The new picnic concept restaurant “Waiting for May” will open on 5 December within ORI9IN, Thailand’s first gourmet organic farm in Chiang Mai, the date having been chosen as it marks the birthday of Thailand’s late HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
ORI9IN farm is a joint venture between Banyan Tree Group and chef-turned-sustainable farmer of The Boutique Farmers James Noble, established as a reputable grower. A partnership grounded on the passion for a sustainable future through food, this enterprise leverages the post-COVID quest for better health and wellbeing, welcoming visitors to enjoy fresh farm produce and nature in a safe socially-distanced setting of 500 rai.
This venture of Agro-tourism aims to lead the curve in sustainable retained farming and cooperatives for living and eating well. ORI9IN is the only retained farming operation globally that partners with a network of top restaurants and hotels, focusing on import substitution and reducing carbon footprint without sacrificing flavour.
James Noble is personally behind these tantalising dishes using quality products locally sourced by his wife May. “The farm observes provenance and a zero-waste kitchen,” says James. “Waiting for May serves field-to-fork sustainable dishes. We chose the name because the chefs are waiting for May to select the best fresh produce right from the field, and bring to the kitchen. Everything here centres round permaculture, low-carbon, sustainable farming to produce heart-felt food.”
Meals served at Waiting for May are available for dine-in at the restaurant, or for takeaway for a picnic on the farmland. An a la carte menu allows guests to create their own picnic hamper, and includes BBQ mala brined duck breast with pumpkin som tam, stuffed chicken wings with Chiang Mai sausage and chilli dip, and Greek salad with fresh figs, farm feta cucumber and grilled lemons. Takeaway picnics are delivered in a box with a picnic mat, wooden cutlery and paper plates.
In addition to a farm-fresh dining experience, guests can enjoy a full day of fun at the farm overlooking the scenic mountains, which is a 30-minute drive out of Chiang Mai towards Phao. Highlights include Asia’s largest Maize Maze, and experiencing first-hand the practice behind crop planting and jam factories.
ORI9IN features retained farming with farm rental spaces to grow specific ingredients as well as to test and plant overseas products for over 15 Michelin-star chefs hailing from Thailand’s restaurants and hotels. Championing local procurement and sustainably sourced food, Banyan Tree Group’s hotels in Thailand are also using fresh ingredients produced by the farm.
Families can also rent land, bond over farming and enjoy the harvest of vegetable and fruit salad, delivered to their home weekly. The farm’s community garden provides complimentary vegetables harvesting to villagers daily.
After 5 December, Waiting for May will be open on Friday to Sunday, from 10am to 4pm, with the farm gates closing at 5pm. For reservations, book now or learn more about the farm at https://ori9infarm.com/eat.