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"I want to show other young chefs that a career in the hotel industry is well worth consideration"

Siryaporn 'Mymint' Rithisirikrerg is part of the Norwegian National Culinary Team, has won two silver medals in the 'Young Chef of the Year' competition and a silver medal in the Norwegian Culinary Chamipionship, and is also a Nordic Chef. She owes these accomplishments in part to her job at the Thon Hotels in Lofoten.

Kokken Mymint på Thon Hotel Lofoten står i et industrielt kjøkken og skjærer opp asparges, smiler og ser opp. Benk, vegg og hylle i bakgrunnen er utvidet med kunstig intelligens for å gjøre bildeformatet større enn opprinnelig.
"Working at a hotel gives you lots of opportunities," says Siryaporn 'Mymint' Rithisirikrerg.

Inspired by grandma's cooking

"I am so privileged to have the opportunity to work with something I love," says Siryaporn Rithisirikrerg, 24, whose nickname is 'Mymint', with enthusiasm.

The young chef has had a fascination for cooking for as long as she can remember. She tells about her childhood years in Thailand and how she remembers watching her mother and grandmother cooking.

"That's where my passion was ignited. My grandma and mum made delicious food and I was curious to learn where all the wonderful aromas and flavours came from."

The taste of Thailand meets Norwegian culinary traditions in Vesterålen

When she was 12 years old, her mother met a Norwegian man and the family moved to Strønstad in Vesterålen, where new culinary inspiration awaited.

"It was definitely not easy to find the same ingredients as we were used to from home, so I had to get creative," says Mymint and laughs.

Her new Norwegian grandparents introduced her to Norwegian fish and traditional Norwegian dishes.

Bilde av Mymint som vinner årets unge kokk 2023.
Mymint won silver in the Young Chef of the Year 2023 competition. Photo: Stian Broch

"My Norwegian grandmother taught me to make meatballs and fish cakes, and having a grandpa who fishes meant that we always had fish fresh from the sea. That piqued my curiosity even more!"

Siryaporn 'Mymint' Rithisirikrerg, sous chef at the Thon hotels in Lofoten

'Coming home' to Thon Hotel Lofoten: From apprentice to sous chef

Mymint carried her interest in cooking to part-time jobs at cafés and restaurants and enrolled in the restaurant and food studies programme in upper secondary school in Melbu. It was through school that she eventually did an apprenticeship at Thon Hotel Lofoten in Svolvær.

"It felt like coming home. I felt so welcomed by chef Stian Haugnes and the rest of the team, who I now consider family, that it didn't take long for me to decide that I wanted to spend my two years as an apprentice here," says Mymint and adds,

"I was given the opportunity to be involved in everything, from breakfast and lunch to à la carte meals in the evening. I even got to work on banquets and Christmas parties. I learned an incredible amount and really had the opportunity to develop my culinary skills!"

She moved to Svolvær and when her apprenticeships came to an end, she was put in charge of breakfast at the hotel.

Mymint is currently sous chef at Thon Hotels' two hotels in Lofoten – and one of the most promising culinary talents in Norway.

The hotel breakfast at Thon Hotel Lofoten has been voted the best in Norway: "Guests can dine like royalty here"

Bilde av Mymint når hun er med i NM i kokkekunst 2022.
Mymint during the Norwegian Culinary Championship in 2022. Photo: Sven-Erik Knoff

"At Thon, I get to push myself and be creative"

In addition to being passionate about creating positive food experiences for guests at Thon Hotels, Mymint is also a busy competition chef.

"It all began when I had the opportunity to compete during the annual Thon-messen event, where I won silver in 2018 and gold in 2019. It was really inspiring and I discovered that I enjoy competing," explains Mymint.

After that, she spent time during the pandemic perfecting her skills and decided to participate in the 'Young Chef of the Year' competition in 2021. This resulted in an impressive silver medal.

"At Thon, I get to push myself, be creative and they let me take time off when I need to," says Mymint.

Mymint also won silver in the 'Young Chef of the Year' competition in 2023.

"It's fantastic to have such a great workplace that supports me 100 percent! I have the opportunity to do so much more than I ever imagined!"

Siryaporn 'Mymint' Rithisirikrerg, sous chef at the Thon hotels in Lofoten

Shows young aspiring chefs that a hotel job can make dreams come true

In addition to taking part in culinary competitions, Mymint also visits secondary schools to share her experiences with the cooking profession.

"I want to show young people and young aspiring chefs that working at Thon Hotels can actually make dreams come true and that working at a hotel can offer a wide range of opportunities," says Mymint.

Bilde av Mymint som kandidat for årets unge kokk 2023.
Young Chef of the Year 2023: Mymint was interviewed in connection with the competition She won the silver medal. Photo: Stian Broch

Future plans and going for gold 

She already boasts a number of medals, a permanent position on the Norwegian national cooking team and always new dreams to pursue. In January 2024, it became clear that Mymint would be representing Norway in the international Jeunes Chefs des Rôtisseurs in Budapest in autumn.

"Having won six silver medals in a row, I'm definitely ready for gold," says Mymint.

But at the very top of her list is to win the Norwegian Culinary Championship.

"No female chefs have won since 1998. I want to change that!"

Siryaporn 'Mymint' Rithisirikrerg, sous chef at Thon Hotels in Svolvær
Gruppebilde av kokkelandslaget under OL 2024 i Stuttgart
National cooking team during the Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart in 2024. Mymint on the front right. Photo: Sven-Erik Knoff

Get to know our people: Siryaporn 'Mymint' Rithisirikrerg

Age: 24

Working at Thon since: 2017

Position: Sous chef at Thon Hotel Lofoten and Thon Hotel Svolvær

The best thing about my job: The feeling of 'coming home' and getting to work with very talented people. It's also rewarding to give people a positive experience through food and to create great memories for our guests.

Something you may not know about me: I hate liquorice! I don't mind using it when cooking when it goes together well with other flavours, but I prefer not to eat it myself, ha ha.

Read more about everyday working life at Thon