Executive Chef / Owner
“I love those hugely intense, bright flavours in Thai cuisine.”
Chef Angus An is a graduate of New York’s prestigious French Culinary Institute, where he worked under the world’s culinary greats including Jacques Pépin, Alain Sailhac and André Soltner, and later apprenticed at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s legendary Jo-Jo. After graduating from the FCI, Angus trained under Chef Normand Laprise at Montréal’s Toqué before moving to London, UK, where he worked at Michelin-starred restaurants including The Ledbury and The Fat Duck. Following this he cooked at Chef David Thompson’s famed Nahm, which is also where Angus met his wife, Kate.
Upon returning to Vancouver, Kate and Angus opened their first restaurant, Gastropod. Lauded by diners and critics alike, Gastropod received several awards for cuisine and atmosphere before closing its doors in 2009. In May of that year, Maenam was born. Serving authentic Thai dishes, the kitchen at Maenam is directed by both Angus and Thai-born Kate. Perennial winner of Vancouver Magazine’s “Best Thai” award, Maenam has also received rave reviews from The New York Times, USA Today, and Food & Wine.
In 2013 Chef Angus opened Longtail Kitchen at River Market in the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster. Longtail has flourished as a casual dining destination at River Market. In August 2015 Chef Angus opened Fat Mao to serve a range of Asian noodle dishes in Vancouver’s Chinatown, and opened Freebird Chicken Shack in the Fall of 2015.
Chef de Cuisine
Mike first entered the kitchen as a child, cooking family meals with his grandfather in his home country of Thailand before moving to Canada at age 15. After starting a degree in mechanical engineering, it became clear that his true passion lay in cooking, and he enrolled in Vancouver’s Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts. After graduation he landed a coveted position at Vancouver’s West restaurant, and later joined the team at Maenam. Now as Chef de Cuisine, Mike trains staff and upholds the high standards in the kitchen, using refined French technique to cook authentic Thai cuisine. Mike’s Thai background gives his cooking a traditional perspective to which he adds a modern Canadian twist. “People think Thai food is only spicy, but it’s very complex,” he says, and it touches on all tastes: salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami.
When he’s not cooking, Mike enjoys spending time with his family, and he recently became a father to twin boys. He loves to travel with the whole family, and together they’ve visited Spain, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand. Returning to Thailand as often as possible, Mike now sees the cuisine in a new light, and his insight into the traditional ingredients and methods drive his inspiration at Maenam.
James has been a core member of Maenam’s close-knit staff since shortly after the restaurant opened in 2009. After being hired as a busser, he became a server, and is now in charge of the cocktail program as Bar Manager. His artistic side is expressed through seasonal cocktails, which he crafts with local and tropical fruits and citrus, exotic herbs and spices, and house-made infusions. James embraces the challenge of creating a versatile lineup of drinks from a concise list of liquors, and his well-balanced cocktails can be enjoyed on their own, or paired with the complex flavours of Chef Angus’s cuisine.
James is also working toward a degree in Fine Arts, and often paints with oils or acrylics. When he’s not at Maenam he can be found at The Phoenix—an independent art gallery he co-founded in Vancouver’s Gastown—or riding his motorcycle on BC’s best roads.