Our Team - Baan Lao

Our Team

Nutcha Phanthoupheng, Executive Chef

Born in the countryside region of Isaan in Thailand, Nutcha was raised living the true ‘farm to table’ experience, using only local, fresh, organic ingredients at home. She has been privately trained by Michelin star chefs in Thailand, received her Thai Cuisine diploma from The Blue Elephant in Bangkok, certification from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok Cooking School, and her food carving certificate from Bussaracum Royal Thai Cuisine.

Her commitment to fresh farm and field to table ingredients, life-long immersion in traditional Thai cuisine, and exceptional training with some of the best Thai chefs in the world guarantees each guest a mouth-watering meal that will please your eyes, nose and palate.

Jose Monteiro, Business Consultant
Jose Monteiro is a familiar face in the local food and hospitality industry, having served as Director of Food and Beverage at leading hotels including The Sutton Place and the Hyatt Regency.

Now a lead consultant with the Monteiro Group, Jose brings his extensive knowledge and 40 years of experience to Baan Lao. His penchant for creating exceptional guest experiences, including serving world leaders and royal family members, makes him an ideal mentor for our team in establishing Baan Lao as a destination restaurant for an exquisite and memorable journey in Thai dining.
Ken Iaci
Ken Iaci, Restaurant Consultant

Ken Iaci is a stalwart presence in the Vancouver restaurant scene and especially here in Steveston, where he owns and operates Papi’s Ristorante Italiano. Born a restauranteur, his family owned Vancouver’s first Italian restaurant, Iaci’s Casa Capri that operated from 1939 to 1982, earning them induction as charter members into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame. 

Ken’s cooking career was launched at Hotel Georgia, before further honing his skills at the Dorchester Hotel in London, where he trained under celebrated chef, Anton Mosimann. Upon returning to Vancouver, Ken became well known for his Executive Chef role at some of the city’s most popular restaurants.

Ken has maintained his Italian restaurant roots, operating Papi’s in Steveston since 2002, and recently joined forces with his daughter, Daniela, to take on the role of Executive Chef at Quilchena Golf & Country Club.

Pier-Alexis Soulière - Master Sommelier, Wine Consultant

Pier-Alexis has been providing world class wine service and enhancing guest experiences at some of the most prestigious Michelin star establishments, and across three continents, from Montreal, to London, Sydney, New York City and California. 

In 2014, he was named World Young Sommelier of the Year, and in 2016, he became one of very few to earn the Master Sommelier title before the age of 30; a title held by only five individuals in Canada and 257 worldwide. In 2017, he was named Quebec’s Best Sommelier by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers, and one year later was awarded Best Sommelier of the Americas by the Association de la Sommellerie Internationale. 

Elena MacGregor
Elena MacGregor, Branding Expert

Elena MacGregor is a branding expert, 30-year entrepreneur and business coach. Elena’s portfolio includes the prestigious, award-winning design of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Logo. Her company, Blue Square Design Studio (formerly Rivera Design Group), specializes in developing branding and marketing materials for small and medium business. 

In 2010, Elena was chosen as one of the 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians. She has received the Toastmasters Community Leadership Award, the CASE Bronze Award, the StoraEnso Design Excellence Award and the Neenah Papers Silver Award.

Elena’s work and interviews have appeared in Applied Arts Magazine, HOW (Design) Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, CBC Radio, CBC for the Americas, The Province, The Globe and Mail, The Vancouver Sun, and Architectural Digest.