Sahil Rattanaphas tells the visual story of mixologists and master chefs in Bangkok through their body art.
You’ve probably seen the work of Sahil Rattanaphas—scrolling through Facebook for new restaurants, chef interviews, and articles.
“I started a social media company about ten years ago but I couldn’t find any of the content I needed for my clients which was mostly F&B, so I picked a camera up and I just started shooting. Before I knew it, that became my main profession,” Sahil tells BK Magazine.
Álvaro Ramos at Vaso
Through The Turquoise Truck Creative, Sahil has become a go-to food photographer for many of the city’s poshest dining dens, also working extensively in Europe and Asia. Sahil has shot everyone from Jay Fai to Matthew Geng working out of a studio on Sukhumvit Soi 12. But Sahil noticed another photogenic facet to Bangkok’s head chefs: their ink.
“I shoot a lot of chefs from all around the world and it’s a profession where they have these symbols all over their arms, and I don’t know why but it’s just something I noticed,” Sahil tells BK Magazine. Sahil was born and raised in Bangkok but says he is from all over, having studied in Australia and the US.
Steve Doucakis at Quince
“Also, I have tattoos myself, so I thought shooting it would be a good way to learn more about them as well.”
The chefs make for one heck of a canvas. Madrid native Chef Álvaro Ramos, head chef at Vaso, is covered in tattoos. From the “Can’t Lose” tattoo on his head to his inked fingers, the chef claims the art reflects his eccentricity and flamboyant personality.
Matteo “Matt” Cadeddu at OPM Bar
Chef Steve Doucakis over at Quince is a little more easy going, sporting a Pink Floyd tattoo on his upper arm. The fennel running down his forearm is a memento of a road trip along the California coast.
“We try to do something that’s a little bit different—not being afraid to do very high contrast and structure, and it’s all about movement and texture when it comes to our photography and video,” Sahil says. “My work is best when I’m doing something I love, so we started niching down to a very isolated direction to fine dining, high end hotels—very nice stuff.”
Ricardo Nunes at Potong
Latvian chef and co-owner of the new The White House Bangkok, Chef Alexsandrs “Alex” Nasikailovs sports his Latvian culture on his arms, and Potong Chef Ricardo Nunes is a little nautical at heart. Matteo “Matt” Cadeddu at OPM Bar has tattoo-coated hands that zuzh up Sahil’s action shots.
Sahil hasn’t shot any female chef tattoos yet, saying that he hasn’t worked with any women yet who have tattoo sleeves—but the Bangkok dining scene is growing every day.
Alex Nasikailovs at The White House Bangkok