Gastronomer Lifestyle_Valentina Ploy

Celebrity Taste: Valentina “Ploy” Giardullo

Written by Gastronomer Lifestyle

July issue ‘Italian’, 2023 

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Born and raised in Southern Italy to a Thai mum and Italian father, singer-songwriter “Valentina Ploy” has made Bangkok her home for the last few years, releasing music under Thai indie label What the Duck. Known for her intimate style of storytelling through song, Valentina started writing lyrics at the tender age of 7 whilst picking up violin and guitar. As a student, the talented musician appeared in several televised singing competitions, including Italy’s X Factor and the Thai edition of The Voice.

Her personal experiences and multilingualism—Valentina is fluent in Italian, Thai, English, Spanish, and French—influencing her songwriting, which has attracted fans from around the world. This year, the 29-year-old released her self-titled studio album, Ploy, and in light of our “Italian Issue”, we’ve asked this sweet Thai-Italian artist to share with us some of her favourite dining spots and dishes.

Gastronomer Lifestyle_Salt_Ari

What’s your favourite cafe?

Yellow Lane cafe in Ari. It’s a very cosy place with a great garden in the back! I love to order the veggie grilled cheese, and coffee there is great as well!

Best date spot?

Salt, also in Ari. They have a very relaxed atmosphere, where it’s easy to have conversations. There’s also a variety of cuisines to choose from—Italian, Japanese, Thai, and even a bit of Mexican.

Thai cuisine or Italian?

I should say both, but the real answer is ITALIAN! As much as I love Thai food and am half Thai, on food, I have no doubts. I was born and raised on pasta and pizza. There are so many great flavours and colours, and real, balanced Italian food is so healthy as well.

All-time favourite Italian dish?

My family has our own pasta dish. We call it “Pasta Giardullo”, which is spaghetti with red bell pepper sauce, wrapped as a rose with fried aubergines and fresh basil and a cube of scamorza cheese in the centre! Muah! Chef’s kiss!

Gastronomer Lifestyle_Iron Balls

Favourite Italian restaurant in Bangkok?

There are soooo many good ones, but I’ll say Peppina. They have my heart with their homey cuisine and vibe. No doubt the best real Neapolitan pizza in Thailand. They also have a great Aperol Spritz (my absolute fave aperitivo). I go there for all of my birthdays away from home.

Do you cook? What’s the best thing you make?

I do actually! I LOVE cooking, learning about tradition, and getting creative with it. I’d say my best dish is the family “Pasta Giardullo”.

Favourite bar?

Iron Balls is a very cool one! I love their Iron Balls gin and tonic in the huge round glass!

Favourite dessert?

Definitely “Gelato alla Veneziana e zuppa inglese con panna”, which is Italian ice cream in those two flavours: Veneziana, which has chocolate with rum and chocolate chips, and zuppa inglese, which is more creamy. I could eat that all day, every day. I miss it so much!

On Taste

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