October 20, 2015

MILAN, ITALY – Mango Tree Worldwide has declared its month-long pop-up restaurant at Milan’s EXPO 2015 a resounding success, expressing its heartfelt thanks to Thai Trade Center Milan and Thailand’s Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) for placing its trust in the leading Thai culinary lifestyle group to represent Thai cuisine on such a grand stage.

Taste of Thailand by Mango Tree' press conference

Taste of Glamour: Mango Tree Managing Director Trevor MacKenzie, centre, with Thai Trade Centre Milan director Khun Wanasri Jotikabukkana, team members and La Rinascenta represtentatives at ‘Taste of Thailand by Mango Tree’ press conference on September 3, 2015

‘Taste of Thailand by Mango Tree’, a Thai Trade Center Milan initiative in partnership with Mango Tree Worldwide, took over part of Bar Della Rina at La Rinascente, Milan’s most historic department store from August 18 to September 14, serving signature dishes and classics from Thailand’s northern, northeastern, central and southern culinary styles.

Director of Thai Trade Center Milan, Ms. Wanasri Jotikabukkana said the pop-up restaurant had been a great success, popular with Milanese locals and tourists alike, enabling both groups to gain an awareness of Thai cuisine through the trusted expertise of Mango Tree. Ms. Jotikabukkana said: “We thank Mango Tree, La Rinascente, Central Retail and all our partners for making this event possible and more than that, successful.”

La Rinascente CEO Alberto Baldan was also full of praise for the initiative: “It was a great pleasure hosting such a prestigious Thai brand in our department store in Milano Duomo. The results achieved during Taste of Thailand were impressing and our clients gave us enthusiastic feedback about this new experience offered by la Rinascente and Mango Tree”.

Mango Tree Worldwide CEO and founder Pitaya Phanphensophon said Mango Tree had been honoured to be selected to represent Thailand on such a grand stage, and he was proud of the team doing such a great job with the world watching.

“Mango Tree is a brand created out of my passion for Thai cuisine, and I believe that passion comes through in what we do, and it struck a chord with the Milanese people.

“I believe in leading by example. Managing Director Trevor MacKenzie and I were in the thick of the action, running around every farm and market in Milan to get the freshest and best produce and getting our hands dirty in the kitchen and even serving food. It was exciting, great team bonding and very gratifying.”

Pitaya Phanphensophon

Pitaya Phanphensophon

Mr. Phanphensophon flew into Milan before the pop-up restaurant’s launch to make sure it would pass muster as a Mango Tree, as defined by the global Thai culinary lifestyle group’s promise of ‘life.style.taste’ and its commitment to quality, authenticity and a willingness to innovate.

“The reception from the Italian people and other guests at EXPO was fantastic and the pop-up restaurant concept worked well,” Mr. Phanphensophon said, adding: “Almost a thousand Phad Thai fans can’t be wrong!”

A total of 3547 dishes from a selected menu and Thai inspired cocktails were served over the course of 1 month. Predictably, Phad Thai was the most popular item on the pop-up menu, with other popular Mango Tree signatures and classics including Som Tum Apple Goong Sod (Green apple, fresh prawn, cherry tomato, peanut, chili-lime dressing, Satay Gai (Grilled turmeric chicken skewers, cucumber, peanut sauce), Soong Thong Ped (Roast Duck Springroll with spicy hoisin sriracha sauce) Gaeng Kiew Wan Gai (Spring Chicken Green Curry, Sweet Thai basil, Thai eggplant, jasmine rice).

Mango Tree Worldwide managing director and spokesperson, Trevor MacKenzie, who brushed up on his Italian before the event and spoke to the assembled press in the native lingo, said it had been a thrill to see some Thai food first-timers take the plunge and declare themselves smitten.

“It was wonderful to see Mango Tree’s ‘life.style.taste’ approach fit perfectly with the stylish approach to life, clothes, dining, architecture and design and all the rest of it that makes Milan such a special and influential city of style and taste,” he said.

“Italy has given the world one of its great cuisines, but at home, its people are rather conservative about dining. EXPO 2015 and Taste of Thailand by Mango Tree gave us the opportunity to promote Thai cuisine on the world stage, and in that regard, our goals dovetail perfectly with that of DTIP.”

“Our mission is to secure a foothold in some of Europe’s major cities in 2016 and to take our pop-up model on the road as a way of introducing Mango Tree. We will announce a full schedule for our Mango Tree European Pop-Up Taste of Thailand soon – and Europe can expect quality Thai cuisine made from the best and freshest ingredients, delivered with care, enthusiasm and a genuine smile.”

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