The new home of former TAT Governor will be the first place in Thailand to be reviewed in the forthcoming TAT/Michelin guide. Juthamas Siriwan is serving 50 years for taking bribes so she will be eating prison food for a long time to come.
Juthamas’ successor at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Yuthasak Supasorn, said he wanted to do everything he could to support former colleagues. He added that prison food had become much more important due to the large number of Government Officials that were now being sent to jail on corruption charges.
Restaurant guides are probably the oldest scam in the publishing industry and can be traced back to 18th century publishers on Grub Street. Originally it was just “give me a free meal or I’ll write something nasty about you in my paper”. Now it is “take out a very expensive advert in our glossy publication or you will not get listed”. However, the Michelin Guide Thai edition will be a classic because the Thai Government is giving them 143.5 million baht to produce it. That’s right, the Thai Tax payer is giving money to a French Tire Company so that they can extort money from Thai Restaurant owners. Amazing Thailand.
Of course, the TAT has been running its own scams since the 1970s. We remember the “Certified by TAT” scam. The idea was TAT would look at products for sale in tourist shops, if the trinkets were good quality and sold at a fair price, the shop would get a “Certified by TAT” sticker to put in their window. Naturally, the TAT officials never checked anything, they just took their hand out, and handed over the sticker. We surveyed these shops in 1980 and found that the trinkets they sold were all twice the price of the same thing in Central Department Store. Corruption is a well established tradition in the TAT which makes it a perfect partner for Michelin.
Why people want to get their good food advice from the same place they buy their car tires, is something we have never understood. Private Tye recommends that its readers ignore the Michelin guide and use the “American Standard guide to Thai curry” instead.