News for the Hospitality Executive
Bangkok – July 2012 -- Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok
13th annual World
Gourmet Festival, set to take place at the
Hotel from September 3 to
Since its inception, the Festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary line-up of some of the best chefs, winemakers and food experts from across the globe, all under one roof for a week-long celebration of outstanding food and superb wines.
Chefs currently confirmed to participate are:
Shiqin Chen, La Rei, Il Boscareto, Piedmont, Italy
Shiqin Chen set out on his career as chef as a boy. Born in 1980 in Shanghai, his desire to travel spurred him to visit Europe where, by mere chance, he attended a course for foreigners at the Italian Culinary Insitute for Foreigners. The course introduced him to France and Spain. Various internships followed, allowing Chen to come of age in some of Italy’s best Michelin-starred restaurants, from Il Pescatore in Canneto sull’Oglio to the Antica Corona Reale in Cervere, where he acquired ten years’ experience working alongside Chef Gianpiero Vivalda. After proving his worth in the kitchens as a highly skilled chef, he joined La Rei, the gourmet restaurant of Il Boscareto Resort & Spa.
Chen is now an expert in Piedmontese cuisine, but gives it a new twist with his own unique brand of cuisine.
Diego Irrera, 1884 Restaurante, Mendoza, Argentina
The beloved Francis Mallman restaurant in Argentina’s Mendoza Valley, where Diego Irrera is head chef, is a tribute to the wines of the region paired with Andean cuisine, employing Incan clay oven cooking and grilling techniques for their exquisite meats. Italian-born Diego has worked his way up the ranks at Francis Mallman establishments in Buenos Aires, Patagonia and Mendoza, coming to embody over time the wood fire and cast iron cooking style behind the earthy good food of Argentina’s Indians and gauchos.
Galvin Lim, Les Amis, SingaporeLes Amis’ Executive Chef, Galvin Lim, began his culinary odyssey as a student at the SHATEC Institute. After graduation, he worked his way up through the ranks at Shangri‐La’s now defunct La Tour Restaurant, where he spent eight years under the tutelage of Mentor‐Chef David Mollicorne, before joining the Au Jardin opening team as Resident Chef. Over the years, he has trained in some of the world’s most renowned kitchens, such as Lameloise in Burgundy, Le Gavroche in London, and Les Elysées du Vernet in Paris under Alain Solivérès. His style of French cooking at Au Jardin emphasises the balance and contrast of flavours and textures whilst using a combination of various products.
Igor Macchia, La Credenza, Piedmont, Italy
Igor Macchia’s passion for food and creative signature cuisine started many years ago. After many years spent experimenting and creating his personal style, both as a chef and pastry chef, he finally began a co-ownership with La Credenza in 2005, and was awarded one Michelin Star the following year.
Igor also managed to find the time to nourish another great passion of his: the Eastern world and culture. He travelled through China and Japan, India and Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Maldives, not only to promote his culinary art, but also to learn more about Eastern cultures. The result is his original blend of colours and tastes, textures and shapes in the form of his most creative and ambitious recipes.
Michael Mina, MICHAEL MINA, San Francisco, USA
Born in Cairo, Egypt and raised in Ellensburg, Washington, Michael Mina has had a long love affair with the kitchen, creating memorable dining experiences for guests from a very early age. Michael’s epicurean journey began in 1987 at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
At the start of his career, Michael was presented with the opportunity of a lifetime with then Executive Chef of the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles, George Morrone. The two were asked to develop a concept and create a menu for an upscale seafood restaurant in San Francisco – the city Michael had dreamed of calling home one day.
Michael’s culinary and business vision led to the founding of his company, Mina Group, with partner Andre Agassi in 2002. Under the auspices of Mina Group, he has opened 18 concept restaurants and a lounge concept including MICHAEL MINA, CLOCK BAR,
RN74, BOURBON STEAK, ARCADIA, STONEHILL TAVERN, SEABLUE, NOBHILL TAVERN, STRIPSTEAK, and AMERICAN FISH.
Michael has been honored with numerous accolades, including the Michelin two-star award and San Francisco Chronicle’s four-star award for the original MICHAEL MINA at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis on Union Square, Michelin’s one-star award for MICHAEL MINA in Las Vegas, and induction into the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Additionally, he is an esteemed member of Bocuse d’Or USA and the CIA Society of Fellows. He has been a featured guest chef at the James Beard House numerous times; cooked for three U.S. presidents: Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama; and has been a guest speaker at C.I.A. in Hyde Park and at other culinary institutes in California.
Víctor Quintillà Imbernón, Lluerna, Barcelona, Spain
A true Barcelona native, Víctor Quintillà Imbernón began his culinary journey at the Escola d’Hosteleria I Restauració de Barcelona, after which he apprenticed and worked at some of the most important restaurants in the region, including the Michelin-starred El Reno and famed temple of modern gastronomy, El Bulli. His own restaurant, Lluerna, in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, which he runs with his sommelier wife, Mar, specialises in seasonal, Mediterranean-influenced degustation menus with dishes like beef entrecôte with white eggplant; and dry aged ox with mustard parmentier and endives.
