DUNCAN ROBERTSON & JULIA PHAHONVANICH
HOLY BASIL THAICo-created by Chefs Duncan Robertson and Julia Phahonvanich, the newly opened Holy Basil restaurant is a pioneer in Thai dining, offering two menus: One consisting of 100% vegetarian and vegan dishes and the other dedicated to a wide range of fresh responsibly sourced seafoods.
About Duncan & Julia
With over 48 combined years in the industry, this dynamic duo is delivering a new twist on Thai food to the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, hand-making all curry pastes, masterstocks, sauces and chilli jam for an authentic yet modern taste.
Duncan is best known for his television series Duncan’s Thai Kitchen, produced by the Nine Network and filmed on location in Thailand. With over 300 videos on the Duncan's Thai Kitchen YouTube channel his traditional Thai recipes are also gaining a cult following online.
Duncan started his career in McLaren Vale South Australia at the iconic Salopian Inn, before embarking on a journey which has seen him specialize in international cuisine and work in a variety of great restaurants, hotels, catering companies, patisseries and fine dining venues. Duncan has also had the privilege of spending 10 years lecturing apprentice chefs at several of Melbourne’s TAFE institutes.
Julia’s Thai heritage immersed her in a world of abundant fresh produce, with lemongrass, pandan leaves, chilli’s, coconut, mango and galangal all growing in her backyard as a child. Raised in a humble village in the far North East ‘Isaan’ region of Thailand, from an early age Julia helped her mother sell ‘kanom Jeen’ (a traditional Thai noodle soup), and learnt the delicate flavour combinations of Thai cuisine.
After moving to Australia in 1996, Julia’s hospitality expertise and determination were driving forces in the opening of the successful Thai restaurants River Kwai and Vanilla Orchid with her husband Duncan.
With the opening Holy Basil three months ago, the team hope to share their passion for wholesome, delicious and innovative Thai food with a serve of sustainability ethics. Duncan and Julia have kindly shared with us their recipe for Massamun Prawn Curry. View this recipe on the Flowerdale Farm website.