It’s been an amazing time in history for gourmand events in Bangkok, thanks to the efforts of the premium water specialists at S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
Foodies in Bangkok have come to expect nothing but the best from each new S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna event that the city plays host to. Back in 2015, S.Pellegrino and Bangkok 101 began a collaboration that launched the Fine Dining Lovers Guest Chef series, which featured global super chefs from multiple Michelin-starred restaurants wowing local gourmands with spectacular multi-course dinner creations. In addition, these chef events included interactive components such as masterclasses for industry insiders and media, where demonstrations and hands-on experiences hinted at the delectables to come.
The chefs brought to town by the Fine Dining Lovers Guest Chef series span the globe— Japanese, Russian, British, Italian, Aussie, and more. The appearances by these culinary giants, who regularly feature on the coveted World’s 50 Best Restaurants & Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants lists, is just one of the ways that S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna explore the culture of taste and conviviality. The water and wine pairings—with importers and distributors such as Gfour Fine Wines—demonstrated the critical role of not just wine but also premium mineral waters.
S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna also played an important role in curating and attracting the global chef talent to the 17th Annual World Gourmet Festival held at the Anantara Siam Bangkok hotel.
Here now, we look back on just a few of the highlights from the past.
CHEF: Hideaki Sato
DATE: July 8, 2015
VENUE: Ku De Ta (now Ce La Vi)
The maestro who helms the kitchen at Hong Kong’s two Michelin-starred TaVie restaurant was the first chef to be part of the Fine Dining Lovers Guest Chef series. The man in question, Chef Hideaki Sato, presented an exclusive six-course pop-up dinner, complemented with wine and sake, at Ku De Ta (now Ce La Vi), located on the 39th floor of the Sathorn Square Tower. The chef and sommelier, who started cooking at the age of 19, describes his cuisine as “pure, simple and seasonal”—three words he uses to summarize his style that mixes Japanese and modern European cooking techniques. He racked up plenty of experience working in a number of different restaurants in the Ryugin stable, under the guidance of legendary Chef Seiji Yamamoto.
CHEF: Vladimir Mukhin
DATE: November 16-17, 2015
VENUE: The House on Sathorn
All the way from the White Rabbit restaurant in Moscow—currently ranked #18 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants—came Chef Vladimir Mukhin. The event, which took place at The House on Sathorn, W Hotel Bangkok, was a collaboration with resident Chef Fatih Tutak (inset). These two young but prominent culinary artists featured Chef Vladimir’s signature 9-course degustation menu.
Renowned for his respect to traditions, while at the same time possessing deep interests in new culinary techniques, Chef Vladimir’s approach has made him one of the leaders of Russia’s culinary “new wave”.
CHEF: Shinji Kanesaka
DATE: January 15-17, 2016
VENUE: Yamazato, Okura Prestige Bangkok
The first Fine Dining Lovers Guest Chef series event of 2016 brought Chef Shinji Kanesaka of Tokyo’s two-Michelin-starred Sushi Kanesaka to Bangkok, in what was this true sushi master’s first overseas cameo. Joining him was Chef Toru Osumi from Shinji by Kanesaka, the first extension of the Kanesaka brand at culinary mecca City of Dreams in Macau. The dinners were held at Yamazato, The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s award-winning restaurant, and were limited to only eight diners each session. The awe-inspiring dishes were paired with a selection of fine Japanese tea and sake.
CHEF: Kirk Westaway
DATE: May 25-26, 2016
VENUE: Tables Grill, Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Winner of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015 Southeast Asia Semifinals, and MLA Rising Chef of the Year 2016, Chef Kirk Westaway—of Singapore’s one-Michelin-starred Jaan restaurant—presented an exclusive 5-course tasting menu together with the team from Tables Grill at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok. Featuring Jaan’s produce-driven cuisine, which makes extensive use of seasonal ingredients, as well as Bellavista sparkling wines from Franciacorta in Italy, it was, indeed, a memorable visit from this culinary rising star.
CHEF: Umberto Bombana
DATE: July 13-14, 2016
VENUE: Le Normandie, Mandarin Oriental Bangkok
The acclaimed restaurant 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana—for the past five years running the only three Michelin-starred Italian restaurant outside of Italy—gave its star attraction, Chef Umberto Bombana, some time off in order to appear as the guest chef for two exclusive dinners at Le Normandie, at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok. Hailed as the ‘King of White Truffles’, this Northern Italian kitchen virtuoso has made a name for himself in Hong Kong with his eponymous restaurant, a regular on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants (currently listed at #13). His Bangkok appearance coincided with the M andarin Oriental’s 140th anniversary, and together with Le Normandie’s own Chef de Cuisine, Arnaud Dunand Sauthier, they created a fitting tribute to the hotel’s prestigious past; a specially designed eight course tasting menu paired with premium Italian wines.
CHEF: Ryan Clift
DATE: November 25-26, 2016
VENUE: Vertigo, Banyan Tree Bangkok
Throughout his 20-year career, Chef Ryan Clift has worked with some of the world’s most admired chefs, including Marco-Pierre White, Peter Gordon, Emmanuel Renaut, Shannon Bennett, and Raymond Capaldi. In 2008 he moved to Singapore and launched the Tippling Club, which quickly gained a reputation as one of the city’s premier restaurants. Little wonder then that fervent foodies came out in droves for his special guest appearance in Bangkok at Vertigo, the Banyan Tree’s famed al-fresco roof top restaurant. Chef Ryan presented diners with a 6-course menu created from a selection of his most popular signature dishes, together with wines from Italy, Australia, and France. In addition, some of Tippling Club’s renowned cocktails were also showcased during this creative culinary event.
Those initial 2015 events delivered top-notch epicurean experiences to diners in Thailand and set the pace for what turned out to be an amazing continuation of the series on into 2016. It’s been a great line-up, with even more to come in 2017—including the likes of Italy’s Luca Fantin from Il Ristorante Luca Fantin in Tokyo, trailblazing Spanish chef Chele Gonzalez from Gallery Vask in Manila, and chef Ray Adriansyah from Bali’s native produce champion Locavore.
As for what else is in store for 2017, at this time we can reveal that in late February the Tourism Authority of Thailand will be bringing back to Bangkok—for the second year in a row—the illustrious, highly anticipated Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 promises to be yet another gathering of the best chefs, and the region’s most dedicated foodies!