Imagine a week filled with nine of the world’s most famed chefs, hand-picked from San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants, crafting indulgent beverage paired dinners and interactive cooking demonstrations, a Champagne lobby, sake and cocktail tastings, and an opulent Sunday brunch all under one luxurious roof, and you’ve dreamed up the annual World Gourmet Festival!
Hosted by Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel this delicious affair ran from the 19th until the 25th of September, the 17th such event organized by the group. Still on a high from the scrumptious experience, here I recount some of the highlights. (For full details on the entire program visit the official site via this link – I recommend marking it on your calendar for next year!)
I’m rather fond of that quote being passed around on social media at the moment, “Start the day with a smile and finish it with Champagne.” Well the line up of bubblies guests had access to with Gold Champagne Journey passes kept us smiling from dawn to dusk. Showcased in a pretty display in the lobby, six of some of the most recognized labels around the world; Taittinger, Philipponnat, Montaudon, Moet & Chandon, Laurent-Perrier and Billecart-Salmon, were nicely chilled and professionally served. Not only did guests enjoy sipping on these in the elegant setting of the lobby lounge, but delicious Flammkuchen (a thin crusted German pizza topped with crème fraîche, bacon and red onion), and Teuscher chocolates filled with a Dom Perignon cream provided something a little more solid for the tum. Yum!
Cooking Demonstrations with Ana Roš and Mauro Colagreco
All week long the celebrity chefs shared their skills and gave away a few secrets in the hotel lobby. Chef Ana Roš, one of the stars profiled on the Emmy Award winning documentary Chef’s Table, and Chef Mauro Colagresco, currently claiming sixth position in the coveted 50 Best Restaurants in the World list by San Pellegrino, both dispensed their expertise with the crowds on the weekend we visited. In addition to having a chance to interact with these masters, each patron was also treated to a serving of the dish being highlighted. Lucky us!
Having had a taste of Chef Ana’s food during the day, and learning about her “Cook it Raw” techniques we were excited to participate in the full experience the same evening. Chef Ana took the reins of the kitchen at Spice Market restaurant to prepare a six course wine paired dinner for the festival. Italian and French tipples complemented the cuisine and you can find the full menu and photos via this link. I still pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming – all of these celebrity chefs flying to the same location for one week – guests would often have to book a year in advance to get into some of these restaurants, and here they all were right here on our very own doorstep.
It wasn’t just celebrity chefs showing off their finest, Executive of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel, Chef Nicolas Schneller, usually a man behind the scenes, offered a menu highlighting some of his signature dishes as well. And, all who dined agreed that his four course wine paired menu was just as delicious and expertly executed as any of the visiting chefs. Follow this link to find some of chef Nicolas’ key dishes.
It would be an understatement to say that the culminating event, the World Gourmet Festival Sunday Brunch, was memorable. This dining experience, was not only led by celebrity TV chef and restaurateur Bobby Chin, but also featured small bites from the nine world-famed chefs that had been part of the World Gourmet Festival over the past week too! An endless display of Asian and international options lined the counters of Parichart, Spice Market, Pop-Up and Madison restaurants, which came together to form one fantastic epicurean destination for a fun and delicious Sunday. Live cooking stations saw orders of noodles, pasta, grilled items, foie gras and shawarma made a la minute. Free flow Champagne, wine, beer, cocktails and a lively make-your-own Bloody Mary Bar kept things cheerful. And, to top it all off, the man himself, Bobby Chin, took to the stage to provide live entertainment. The festival certainly ended with satisfied tummies, a lot of merriment and some extraordinary memories to be taken home.
Well it was the end of the World Gourmet Festival, but fortunately not the end of delicious experiences for residents and visitors to Bangkok. Anantara Siam Bangkok has just kicked off their revitalised Sunday Brunch with a gourmet street food concept paired with an exclusive vintage Champagne package! That’s right – the best of both worlds. Follow this link to find out more.