David Lee at The Spice Market

The 12th World Gourmet Festival Bangkok dinner on September 9, 2011 presented David Lee of Nota Bene restaurant in Toronto

The 12th World Gourmet Festival Bangkok at the Four Seasons Hotel Thailand is about to reach its grand finale and last night I had a chance to experience a dinner created by Chef David Lee from Toronto, Canada. Born in England in a family of chefs, Lee accumulates his cooking inspirations from a village in Hertfordshire, North of London, where game meats and local produce were in abundance. After working under the famed Anton Mosimann, Lee moved to Canada and opened his first own restaurant “Splendido” where he served locally sourced food from the Canadian farmers. In 2008, having sold Splendido, Lee opened ‘Nota Bene‘ where he continues to showcase the best that Canada has to offer.

Chicken skin and cartilage so crispy with a refreshing dab of ginger

At the 7-course dinner in Bangkok, Chef Lee started with an amuse-bouche of Chicken Skin & Chicken Cartilage along with a glass of Maverick Breechens Barossa White Blend 2009. The paper-thin skin was served on a bed of rock, so crisp it crumbled at the touch of the knife. This could be an excellent finger food for then it could be taken in one bite with all the tasty combinations of the aromatic skin, bland cartilage, sweetness of the sauce as well as the refreshing touch of fresh ginger.

Baby Leek and Foie Gras Terrine

Quickly after the amuse-bouche was cleared away, we were served with Baby Leek and Foie Gras Terrine with jack fruit puree with Argan oil emulsion and, most interesting of all, two thin slices of duck pastrami which had a smoky fragrance that gave a perfect balance to the creaminess of the foie gras and the smooth tasting leek.

Thai crab with herbal combination

Asians always take advantage of the strong herbs as seen in many Thai dishes that combine the rich crab meat with fragrant herbs like holy basil, celery or even garlic and chili. This ‘Local Thai Crab’ with smoked cherry tomatoes, candy peppers, and basil gelee gave a resemblance of those classic creations, except for the chef’s improvisation of the smoked tomatoes and pungent basil gelee.

Pulled suckling pork with blood sausage tart

Instead of letting us typically savouring the crispy skin of the suckling pig, Chef Lee served its meat pulled on the top of a very rich and buttery tart with a string of bacon, a wedge of creamy blood sausage and a piece of pork crackling. This heavy and hearty dish was thankfully complimented with a side of pungent rocket salad and a sip into red wine Meverick Twins Barossa GSM 2008 helped cutting the overwhelming tastes of pork and grease.

Grilled Squab breast and stuffed leg

This is medium-rare grilled squab breast and stuffed leg on a bed of cauliflower mash and morel mushrooms. Squab is young pigeon and its breast bearing a mild bird taste while the stuffed leg was lovely and tender especially when accompanied with Maverick Trail Hill Eden Valley Shiraz 2006 – a vibrant tasting wine to match.

Pineapple carpaccio and sorbet

Asian combination lived on until the dessert with this pineapple sorbet served with thin strings of fresh kaffir leaves, coriander juice and Buckthorn berry on a bed of pineapple carpaccio (the thinly sliced pineapple paper). This was a refreshing end, but it was not really the end yet.

Petits Fours

Because we could not just left without savouring these lovely pieces of petite fours; the wonderful berry marshmallows and chocolates soothed well our palates at the end of the meal.

The 12th World Gourmet Festival Bangkok is coming to a close this coming Sunday with a finale brunch. For more information, log on here. Tickets for this weekend afternoon teas can be purchased at here.

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