Masa Shimakawa, ONYX, California, USA
Hakodate, Japan may be an ocean away from Los Angeles, but it’s just a dinner seating away at ONYX at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, California, where Chef de Cuisine Masa Shimakawa holds sway. Born, raised and schooled in the port city noted for “perhaps the world’s greatest seafood!” by Chowhound.com, “Chef Masa” has created Asian-style beauty with the pick of the Pacific since opening the restaurant in 2006.
Unlike many bitten by the culinary bug, Shimakawa had no intention of becoming a chef when he started as a dishwasher in his teens. Soon there was no stopping him, including study at the Hakodate Professional Cooking School and his first job as a sushi chef in Tokyo. It took him five years to get comfortable with the discipline, he says, at which point he landed at the first of two sushi restaurants in Montreal in 1991. Positions in Chicago and New York followed before he found his way to Four Seasons.
The freshest ingredients, healthy preparation and enticing Asian flavours make ONYX a natural fit for the health-conscious focus of the Westlake Village Hotel. Shimakawa leads five highly skilled cooks preparing sushi as well as hot and cold dishes in classical style in the restaurant’s exhibition kitchen.
Ever cognisant of the importance of innovation, Shimakawa creates thoroughly original dishes using western ingredients in eastern style, such as Maguro “Tataki” with seared Ahi tuna, spicy corn salsa and sweet sesame soy, and Miso Gin-Dara with Saikyo miso-marinated black cod and sweet soy drizzle.
Frédéric Vardon, Le 39V, Paris, France
Frederic Vardon was born in Normandy into a family of charcutiers and farmers. His passion for cuisine was passed down to him from his grandmother, who instilled in him a passion for cuisine made with love and made for sharing.
After completing an apprenticeship with Jean-Pierre Morot-Gaudry and training with Alain Dutournier, in 1988 Frédéric Vardon joined Alain Chapel’s culinary team at Mionnay. This experience confirmed all that his grandmother had taught him, and cemented his deep attachment to French cuisine and his love of great products. In 1994, he left to team up with Alain Ducasse, where he spent 14 years working at Ducasse’s renowned restaurants around the world including Spoon, Benoit Tokyo, and Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester.
Frédéric Vardon now heads the team at Le 39V, a peaceful haven built on the rooftops of 39, Avenue George V in Paris. Awarded its first Michelin star in February 2012, Le 39V offers guests a cuisine that is tasty and honest, bringing them the best flavours of the best products available.
Also confirmed to participate in World Gourmet Festival events are Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee, who will be conducting a wine masterclass, Eleveur de Fromage Jean-Francois Antony, who will be hosting cheese-tasting events and Robert Schinkel, award-winning bartender and mixologist and Dilmah’s ambassador on tea mixology.
Alsace-based master affineurs (or cheese-agers) Jean-François Antony and his father Bernard are avid proponents of France’s AOC system, and aim to preserve regional cheese-making techniques in the face of industrial homogenization. Their operation supplies cheeses to some of the most lauded Michelin-pedigree restaurants around the world, including the establishments of Alain Ducasse, Alain Passard, and Pierre Gagnaire. Their small-scale, cold-temperature storage caves hold and age raw milk cheeses such as Perail de Brebis and Beaufort d’Alpage, and some more familiar, pasteurized cheeses such as Bleu d’Auvergne, Comté and Mimolette. At the World Gourmet Festival, Jean- François Antony will present the family’s famed cérémonie des fromages, where five cheeses are exquisitely paired with wines from the Alsace region.
Jeannie Cho LeeThe first Asian Master of Wine, Hong Kong-based Jeannie Cho Lee serves as co-chair of the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, writes monthly wine columns for newspapers and magazines such as South China Morning, Decanter Taiwan and Wine Spectator and is the creator of asianpalate.com, which celebrates the pairing of wine with Asian food. She has served as wine consultant to over 50 restaurants and is the author of two books: Asian Palate and Mastering Wine for the Asian Palate, which introduces a new set of Asian descriptors such as red dates, persimmons and gingko nuts to describe wine. Jeannie won the Vinitaly Award in 2009 and is 26th on the Decanter Power List 2011, a biennial who's who of the most influential personalities in the wine world. Jeannie is also responsible for the wine pairings at Les Amis chef Galvin Lim’s dinner on September 5th and 6th.
Award-winning bartender and mixologist and Dilmah’s ambassador on tea mixology for the last five years, Robert Schinkel has been presenting this new trend in the world of cocktails throughout the world with innovative recipes, both with and without alcohol, and his skill to create signature drinks for persons, occasions or properties. For Dilmah Tea, he has created three recipe books full of new tea based drinks and he’s one of the speakers at the Dilmah International School of Tea, inspiring attendants from all over the world to look at tea from a different angle. About his concoctions, Schinkel says, “The first two ingredients in my drinks are passion and a warm welcome.”
Once again this year, the World Gourmet Festival is proud to support HRH Princess Soamsawali’s Save A Child’s Life from AIDS Project under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society. A portion of every ticket price, as well as proceeds from an auction, will be donated to this charity.
Nicola Chilton or Annabelle S. Daokaew or Thitimon Khieowan
Public Relations Department
Tel: (66 2) 126 8866 / Fax: (66 2) 254 5390
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