If celebrity chefs are your thing, this is your new annual event to attend. Thailand’s Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok hosted the World Gourmet Festival — Sept. 3 to 9 (in its 13th year) — a splurge of culinary feasts featuring signature dishes from eight headlining chefs, as well as Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, tea mixologist Robert Schinkel, and Eleveur de Fromages, Jean-François Antony. The visiting chefs and gourmet experts from around the world showcased what first put them on the map. Guests sampled avant garde recipes, sipped ‘n swirled the finest of vintages and indulged in epic meals.
Chef Masa Shimakawa of Los Angeles’ Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California served his legendary Maine Lobster Cocktail. “I used seasonal fish from Tsukiji Market in Tokyo and brought California Serrano chili peppers with me,” he said.
At Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, Chef Masa Shimakawa was put to the test with the chance to host the special World Gourmet Festival Dinner for approximately 80 guests, which exceeded the maximum of the on-site banquet room, Rachawadee Residence. Guests included members of the local diplomatic circle, the local authorities, member of the Chiang Mai expat society, and loyal guests of Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai. The dinner featured traditional Japanese cuisine prepared by Chef Masa, which was paired with great Japanese sake by Kiku-Masamune Brewing Company. Guests also had an opportunity to learn more about two of Japan’s most revered traditions – ikebana flower arranging and Japanese tea ceremony, performed by the experts. And guests really got into the spirit by dressing in kimonos.
At Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Chef Michael Mina flew out specially to host a one-night exclusive dinner for 20 guests in Lan Tania, a hillcrest restaurant offering a stunning view of the ocean. His signature American cuisine was paired with superb wines.
“The thing that really encouraged me to participate is that the values and vision match mine: we’re here to make people happy,” Chef Vardon said. “I’m also excited to share and exchange my knowledge with chefs from the other side of the world.”
Donations of THB 500 from each dinner ticket was donated to the Save a Child’s Life from AIDS foundation under the auspices of HRH Princess Soamsawali and in coordination with the Thai Red Cross. For more info about the event and to learn how you can attend next year, see: www.worldgourmetfestivalbangkok.com. —Laura Gosselin