6th Annual World Gourmet Festival to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok from 11-18 September 2005

Travel News Asia 11 July 2005

The Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is to host the 6th Annual World Gourmet Festival from between 11-18 September 2005.

Since its inception, the World Gourmet Festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary line up of some of the world’s best chefs. The Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok brings award winning Master Chefs from around the world to Bangkok for a week long celebration of outstanding food, superb wines and to share tips and information on how to create award-winning cuisine.

Participating chefs this year are:

Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Restaurants, Hawaii, USA

Based on his childhood memories of the feelings and flavors of Hawaii, Roy invented what he refers to as "Hawaiian Fusion" cuisine - a tempting combination of exotic flavors and spices mixed with the freshest of local ingredients, always with an emphasis on seafood. Roy's is all about food - unique, beautiful to gaze upon, pleasing textures, and bold flavors - with a taste that is as good as it looks. Flavorful sauces and Asian spices tastefully blended complement Roy's commitment to the use of the finest fresh ingredients from around the world, with a special emphasis on those locally produced. Roy Yamaguchi holds the distinction of earning Hawaii's first prestigious James Beard Award. His first restaurant in East Honolulu was dubbed the "crown jewel of Hawaii's east-west eateries" by Food & Wine, and has been the subject matter of cover stories for both Bon Appetit and Forbes (a rare appearance for a chef) magazines. Yamaguchi is now regarded as a pioneer who mastered a distinctive style, which brought his cooking to the forefront of contemporary gastronomy. Roy's famous "aloha" style of service - straight from the heart with a sense of caring and individuality - is predicated on the mission of its staff to "totally please and indulge" every guest.

Laurent Tourondel, BLT (Bistro Laurent Tourondel) New York, USA

Laurent Tourondel gained vast and varied hands-on culinary experience in some of the best kitchens around the world – Paris, London, Moscow, New York – including those manned by the great Troisgros family and Joel Robuchon. A stop at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas earned him the coveted Food & Wine Magazine’s Ten Best New Chefs 1998 and in 1999 The New York Times awarded him a well-deserved three-star review for Cello, the former Upper East Side restaurant devoted to inventive fish and seafood. After a whirlwind year traveling the world where he indulged in the food and drink of varied cultures, Tourondel returned to the US with a new found mission. With BLT Steak, Chef Tourondel realized a lifelong dream of opening a restaurant where steak, meat and fowl take center stage. “There is no such thing as a steakhouse in France,” says Tourondel. “To me, it is like the American dream to have an intimate restaurant where the focus is on simple food, skillfully prepared.”

Laurent Tourondel was named by New York Magazine as “…one of 99 people to watch in 1999…” BLT Steak marks the coming of age of the American Steakhouse. As the name Bistro Laurent Tourondel suggests, Chef Tourondel presents his adaptation of the American Steakhouse, elevating it with his signature style and all-around finesse. The result – the Modern American Steakhouse.

Walter Manzke, Executive Chef, Bouchée and L’Auberge Carmel, California

Margarita Manzke, Pastry Chef, L’Auberge Carmel, California

To leave the fast-paced kitchens of an internationally famous, big-city restaurant to open a small, intimate restaurant in a coastal village may be the dream of many chefs. Walter Manzke has realized this dream at Bouchée restaurant and the super-intimate dining room at L’Auberge Carmel. Manzke’s kitchen and cooking training is thorough, having worked in some of the most renowned kitchens in America and Europe including Le Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo with Alain Ducasse; at Patina in Los Angeles with Joachim Splichal; at Pinot Bistro in Los Angeles with Octavio Becerra; with Claude Poissonniez at Rancho Valencia Resort and at La Valencia Hotel; with Ferran Adria at El Bulli in Spain; and with Jean Claude Fabre at Restaurant Leonce in France among others. The menu Manzke created at Bouchée takes full advantage of the Central Coast’s amazing bounty, organizing dishes according to their origins; Garden, Ocean, Farm, and Forest seasonally. “We just couldn’t categorize these beautiful foods into the customary slots of appetizer, first course, second course and so on” says Manzke. In the three main categories, Garden, Ocean and Farm, he offers small plates and large plates, so the diner may create a meal that is appropriate both to their taste and their appetite. L’Auberge Carmel has been selected as one of the world’s best new dining destinations by the editors of Robb Report in the June 2005 issue and Bon Appetit Magazine featured L’Auberge in their ‘Best of the Year’ January 2005 issue, calling Manzke ‘at the top of his game’. Joining him at the World Gourmet Festival is his wife, Margarita Manzke, herself an accomplished Pastry Chef at L’Auberge Carmel.

