Meet the Chefs appearing at the 2016 World Gourmet Festival
Make your reservations now for the 17th Annual World Gourmet Festival. For one week only, from September 19th to 25th, 2016, the Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel is being taken over by nine of the planet’s best chefs. Each will be cooking up amazing gourmet dishes, all paired with some of the best wines in the world.
Today’s Featured Chef
Born in New Zealand to a Chinese father and Egyptian mother, Chef Bobby Chinn has lived a very international life. Educated in England, he worked in the USA (on both the east and west coasts), then travelled the world before finally settling in Vietnam back in 1996. Along the way he developed a passion for food and a love of cooking. He opened two award-winning restaurants in Vietnam—Restaurant Bobby Chinn in Hanoi (2001), and Bobby Chinn Saigon in Ho Chi Minh (2011)—and in 2014 he moved to London, where he launched The House of Ho, creating a “modern Vietnamese” concept.
Bobby has also achieved international fame as a TV personality for his show World Café on Discovery network, winning best entertainment presenter at the Asia Television Awards in 2007 and 2010. His popular book Wild, Wild East: Recipes and Stories from Vietnam chronicles the set up of his first restaurant in Hanoi—learning about Vietnamese food—and was shortlisted by Gourmand as the best Asian cookbook in 2007.
Since 2012 he’s been a culinary ambassador to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Asia, promoting sustainable seafood production and the coral triangle. Fellow chef Anthony Bourdain describes him as: “An interesting man. If there’s a true international man of mystery, it’s probably Bobby Chinn. He’s kind of like Rick in Casablanca—the man knows his stuff.”
For this year’s World Gourmet Festival, Bobby Chinn is doing something a bit different than the standard two-dinner gig. On the evening of Saturday September 24th he and his rock’n’roll band—formed during his Vietnam days—will be taking over Aqua bar and lounge during the Diageo Cocktail Night (9pm to midnight). Then, on September 25th, he’ll be headlining the festival’s closing ceremony and Sunday Brunch (11:30am to 3pm). Don’t miss this opportunity to try some of Bobby Chinn’s unforgettable fare. Brunch price is 4,500++ per person, including free-flow champagne and entertainment.
Bobby Chinn speaks out
We understand you have a history with Bangkok?
Yes, I fell in love with the city the second the airplane door opened in 1984! And I was actually conceived in Bangkok. True story! My folks were camped out in BKK for a couple of months back in 1963, and I guess the stars were aligned. I love the streets of Bangkok, and the people. I love to people watch, and there are always lots of interesting characters to meet. I always feel at home in the city, and the Thai people have always treated me with great kindness. Of course, I love the food, especially on the street where many local vendors have taught me how to cook. I also spy a lot on these chefs; in this profession you never stop learning, and I find a great deal of inspiration from the food scene in Bangkok.
And you’re no stranger to the World Gourmet Festival 2016 venue?
Indeed, I adore the Anantara Siam, and in fact I’ve been staying there since it was branded as The Regent—that’s going back many years! I loved the property then, and have loved it since. It’s in the perfect location, and has primo facilities including a great pool and gym, and the people are amazing. It’s absolutely one of my favourite places to stay in Asia, so when I was asked to come out for the event this year, it was a no-brainer. Any excuse to be back there, and back in BKK.
What secret recipes will you be wowing diners with this year?
There’s a special Vietnamese-inspired Scotch Egg I’ve mastered, strangely enough on a visit to a food festival in Hawaii. The egg is boiled for five minutes, blanched, then cooked at 64.5 degrees for an hour and encased by ground chicken and pork blended with a distinctive Vietnamese 5-spice mix. It’s a proper English dish, with a Vietnamese twist. I’ll also be preparing a couple of signature dishes like a classic pork belly with caramel sauce—very Vietnamese—as well as a special ceviche with mangosteen coconut truffle jus. That one’s more “Peru meets Thailand”.