Nooror Somany Steppe – Master Chef & Founder, Blue Elephant International Plc.
Master Chef Nooror Somany Steppe was born in Thailand’s Chachoengsao province where her sister owned a small restaurant. Growing up in these surroundings, she developed a passion for Thai cooking which was further inspired by her mother who taught her the culinary art along with her secret recipes at an early age, enabling Chef Nooror to uniquely combine Thai and local ingredients in the countries where Blue Elephant restaurants are located.
Chef Nooror, through the Blue Elephant Group, which she founded with her husband, Karl Steppe and Thai partners in Brussels in 1980, continues to play a significant role as an ambassador in promoting Thai cuisine and culture worldwide.
Chef Nooror has established her name not only for her original and historical knowledge of Thai cuisine, but also for the ready-mixed recipes of Thai sauces, curry pastes and powders, which are presently produced and exported to over 30 countries. Her culinary skills also extend to Indian and French cuisine, and this is frequently reflected in some of her innovative dishes and presentation.
The Blue Elephant and its Chef Nooror have garnered numerous prestigious awards and accolades. In 2003, Chef Nooror was presented with the ‘Thai Taste-Thai Best’ Award, and the Blue Elephant was chosen to spearhead the Thai Government’s campaign to make Thai cuisine the best in the world. Blue Elephant has since then been named ‘Group of the Year Best in Britain’ by BIBA in 2004; ‘Best Restaurant’ in the Hammersmith Mini-Oscars, UK, in 2005; ‘The Best Thai Restaurant in the World’ by Thai Select in 2006. ‘Bangkok’s Best Restaurant’ by Bangkok Dining & Entertainment in 2007 and was named the ‘Top Rated Restaurant Overall’ in Malta.
In addition, the Blue Elephant has on two occasions received the Thailand Prime Minister’s Export Award for ‘Best Service Provider’ in 2001 and 2007, respectively. Since November 2011, the Blue Elephant has catered for Thai International Airways for the national carrier’s Brussels/Bangkok sector.
At present, Chef Nooror continues to create new Thai dishes using Royal Project (under the Patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand) products and ingredients, and travels worldwide with the pride of showcasing Thailand in her capacity as one of the country’s foremost Thai women chefs.