Sam Mason, Pastry Chef, WD-50, New York, USA

He may come across as part rock-star, part-comedian, but Sam Mason applies serious technique and innovation to pastry arts at wd-50. Having worked with the late Jean-Louis Palladin both at Napa in Las Vegas and Palladin in New York, Mason cites the legendary chef as his most influential mentor. He has been at wd-50 since it opened in April of 2003. Everything in the walk-in is fair game for Mason, whose experimental dessert menu is the ideal complement to Wylie Dufresne’s cuisine. He edges diners out of their comfort zone by pairing unusual ingredients with very familiar and nostalgic elements. Mason frowns upon cloyingly sweet desserts and counts salt vinegar chips among his personal favorites.

Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, New York

Michael established what is one of the major Foie Gras producers in the world today. By 1998, Hudson Valley Foie Gras distributed its moulard duck products through a network of 75 domestic distributors extending throughout the United States, and beyond to Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Venezuela. Hudson Valley Foie Gras has received the 1993 Gold Merit Award from Chefs in America and the 1996 Award for Excellence from The James Beard Foundation. In 1996, Hudson Valley received the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and the 1998 Award of Excellence from the American Tasting Institute. In May 1996, Michael received the first Olive Branch Award from the Jewish National Fund for humanitarian and professional achievements. He was honored with the 1997 Angel Award from The James Beard Foundation for dedication, contribution and foresight and in 1998 Michael received the American Master Taster Award from the American Tasting Institute. Both Michael and Izzy Yanay were inducted into the James Beard Foundation 2001 Who's Who of Food and Beverage. 

Jérôme Trémoulet, Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant, Adelaide, Australia

Born and educated in the southern Gers region of France and inspired by his Italian grandmother and mother, Jérôme developed his talents in restaurants in Corsica, south west France and the Alpes. His culinary career took him to Paris and London where he created menus for royalty and presidents at the Ritz Hotel. Moving to Australia in 1989 he joined Paul Bocuse restaurant in Melbourne which was the first to be awarded a five hat rating by the Melbourne Food guide. At Magill Estate Jérôme created a modern Australian menu with French and Italian influences, Magill Estate highlights the importance of pairing five-star cuisine with unparalleled wines. Its wine list has an unparalleled range of Penfolds wines including mature vintage reds from the winery’s museum. Many of these, including Penfolds Grange, are available by the glass.

Alan Koh, Koko Restaurant, Melbourne, Australia

As chef de cuisine at Koko Allan Koh has played an integral role in the development of modern Japanese cuisine in Australia. Alan has been directly involved in the opening of a number of Melbourne's leading restaurants including the Chinois, B Coz, and the Waterfront Seafood restaurant. Alan derived his passion for cooking from his involvement in the family business in Malaysia; Koh Wholesale Seafood where his key role was to ensure the quality of the product was to the highest standard. This philosophy is reflected in Alan's cuisine where he brings simplicity and exquisite detail to every dish.

