Held on December 2 and 3 at Mei Jiang at The Peninsula Bangkok, the dinners will feature the chef’s signature Cantonese cuts, all crafted with organic and farm-fresh ingredients. The culinary superstar will team up with Mei Jiang’s own Chef Jackie Ho, the style of the two perfectly in sync.
Before he heads to the kitchen at Mei Jiang, Chef Tam takes a moment to talk with Bangkok 101 about his upcoming return to Bangkok (Chef Tam was previously head chef at The Peninsula).
How did this collaboration with Chef Jackie Ho come about?
Sanpellegrino proposed that we do this event, and we selected The Peninsula as the venue, as I used to work there. Then we met up with Chef Jackie and started making plans. We are all very excited and looking forward to making this event a huge success.
How does it feel returning to your old stomping grounds at Mei Jiang?
This is a very meaningful event for me. I was a part of the opening team at The Peninsula. After eight years away, now I get a chance to come back and cook. I’ll be happy to see some old friends and teammates. I know we’ll all have a good time working together again.
What is your opinion of this new era of “jet-set chefs,” culinary stars travelling abroad and presenting pop-up dinners at other fine dining venues?
This is exciting not only for me, but also for all the other chefs who get to cook outside their own kitchens. Every minute can be a challenge—sourcing food, working with new teammates, organizing the job between the culinary and service teams, understanding the local market, and so on.
Do you have any surprises on the menu, something you might not normally do at Jade Dragon?
We like to let guests experience the elements of the whole meal. An interesting dish we might not normally do is abalone brought in fresh from Japan, sliced and wok-fried with Jade Dragon’s house-made XO chilli sauce. At Jade Dragon, we usually serve fresh abalone from South Africa, Australia, and Da Lin (although we do use Hokkaido crab to make our signature sui lung boau, as well as Japanese sea conch from time to time).
What are the challenges of two chefs working together on one menu?
There have been no challenges at all! Chef Jackie and I know each other well, and we have been communicating with one another since the event was confirmed. I will take the lead, but I will have the support of Chef Jackie and his team with every dish. We’re both happy with what we are doing.
How do you feel about wine pairings with Cantonese cuisine?
Wine pairing with Cantonese cuisine goes beyond a lifestyle choice. Wine brings the elements of the whole meal together to create another level of experience.
As more and more Asians have lived and worked overseas, wine has become part of their lives. And Cantonese dishes and ingredients—fresh seafood, meat, and produce, the way of seasoning—match well with so many types of wine.
I work with wine experts all the time to ensure that there will be fine wines ready to serve with all our menus. At Jade Dragon, we have a director of wine, as well as a wine sommelier and tea sommelier, all ready to help customers pair per their request, so this is quite normal for us.
Where else are you planning to eat while you’re in Bangkok?
Before and after work, I will have to try some authentic comfort dishes, like stir-fried pork with basil and a crispy fried egg on top of fresh cooked Jasmine rice. When we arrive, we’ve booked the Chef’s Table at Gaggan, and we’re also experiencing Sra Bua before departing for Macau on December 4.
Chef Tam’s six-course dinners will be paired with specialty tea and wine, as well as premium mineral water Acqua Panna. The dinners cost 6888++ and start at 7pm each night.
To make a reservation, call 0 2020 2888 or e-mail [email protected].