Following the very first ‘Four Hands Michelin-starred’ VIP dinners at Kata Rocks, Phuket, which saw a successful reception from guests and food enthusiasts over the two-night VIP dinner events.
The six-course dinners were combinations of dishes between Kata Rocks’ Executive Chef Laia Pons and the visiting chefs, Thomas Diepersloot and Robert Poel.
This was the first Michelin-starred event held at Kata Rocks, Phuket. However, for chefs Thomas Diepersloot & Robert Poel, they have been here several times before.
“I used to work here for a few years before I was contacted by the owner of Voltaire and decided to go to work there,” said Thomas.
“We sort of landed the jobs at Voltaire. Robert’s friend knew the owner, and they were looking for chefs to join the restaurant team. One thing led to another, and before we knew it, we were there,” he laughed.
Parc Broekhuizen & Restaurant Voltaire is located within the Utrechtse Heuvelrug National Park in the Netherlands. The 1800s gastro-style building has been empty for over half a century before Parc Broekhuizen freshened up the site with a boutique design hotel and a restaurant. Today the site provides an ideal location where people can enjoy the atmosphere, great food in a gorgeous setting and have fun.
The boutique hotel, established in 2016, received the Best Design Hotel award for two consecutive years after its launch. Less than a year later, the Restaurant Voltaire received its first Michelin Star.
“The day the news was made public, everyone was there in the kitchen, and we went crazy. We were so excited it was great,” Chef Thomas reminisced.
“But we keep pushing. We try to keep things fresh and keep looking for new inspiration to create something new, learn new techniques, and try something new to make it even better,” he added.
The chosen menus served at the dinner events included refreshing and light sea bass with cucumber, dashi and miso sauce, which offers delicate and uplifting sensation.
Discussing the menus, they said, “These are the menus we served at the restaurant. We want to bring something from our restaurant and combine with some of the premium ingredients from overseas as well as from here in Thailand to keep the fresh Asian flavours, like the kaffir lime and lemongrass. We also order boxes of herbs from Thailand back to the restaurant every time we visit.”
Followed by the fulfilling main course, Wagyu beef tenderloin served with five spices, mushroom and pumpkin that presented great texture combined with absolutely delightful mouthfeels.
The dessert was strawberry sorbet with fresh strawberries, basil and shiso, which was a glorious conclusion for the meal.
Also, contributing three dishes for the VIP dinner events is the Kata Rocks’ Executive Chef Laia Pons. Originally from Spain, she was working in China before moving to Thailand. She is responsible for the menus at all Kata Rocks’ outlets.
“I always visited Thailand for holidays and vacation when I was working in China. I met the previous general manager from Kata Rocks at one of the establishments I was working at. He tried some of my food, and he later asked if I want to come and work in Phuket. I said yes,” Chef Laia Pons relayed the story with a smile.
“The three dishes for dinner were the Scallop Ceviche, Lobster Cappuccino and green apple Mojito pop-ice cream. I chose these because I believe these dishes would be best to complement the dishes from the guest chefs. I chose something light and fresh like the ceviche, which is good to wake up the palate. The Lobster Cappuccino because I want to present a soup but maybe not something too hot because it will put off the next dish, and something refreshing and cold for dessert,” she continued.
On discussing her experience working with the visiting chefs, she said, “It was a great experience. I got the list of requested ingredients, then when they come over, we started to cook, and it was good fun and interesting. It was also the first time that we have the Michelin chef promotion here.
“Two years ago, we did the women chefs event in Phuket, it was only for lady chefs in Phuket, and it was great fun as well. I think it’s a great experience for all departments, for us, to learn and have the chefs from Michelin star restaurant at our venue for the first time,” she said.
She also mentioned that this is an excellent start for both Kata Rocks and Phuket, and hopefully, we will see more and more great events like these and more stars here in the future.