Cyrus Todiwalla, Café Spice Namasté, London UK

Cyrus is proprietor and Executive Chef of the Café Spice Namasté restaurant group, renowned for its innovative and fresh approach to Indian cuisine. In 2000, Cyrus was awarded an MBE in recognition of his extensive knowledge, skill, commitment and expertise to the restaurant and catering industry. Cyrus was born and brought up in Bombay, India. He graduated from Bombay’s Catering College and trained as a chef with the renowned Taj Group in India. He left India for Europe in 1991, where he developed his hallmark style of blending traditional Indian culinary techniques and flavors with more unexpected ingredients. Being a keen environmentalist, Cyrus cooks with organic products wherever possible. Café Spice Namasté is the only Indian restaurant in the UK to be awarded the Investors in People Standard and a National Training Award as well as being runners up for the Millennium Excellence Awards. He has received countless awards for the consistently high standards in his cuisine. He has been voted Best Indian Chef in the UK, awarded a Culinary Honor of Merit Award from the World Chef Society and Café Spice Namasté is one of the only Indian Restaurants to win the BIB Gourmand Award from the Michelin Guide. ‘If there is a God, the canteen in heaven will be run by Cyrus Todiwalla’ Time Out (London).

Enrique Luis Blondet Montero, Gastronomic Director, La Rosa Nautica Restaurant, Lima, Peru

Peru, the Land of the Incas, is considered the cultural, historical and archeological capital of South America. One for the finest expressions of Peruvian culture is its cuisine due to the ecological and climatic diversity and the rich mix of western and eastern cultural traditions. Chef Blondet, a graduate of the Ritz Escoffier High Cuisine and Pastry School in Paris is a firm devotee of this vibrant cuisine. Influenced by Spanish colonization that fused with the food of the native Andeans and the ingredients and cooking methods of the African Salves, Peruvian cuisine today is a sophisticated blend of Spanish, Asian, and ancient Incan methods and flavors based on readily available seafood. La Rosa Nautica takes its name from the nautical compass that was the source of wealth and entertainment for seafarers.

Lorenzo Vivalda, ‘Antica Corona Reale’ da Renzo di Cervere, Cervere Italy

Founded by the Vivalda family in 1835 the restaurant achieved a Michelin star in 2003, the national award Espresso 2003 for the best and original utilized raw material and first place in the list of Provincial restaurants for 2003 and 2004. Lorenzo was named Chevalier of the Italian Republic by the Italian President.

Pitak Srichan, Chief Instructor, Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Cooking School

Chef Pitak began his culinary career as a kitchen helper at Baan Suan Restaurant in Nakornpanom Province (NE Thailand). It was here that he discovered his passion for food and the desire to make a living in the culinary arts. He has worked as a Thai chef in Saudi Arabia, Libya, Germany, Malaysia and the US before returning home to Thailand and joining the Cooking School team at Four Seasons Chiang Mai as an exceptionally gifted instructor.

The event is complemented by Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok chefs Nicolas Schneller, Executive Chef, Giovanni Speciale, Biscotti Chef, Satoshi Sawada, Shintaro Chef, Frank Braun, Pastry Chef who will jointly create a ‘Menu of all Seasons’.

Each chef will host a special evening in one of the hotel’s restaurants; and a cooking demonstration either for lunch or dinner. Guests can catch them all at one time at the seven-course Gala dinner, which takes place Wednesday 14 September 2005.

The World Gourmet Gala Dinner promises to be a unique and memorable affair. A cocktail reception will take place from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm followed by a seven-course dinner and entertainment. A live auction will feature exciting travel prizes that showcases the hotel's sister Four Seasons hotels around the globe.

The Hotel is offering a special overnight arrangement for guests attending the World Gourmet Festival. The package is available at US$350 (single or double occupancy) plus applicable taxes and includes:

• Superior accommodation
• Roundtrip airport transfer
• Full American Breakfast the next morning
• Two tickets to a dinner of choice (except Gala Dinner)

The same package is available to include the Gala Dinner at US$390 per room plus tax.

Additional pre and post event nights can be booked at US$179 per night including breakfast plus applicable taxes.

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