As you approach the entrance of Baan Lao, Leo is often there, opening the door to welcome you as though he has been waiting just for you. Meet Leo Lim Torio, Director of Guest Experience.
Elegantly attired and always with a smile on his face, Leo spends the evening gliding around Baan Lao, chatting with guests and guiding the other servers through the expertly choreographed presentation of each course of the Signature Dinner Experience.
Born in Manila, Philippines, Leo was raised in Vancouver and is well-known for his roles in food and beverage service throughout the city, though he credits much of his training to his international experience.
At Baan Lao, you may find Leo behind the bar mixing one of our signature cocktails, showing off his skills learned while working as a head bartender in Hamburg, Germany. He proudly notes he won first place for his martini-making skills at a cocktail competition there.
Leo is even more at home as he brews each tea to perfection for guests that choose the tea pairing menu to accompany their dining experience. He studied and became a tea master during his time in Hong Kong, and loves sharing his knowledge and love of tea with our guests. He’s especially fond of the green teas from China that grace the Baan Lao tea menu, like the Long Jing Zhejiang, that features floral and grassy notes with a sweet and nutty finish. He credits his love of green tea for his health and longevity, noting that “green tea can help lower the risk of heart disease, helps me to lose fat, and improves brain function.”
He also takes great pleasure in presenting our guests with their wine pairings. As a wine steward, he’s effusive in sharing his knowledge and appreciation of wine, with a personal soft spot for red wine.
Leo embraces the notion of enjoying a small glass of red wine each day for the health benefits. “It’s rich in antioxidants, lowers cholesterol, regulates my blood sugar, keeps my heart healthy, my memory sharp, and my body slim,” he says proudly.
What does Leo love most about his role at Baan Lao?
“Baan Lao provides such a unique dining experience, and I love introducing guests to our concept and seeing the smiles of surprise on their faces as the meal progresses. And with our growing list of guests visiting from around the globe and all across the country, it’s so enjoyable to chat with them and hear their stories. It allows me to relive some of my travel experiences,” says Leo.
“Leo is an excellent ambassador for Baan Lao,” says Chef Nutcha Phanthoupheng. “He’s warm, gentle and caring, with such a kind soul. He’s a wonderful leader and mentor for our front-of-house team.”
Be sure to say hello to Leo on your next visit to Baan Lao!