For this series of #TABLETalks, we had a chance to sit down with Christopher Menning, a mixologist and an F&B connoisseur.
Traveling the world and throughout Asia with his insatiable penchants for the F&B industry, Christopher finds himself in Bangkok, Thailand as the bar manager of PIN31 as he continues to cultivate his knowledge and shares his passion in the world of drinks and gastronomy.
PIN31 is Bangkok’s newest creative art space and experimental cocktail lounge. Once you walk into the venue, you will feel like you are in an art zone; teleporting you to different places all in flashes of vibrant, moving pictures. The concept behind the idea was created to introduce Bangkokians to a new way of enjoying their night by immersing them in different atmospheres and ambiances at the same venue.
They also serve superb cocktails that are beyond ordinary thanks to Christopher’s wide range of expertise. By promoting sustainability, he and his team used fresh, local, and organic ingredients and transformed them into world-class drinks suitable for all palates.
Aside from making a mark at PIN31, Christopher’s transcontinental ardor has translated into the field of media, as well. He founded ‘Gastronomer Lifestyle’ (an online publication) and started doing podcasts called ‘On the Bar Back’, aiming to promote food and drink tourism while putting the spotlight on the people behind the special creations.
Let’s get to know him more:
TABLE: What makes PIN31 so unique?
Christopher: PIN31 is a really creative art space. Not only do we have the visual experiences, [but] we also have amazing cocktails. What we try to do is to be a bit of a destination bar and a lot of ingredients we sourced throughout Thailand. We get from particular farms [like] in Chonburi and Chiangmai. And what we're trying to do is to really showcase Thailand and the ingredients they have to offer. If you come here, it's definitely quite a fantastic experience– from the destinations that are changed every week to the cocktails taking you through Thailand.
T: What made you interested in the F&B industry in Bangkok?
C: I spent about ten years in the food and drinks scene, mostly in luxury hotels to Michelin star restaurants. I was backpacking around Asia, and Bangkok made me want to stay. The city offers so much culture and history. What I love about Bangkok is the street food to Michelin Star. The industry is also always moving forward. Furthermore, I’m very lucky to have met such incredible people here. That’s why I decided to settle down here.
T: Can you introduce us to the blog and podcast you have been making?
C: Yes. The website ‘Gastronomer Lifestyle’ started from a blog, essentially, for my passion. We promote food and drink tourism, focusing on the people behind the scene, food, and drink recommendations from brunch, coffee, to cocktails. [We] feature an in-depth interview with chefs and bartenders around the world, too.
[For] On the Back Bar podcast, I interview experts in food and drink scenes, so we have some amazing people join the show. The concept behind it is for bartenders around the world to connect on a personal level.
T: What made you decide to start one?
C: I started it because it's nice to give back to the community. It's kind of fun, really, particularly the people who come to the show. Throughout my journey, I have met incredible people, and I wanted to share their amazing stories. While I have been behind the bar and behind the food, I also wanted to step out with other people that I share the experience with, also to celebrate my love for food and drinks.
T: Do you have any tips for people who want to start their own blog or podcast, too?
C: [Just] for those who want to start this, I would say, find your passion, find what you love, and see how you can share and make it accessible for other people.
‘TABLE Talks’ is where we sit down with personalities behind masterpieces and have a chat about their passion and inspiration and how they impact the lifestyle community. We aim to recognize the people behind our favorite haunts and appreciate their craft and skills that revolutionize the industry.
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