pa, not ever imagining he would still be here after more than 20 years.
As with many of the team at Baan Rim Pa, Suthee has worked up through the ranks and he now holds the position as Restaurant Manager alongside Sithichai.?It takes a good team to run such a special restaurant and Suthee always aims to help keep Baan Rim Pa at No.1.
Sitthichai (Gai) Kraithong
Restaurant Manager - Baan Rim Pa
Gai as he is known, is from Phang Nga province just north of Phuket. After he completed his education he moved to Phuket in search of a career. He joined the Patong Merlin Hotel where he spent 4 years working in different departments gaining experience and knowledge. Gai always knew, having good English skills was important and worked hard to improve his.
In 1999 he joined the Boathouse where he worked his way up to Restaurant Supervisor. After 8 years he was looking for a new challenge and joined the Baan Rim Pa Group as Manager of Joe?s South in Kata.
In 2009 he was promoted to Manager of Baan Rim Pa working side by side with Suthee. His bright personality and professional attitude to work gives him ability to assess situations and assist guests from around the world with their special requests. He always says, “the guests come first and it is our job to make sure they leave with fond memories of their visit to Baan Rim Pa.”
Athitaya (Ooy) Laosuwan
Originally from Khon Kean, Ooy joined Baan Rim Pa in the late 90’s as a waitress and progressed to training in the bar making cocktails and mixed drinks. When the wine cellar was introduced to Baan Rim Pa in 1999 she showed an interest in learning about wines. Although she left Baan Rim Pa to gain more experience she returned in 2011 and trained extensively in wines and was promoted to Sommelier.
Wimutta (Ta) Senasu
Ta joined Baan Rim Pa as a waitress in 2003. Every day she was serving wine to guests and became interested and began to learn how to pair wines with Thai food and recommend them to guests. She learnt how to take inventory and order the wines.
When the Director of Wine Randy Chin joined the group in 2007 he saw her potential and began training her along with other staff in weekly wine appreciation training sessions. Ta became extremely knowledgeable in both Old and New World wines and has a real passion for it and her job. She thrives on recommending wines from all over the world and has an amazing pallet. Ta has attended many outside training courses along with wine tastings and competitions. Recently she was promoted to Head Sommelier and oversees the wine purchasing for Baan Rim Pa Kalim.
Prasert Khunthongchan, Ph.D.
Pianist at Baan Rim Pa
This is not just any ordinary piano player.?Educated through high school at Benjamarachutis school, Nakhon Sri Thammarat Province and graduated from Songkhla Teacher College, Music Education Program 1980 in Hat Yai, Songkhla Province, Dr. Prasert started his music career?as a band leader of The Experience?at?The Regency Hotel Hat Yai.
He has played as a resident in many well known hotels in Bangkok and moved to Phuket in 1993. Dr. Prasert’s aim was to get his masters degree in music which he did in 2008 at Ramkhamhaeng University followed by his Ph.D in 2013.
Since 2014 he has been Baan Rim Pa’s resident pianist and you will find him at the grand piano at Baan Rim Pa’s piano bar every night (except Mondays). He has become well known and well liked for his outgoing personality and willingness to play guests selections.
Chatri (Louise) Roekbanleng
Pianist at Baan Rim Pa
Louise has a long history in music and has played with some top bands whilst touring around Thailand and Asia. During his career he has worked at some of Bangkok’s top hotels. He supported the Ronna Reeves Country Band, daughter of the famous Jim Reeves, in concert in Bangkok. He also played with Van McCoy American Band in concert in Malaysia.
Louise has toured extensively and plays several types of music from Rock, Country, Swing, Classics, Jazz and anything else in between. He is an amazing pianist and a lot of fun. A real professional who loves his music and loves entertaining. The guests love to have their photos taken with Louise as he has a very warm and happy personality.