Make Food, Not War

The Gorgeous View from Park Society, 29F of Sofitel So Bangkok

Hello September! Al-rea-dy! How fast and we now have series of yearend parties to handle! For me, this month I realize how many of this year’s resolutions are still NOT completed, or even attempted to be achieved, just like any other years! Anyway, September must have a special sound to foodies in Bangkok because it is the month that two big gourmet events are being organized by two gorgeous hotels in town.

Come to think of it, September effectively marks the festive end-of-the-year feel. With the cooler climate and subtle change of the surrounding scents, we begin to drift from our work and secretly plan our escapes. Somewhere in other corners of the world, September is the beginning of fall when the autumn leaves start to shine and the clattering summer sounds begin to fade. The streets quieter, people tucking in to the warmth of their home, reading under glowing cozy lights of the lamp….

In Thailand and with our kind of tropical weather, none of that is going to happen, but we get good food as a prelude to the festivity – Bangkok-style🙂

Chefs at Sofitel So Bangkok Getting Their Mise En Place Ready

First, at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok, where for 13 years in a row, gourmet food lovers book their tables, afternoon tea, cooking demonstration, wine meeting and the wrap-up brunch done by guest chefs from around the world. The event runs from 3-9 September and you can see all the information at World Gourmet Festival 2012.

Second, at the Sofitel So Bangkok, one of Bangkok’s most talked-about urban hotels, they are heating up their kitchen and get ready for the debut of their grand gourmet event – the So Amazing Chefs – running from 25-29 September.

Pressed Brown Crab, Artichoke Dressing, Thai Flair by Patrick Jeffroy, Carantec, Brittany, France

So Amazing Chefs gathers French-speaking chefs from around the world (12 of them from 9 countries to be exact this time) to cook in a friendly atmosphere, offering guests series and variations of cooking classes, lunch and dinner with the highlight being the ‘So Amazing Chefs Competition – Culinary Showdown’ where the guest chefs will pair up and take in a local celebrity as their assistant, to cook and compete live in front of an audience. It is like a TV cooking contest show, with anyone interested in seeing this show can do so just by booking ahead.

Rouget Filet Fried in Flour Rice by Chris Salans, Bali, Indonesia

I was there for their press conference earlier last month and sampled some of the dishes to be served during the real event. Among the guest chefs coming this year is Stephane Bonnat – the Maitre-Chocolatier of Bonnat, the oldest chocolate factory in the world. Located in a small town of Voiron of France, the Bonnat has been running their ‘Willy Wonka-style’ chocolate factory since 1884 and the business handed down from one generation to another.

Also present at this event is the two-starred Michelin Patrick Jeffroy from Brittany, France. Being able to maintain the status since 2002, Jeffroy’s expertise is in fresh seafood and we got to try his excellent ‘Pressed brown crab (from French coast) with artichoke dressing and Thai curry sauce (pictured above).

Muscovi Duck in Green Tea Sauce and Mango Ravioli by Dadier Corlou, Hanoi, Vietnam

The above duck dish was the recipe of Didier Corlou, chef-owner of La Verticale and Madame Hien in Hanoi whose wanderlust epic brought him to Southeast Asia. He cooks Vietnamese dishes with strong French root and the duck dish that I tried was on my top-rated dishes of that day, too🙂

Other chefs coming to this event include Chris Salans from Bali, Indonesia; Christian Echterbille from Houston, USA; Alain Caron from Amsterdam, Holland; Marc Friederich from Paarl, South Africa; Romain Valicon from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Sebastian Bouillet from Lyon, France and Vincent Chaisy from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Last but not least are two local French chefs manning Sofitel So Bangkok’s kitchens – Nicolas A. Vienne, the hotel’s executive chef and Paul Smart, the chef at the hotel’s Park Society restaurant.

“Seb and Steph in Fusion” – guess this must be the creation of Bonnat and Sofitel So Bangkok’s pastry chef Jerome Lasalmonie

These chefs are members of the so-called ‘Village de Chefs’ which is a group of ‘French-speaking’ chefs from around the world. Anyone speaking French can join this group and enjoy their friendly mingling and information sharing. This is the first time ever that So Amazing Chefs event is officially organized as a way to gather these top chefs together and allow them to let loose with their gastronomic creations.

Let me give you additional information about their programming.

  • Cooking classes – On various topics such as pastry, spices, chocolate, Brittany fish, Caribbean and USA food, Amsterdam specialty and Danish specialty at Bt2,900++ per person.
  • Lunch – Chef Atelier Red Oven lunch, Red Oven World Food Market at Bt900++ per person.
  • Dinner – With set menu prepared by selected chefs of the day at Bt3,999 ++ – 4,999++ or 5,999 ++ with wine pairing.
  • The So Amazing Chefs Showdown on 27th September is Bt1,200++ per person and the proceeds from the event to be donated to the CCF Foundation.

For more information about this event, call T: 02-624-4000 or visit their facebook at www.facebook.com/sofitelsobangkok.

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