Atlanta native ChefMax Boonthanakit has worked in restaurants since before he could drive a car. As a seasoned veteran with over 10 years of restaurant experience under his belt, including time spent with the luminary Alain Ducasse, Boonthanakit is ready for his newest endeavor as Co-Executive Chef at a L.A.’s newest modern neighborhood bistro, Camphor, in the heart of DTLA’s Arts District.
Boonthanakit’s career was ignited by his early experiences in local kitchens – starting in his own home, cooking holiday meals with his father, followed by working in neighborhood restaurants before eventually joining the Culinary Institute of America. He excelled by staying true to his approach: keep the flavors clean and the food light. It didn’t take long for his impressive abilities to catch the eyes of culinary giants; after completing his studies, Boonthanakit was immediately offered a position at The Bazaar in Los Angeles under the renowned Chef José Andrés.
Now a proven talent in the Los Angeles dining scene, Boonthanakit made his way around various beloved restaurants including the progressive Ink. Restaurant, and the beloved French café, Republique. At the age of 25, he took his first venture at a Michelin-starred establishment, serving as Pastry Chef at the Taiwanese omakase-style Kato. A year later, Boonthanakit started as Chef de Cuisine at the award-winning restaurant Nightshade in DTLA’s Arts District. It was during his tenure at Nightshade that Boonthanakit was recognized as an ‘Eater Young Guns’ Winner, a prestigious award celebrating young chefs’ innovation, drive, and talent.
A lifelong passion for travel and an unrelenting appetite for a challenge led Boonthanakit to his most recent position as Head Pastry Chef at Blue by the distinguished Alain Ducasse in 2019. At this Michelin-starred Bangkok restaurant, he collaborated with Executive Chef Wilfrid Hocquet regularly, an experience Boonthanakit considers to be a landmark moment of his career.
Also in 2019, inspired by his love for traditional Chinese chili crisp, Boonthankakit launched his own line of the spicy & flavorful condiment labeled ‘Boon’. Three years later, his small-batch chili crisp has a cult following and continues to sell out every time a new batch is available.
After a decade of climbing the ranks and proving himself as a force to be reckoned with, Boonthanakit has returned to Los Angeles at 29 years-old as Co-Executive Chef at Camphor. He brings with him his exceptional talents in both the savory and sweet side of cooking, along with a simple philosophy that matches perfectly with Camphor’s equally refreshing and modest cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere.