10th Annual World Gourmet Festival to Take Place in Bangkok 5-11 October 2009

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The highly anticipated Annual World Gourmet Festival will take place at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok between 5 - 11 October 2009.

Since its inception ten years ago, the World Gourmet Festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary line up of some of the world’s best chefs from all continents.

The event is coordinated and overseen by Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok Executive Chef Nicolas Schneller and Shintaro Chef, Satoshi Sawada and Biscotti Chef, Danilo Aiassa.

Each chef invited to Bangkok to participate in the World Gourmet Festival will host two evenings in one of the hotel’s restaurants; and a cooking demonstration either for lunch or dinner. Guests can also catch them all at one time for a seven-course Gala dinner on Friday, October 9th, 2009.

To enjoy this culinary extravaganza, the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok has created a Gourmet Package which includes deluxe overnight accommodation, full access to the Executive Club (including breakfast, evening cocktails and free internet access) and a featured dinner of choice for each night booked.

Packages start at THB14,050 per night plus tax for double occupancy. For gala dinner, the rates start at THB 19,300 plus tax for double occupancy.

For those not wishing to stay at the hotel, the hotel also has special rates available for the different events related to the World Gourmet Festival.

The full line up of chefs for the 10th World Gourmet Festival (2009) is as follows:

Christine Manfield: Universal Restaurant, Sydney, Australia. A highly regarded chef, author, food manufacturer and gastronomic traveller, Christine has a unique approach to food preparation and presentation, drawing on the exciting tastes and flavours of many cultures. Using only the highest quality ingredients, and avoiding GM foods and MSG, Christine presents small individual “tasting” dishes that do not follow the standard progression of starter, main course, dessert. Her philosophy has been honed by her experience in the popular Paramount restaurant in Sydney in the early 2000s, then at East@West in London’s Covent Garden. Returning to Sydney, she opened Universal in 2007 to instant critical acclaim.

One of Australia’s most celebrated and creative chefs, Christine is a perfectionist inspired by strong flavours. Her love of spices led her to develop a range of Asian and Mediterranean style pastes and condiments, now marketed in Australia and abroad. Her fifth and latest book, Fire - A World of Flavour, was published last October.

David Kinch: Manresa, Los Gatos, California, USA. David Kinch is an American chef at the forefront of contemporary California cuisine, producing seasonal American cuisine with French and Catalan influences. His pursuit for exceptional ingredients has inspired an exclusive partnership with biodynamic Love Apple Farm, where all of the vegetables are grown for his restaurant .
By producing his own fruits and vegetables, he is creating a closed loop between his guests, the garden and his highly personal haute cuisine, and setting a new benchmark for California cuisine in the 21st century. His philosophy is fostered by the terroir or “sense of place” of the California Coast, and the kind of ingredient-driven cooking and modern techniques he studied in France, Spain, Germany, Japan, and the United States.

Manresa has been awarded two Michelin stars and has been named one of America’s Top 50 Restaurants by Gourmet magazine; it received international acclaim from Restaurant magazine as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Manresa has received four stars from The San Francisco Chronicle and The Mobil Travel Guide.
David Kinch was nominated for the Best Chefs in America: Pacific by the James Beard Foundation.

David Thompson: Nahm, London. Widely acclaimed as an expert on Thai food, for many years David has researched Thai culinary techniques and ancient recipes, leading to a greater appreciation of Thai food in the West. His commitment to authentic Thai cuisine has earned him accolades from food writers the world over.

Born in 1960 in Sydney, Australia, David moved to Bangkok in 1987, where he learned the fundamentals of Thai cookery from an elderly woman, Khun Sombat Janphetchara, heir to a tradition of great culinary refinement through her mother, who had been attached to one of the palaces of Bangkok.

Through Khun Sombat, David developed an understanding of the balance of flavours in Thai cooking, which he considers makes it unique among the world's great cuisines.

In 1991 David returned to Sydney to open his first restaurant, the Darley Street Thai, voted ‘Best Thai Restaurant’ eight years in a row. He moved back to Bangkok in 2000 and was approached by Christina Ong to open a restaurant in London. Nahm was launched at the Halkin Hotel in 2001 to great critical acclaim, and in 2002 was the first Thai restaurant ever to be awarded a Michelin star, which it maintains today.

David is the author of “Thai Food”, which has won practically every culinary book award worldwide. His follow up, “Thai Street Food”, will be published later this year.

David now spends his time between London, Bangkok and Sydney.

François Payard: Payard New York, New York. A third generation pastry chef born in Nice, François worked in his grandfather’s acclaimed shop on the French Riviera before moving to Paris where he earned positions as Pastry Chef in France’s finest kitchens, including the legendary 3-Michelin starred La Tour d’Argent.

François’ desire to travel and experiment with new ideas brought him to New York in 1990. As Pastry Chef at prestigious Le Bernardin and later at Restaurant Daniel (both awarded 4 stars from the New York Times), he created new dessert repertoires, delighting guests with his chocolate and seasonal fruit menus. In 1995 the James Beard Foundation named him Pastry Chef of the Year.

In 1997 Francois achieved his dream of opening his own Pâtisserie and Bistro, which has won him acclaim from Relais Desserts as one of the Best Pastry Chefs in the World, as well as Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for his outstanding wine list. Branches of Payard Pâtisserie have opened in Las Vegas, Brazil and Japan; and François has now also written three cookbooks on his elegant desserts.

Fulvio Siccardi: Conti Roero, Monticello d’Alba, Italy. Born in Turin in the Piedmont area of north-western Italy in 1969, Fulvio grew up enjoying good traditional locally-produced food as cooked by his grandmother. After training at the Turin Professional Hotel Institute he began work in the Michelin-starred Ristorante Cascinale Nuovo in Isola d’Asti.

From there Fulvio worked in several restaurants in and around Turin, as well as a season at the famous resort hotel of Cala del Porto on Italy’s west coast after which he returned to the Piedmont and the Cascinale Nuovo as Chef de Partie.
After two years at the Osteria del’Arco Fulvio became Chef at Ristorante Castello Rosso, at Cuneo. From 2000 to 2004 he was Chef at the well known Le Clivie, where he gained his first Michelin star; and since 2004 he has been owner and Chef of Ristorante Conti Roero at Monticello d’Alba, where he received his second Michelin star.

Fulvio’s style is both traditional and creative, trying new approaches and techniques such as his extraordinary Vertical Egg, but always respecting the gastronomic heritage, based on the freshest local products, of his native Piedmont.

Luke Dale-Roberts: La Colombe, Constantia Uitsig, Cape Town, South Africa. British born Luke Dale-Roberts trained at Baur Au Lac Hotel in Zurich, Switzerland – at the time recognised as one of the top five hotels in the world. Returning to London he honed his skills in French fine dining under Roux Brothers’ protégé Kevin Hopgood, followed by a move to the Greenwood Hotel in Sydney to explore Pacific Rim fine dining. In 1998 he took up a position at London’s number one fusion restaurant, Bali Sugar, then moved to the famous Soho House Media Club as Executive Sous Chef cooking for ‘the rich and famous’, including Madonna, Kevin Spacey, Kylie Minogue and Oasis.

Still in London, in 2000 Luke began a six-year stint with the Accor Hotel Group, opening modern global signature restaurant The Loft. From there he moved to Singapore to open Accor’s signature concept restaurant in Asia, The Square. After a consulting contract with the Sofitel in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, he went to Seoul, still with the Accor Group, to develop a modern French bistro, and working with top Japanese chefs, also launched Shune, a leading modern Japanese dining concept. In 2006 at the Sofitel in Manila he launched the popular interactive fusion Spiral restaurant.

At the end of 2006, La Colombe in South Africa, searching the world, was thrilled to find an Executive Chef of Dale-Roberts’ calibre and experience to continue its tradition. His style is a seamless integration of classic and modern French cuisine, with a distinctive Asian influence, each dish refined to deliver its full potential from the finest ingredients. Just two years later, in 2008, he received one of the industry’s most coveted accolades: ‘Chef of the Year’ and ‘Restaurant of the Year’ at the prestigious annual Eat Out Restaurant Awards.

Mohammed Fedal: Restaurant Dar Moha, Marrakech, Morocco. Better known as Moha, Mohammed Fedal first encountered fine cuisine at legendary Moroccan hotel La Mamounia, which inspired him to travel to Switzerland to study at the Ecole Hotelière de Genève. After practising his skills in several restaurants in Switzerland he returned to his native Marrakech, where he spent a year restoring a beautiful traditional house in the heart of the old city, which had been the former home of fashion designer Pierre Balmain.

He opened this house as Restaurant Dar Moha in 2000, offering top quality Moroccan cuisine. But instead of serving the traditional vast banquets that were usual at the time, Moha preferred to offer his guests the chance to enjoy a new, lighter Moroccan cuisine, with a much wider selection of smaller dishes. Although based on classic Moroccan cuisine, Moha’s dishes are strikingly original, such as his famous couscous with foie gras, and his fish and shellfish tagine (a traditional stew).
His side dishes are bold and unexpected, such as cigars of eggplants with pink pepper sauce and almonds, or his desserts of saffron-flavoured apples, and fruit briks of exceptionally light pastry.
Moha has published four books on Moroccan cuisine, and has travelled extensively lecturing at and participating in food seminars and festivals.

Kazumi Sawada: Banrekiryukodo, Tokyo, Japan. Kazumi Sawada, the young executive chef of Michelin-starred Banrekiryukodo restaurant in Tokyo, takes as his inspiration the love of the changing seasons that is rooted in Japanese spirituality and aesthetics, and that continues to enrich Japan’s culinary traditions. Brought up in the southern Japanese city of Kyoto, he started his training at the age of 18 under noted Chef Yoshizakura Maruyama, whose restaurant in Kyoto’s historical preservation district of Gion is famed for its kaiseki (traditional) cuisine. After 10 years honing his skills there, he spent another five at Kappo Yoshiya, also in Kyoto, before moving to Tokyo.

Banrekiryukodo restaurant – which has received a Michelin star two years running – seamlessly blends traditional craftsmanship with cutting-edge Tokyo design. Kazumi brings to his kitchen the youthful, vibrant sensibilities and skills he polished in Kyoto, blending them with sophisticated urban touches to create a cuisine that is modern and endlessly creative, and bringing together colours and ingredients in exquisite arrangements that please both the palate and the eyes, and evoke subtle hints of the season.

Michael Ginor: Owner, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, USA. An integral part of the World Gourmet Festival from its beginning, Michael re-joins the Festival for a record 10th time. Since Michael and his business partner Izzy Yanay established Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the major foie gras producer in the world today, its moulard duck products have been distributed throughout the United States and beyond, gaining a number of prestigious awards. Michael himself received the first Olive Branch Award from the Jewish National Fund in 1996 for humanitarian and professional achievements, and both he and Izzy Yanay were inducted into the James Beard Foundation 2001 Who's Who of Food and Beverage.

While Hudson Valley Foie Gras is the bedrock of Michael’s activities, he devotes his time to many other facets of the culinary world, organising gourmet and charitable events to promote intercultural exchange, introducing American ingredients and techniques to world markets. A prolific writer, Michael contributes food and travel articles to leading gourmet publications, and his book, “Foie Gras … A Passion”, received the 1999 prize for best international cookbook of the year from the International Cookbook Revue in Versailles, France.

More recently Michael, along with Chef Ken Oringer, launched Boston’s La Verdad, already named The Best Casual Mexican Restaurant in the US by Bon Appetit magazine; he has also opened a Mediterranean restaurant, TLV on Long Island, and this summer, also on Long Island, he will open Lola, a new “personal cuisine” restaurant.

Graham Elliot Bowles: Graham Elliot Restaurant, Chicago, USA. Having grown up a ‘Navy Brat,’ enjoying food experiences from the Philippines to Hawaii, California to Maryland, Chef Bowles trained at Johnson & Wales University in Virginia, studied Southwestern cooking in Texas, then moved to Chicago. As Chef de Cuisine of TRU Restaurant, he began to develop his own minimalist approach that allows fresh ingredients to speak for themselves.

After Chef Bowles joined Avenues at The Peninsula Chicago, it received the coveted Four-Star rating from each of the city’s major publications, making him the youngest chef from any major U.S. city to achieve the title of “Four-Star Chef.” In 2006 Avenues received the peer-awarded Jean Banchet Award for Culinary Excellence and in 2007, the AAA Five-Diamond award, one of only 58 properties to achieve this out of 60,000 venues. Selected at the age of 27 as one of the “Top Ten Best New Chefs in America” in 2004 by Food & Wine magazine, Chef Bowles was nominated in 2008 for the prestigious James Beard title “Best Chef, Great Lakes”. He has made successful TV appearances on Iron Chef America and The Today Show.

In March 2008, Chef Bowles opened his own restaurant. Graham Elliot, Chicago’s first “bistronomic” restaurant juxtaposes four-star cuisine with humor and accessibility, as the old world of dress codes, white table cloths, elaborate floral displays, and tuxedoed waiters has been replaced with hip music, a lively relaxed atmosphere and dynamic gastronomy.

Paola Carosella: Arturito, São Paolo, Brazil. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1972, Paola grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple, and she spent a great deal of her childhood in her grandmother's kitchen.

Her professional training began in Paris, France, when she was 18 years old, working at Le Grand Véfour with chef Guy Martin, then at Le Céladon and Le Bristol restaurants.

She also worked in the United States, at San Francisco’s renowned Zuni Café, which she considers one of her main influences, together with the seven years she worked with Argentinean chef Francis Mallmann. With him she moved to São Paulo, Brazil, to open one of the most important restaurants in South America, A Figueira Rubaiyat.

In 2003 Paola opened her own first restaurant in São Paulo, Julia Cocina, named after the great American chef Julia Child, and was awarded the title of Best New Chef in São Paulo 2004.

During 2007 she travelled around Brazil, Peru and Argentina researching and learning the traditions and culinary techniques of the Amazon and the Andes, and in 2008 she opened her new restaurant Arturito. Arturito was named Best New Restaurant in São Paulo 2008 by “Folha de São Paulo”.

Paola’s cooking can be defined as classical and straightforward: she cooks nearly everything in a wood-fired oven, and her style mixes her Italian roots and background with the best and freshest Brazilian ingredients.

The event is coordinated and overseen by Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok Executive Chef Nicolas Schneller and Shintaro Chef, Satoshi Sawada and Biscotti Chef, Danilo Aiassa.

Each chef will host two evenings in one of the hotel’s restaurants; and a cooking demonstration either for lunch or dinner. Guests can also catch them all at one time for the seven-course Gala dinner on Friday, October 9th, 2009.

To enjoy this culinary sojourn, the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok has created a Gourmet Package which includes deluxe overnight accommodation, full access to the Executive Club (including breakfast, evening cocktails and free internet access) and a featured dinner of choice for each night booked. Packages start from THB14,050 per night plus tax for double occupancy. For the gala dinner, rates start from THB 19,300 plus tax for double occupancy.

Reservations for all the World Gourmet Festival Events are strongly advised.

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