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FOR 180 GERMAN travel representatives, it was a night to remember as they tucked into a special dinner at Centara Grand Beach Hua Hin.
The dinner started off with canapés, designed especially for this event, including coconut flavoured minced chicken salad on crispy rice cracker, mini pizzas with tom yum shrimp, Thai pomelo salad in a crispy cup, and Mango sticky rice sushi, were served in a relaxing atmosphere of traditional Thai music played by a stringed instrument called “Khim”.
During the serving of canapés and drinks, site inspection was also available for the agents to view a variety of the resort’s iconic colonial-style room types.
After the garden’s networking opportunity, guests were ushered to the welcome dinner party at the beachfront COAST Beach Club & Bistro and by the Colonial Pool.
The themed “Thai Street Food” presentation was arranged to resemble traditional Thai street food stalls, where the food is easy to eat standing or sitting and served in a traditional way using containers made out of banana leaves or a coconut.
At this special dinner setting, the agents had a chance to experience and learn more about some of the “Heritage Cuisine of Hua Hin”, which ties in with the historical aspects of the resort.
Savoury items freshly concocted and served at the food stalls included Phad Thai with chicken, Crispy fish cake and spring rolls, Chicken coconut soup served in a whole coconut, BBQ pork skewers with dipping sauce, Assorted grilled satay with peanut sauce, followed by popular desserts like Thai coconut ice cream and Deep fried banana.
Traditional and Western entertainment was provided during the evening.
“The resort is definitely the crown jewel of the resort town with so much potential to attract European travellers, especially those looking to explore the myriad of natural and cultural attractions that Hua Hin has to offer,” said Kevin Keogh, senior vice president of sales & marketing, and management representatives of DER Touristik GmbH & Co. KG.
“We believe that guests will find the resort the perfect place to spend a memorable holiday or an eminent venue to host all kinds of special events such as private parties and weddings on the beach.”
For more information about Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, visit: www.centarahotelsresorts.com/chbr
WITH OVER 16 YEARS EXPERIENCE across Asia working for some of the best hotels and chefs in the business, Chef Thong Aek Seneewong na Ayuthaya has chosen Centara and Krabi as his new workplace.
After completion of the Siam business college with focus on tourism, Chef Thong Aek Seneewong na Ayuthaya was able to get his first opportunity during the opening of the Bangkok Peninsula Hotel. Other people would have aimed for a chance in one of the restaurants but he was quite content to get a chance to work in “Chili & Pepper”, the staff canteen of this hotel. He learned to cook Thai food for Thai people.
At that point, instead of learning to plate fine dining creations, he managed a wok and cooked for portions for 10 persons at a time. This basic knowledge accompanied him all his life and created the base of his culinary career.
He got a chance to go abroad for the first time to join the Mandarin Oriental Macau for a total of five years. His starting position was as Commis in Naam, the fine dining Thai restaurant. Here he learned the finesse of fine dining and elegant plate presentation.
He was promoted after two years and worked as demi chef, and later given a chance to move as demi chef to the fine dining Italian Restaurant, Mezzaluna. This change was an extremely hard challenge since he never cooked Italian food before. He studied very hard on the recipes and the cooking techniques to become an effective Italian chef.
During this time, the Mezzaluna belonged to the very best restaurants in Macau and he was able to work with numerous well known foreign chefs, who by now have made excellent careers.
During this time Chef Thong Aek was also able to join some promotional chefs such as the celebrity chef, David Laris, owner of David Laris Creates, and working with the 1 star Michelin Chef Mario Corti.
After five years abroad, he felt it was time to return to his family and look after his mother and grandmother in Chiang Mai. Through Mandarin Oriental Hotel group he was invited to return back to his roots of Thai cuisine at the Le Grand Lanna Restaurant at the Dhara Dhevi, the magnificent Hotel of Chiang Mai, where he was fortunate to be promoted to Chef de Partie.
He enjoyed his time back in Thailand and especially to cook Thai food again. It was a great learning experience to be part of such an excellent hotel and improve his knowledge of Thai food under the guidance of Chef Virat Kanja.
When he moved again, it was as assistant Thai chef to Melt restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Singapore. After another short visit to Macau, he finally returned to Thailand to settle down. He joined his first American style managed hotel, the JW Marriot Phuket at the Cucina Italian restaurant and later joined Crown Plaza as Chef de Cuisine of the Patio restaurant. He enjoyed taking care of the Patio Restaurant, working with his team and teaching them new dishes and techniques. Meanwhile, he also gained official Chef Certifications in order to qualify to work and cook in Europe.
After a while with Patio restaurant and an excellent 16 years culinary journey he received an opportunity to join Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa Krabi as Head Chef. This role is quite new to him due to its job description. As the head of the kitchen department, he is not only using his technical skills but also able to develop his skills in other areas. He has learned a lot about department financials, planning, organizing, and developing both product and people.
“It is my pleasure and pride to join the Centara family as I received the opportunity to show my skills, develop myself and have a chance to develop others,” he said.
“We are delighted and excited to have on our team Chef Ake, and look forward seeing you continue your fascinating journey with us in Krabi,” said George Kenton, general manager, Centara Anda Dhevi Resort & Spa.
LA VIE – CREATIVE FRENCH CUISINE in VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery by Sofitel is offering a special Valentine’s set dinner tasting menu of dishes inspired by the Michelin Star Chefs on St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.
Valentine’s Day at La VIE features an elegant atmosphere designed for romance, with candlelight, soft piano music and a complimentary mini bottle (200 ml) of sparkling Spanish Cava Rosé per couple.
The menu for our special Valentine’s Day Set Dinner begins with a lightly poached Tsarskaya Oyster, Champagne Sabayon; moving on to roasted Hokkaido scallop, coconut and cauliflower, truffle emulsion; a perfectly prepared 45 ̊C Tasmanian Ocean trout, avocado, blood orange, coriander; and breast of Muscovy Duck, salt-baked Celeriac, Cassis.
The sweet table features “Rouge” Raspberry, Rosé and Lychee desserts.
The five-course Valentine’s Day Set Dinner is 5,000 THB per couple.
CHRISTMAS IS A SPECIAL OCCASION at Bayan Tree Samui, with three different meals to choose from on Christmas Eve and two different options on Christmas Day, plus an new year to remember.
On Christmas Eve, you can choose a gala dinner at the Edge – a buffet starting at 6 p.m., and featuring antipasti as well as traditional favourites; or a Royal Thai set five-course dinner at the Saffron, also starting at 6 p.m.; and a five course set dinner at the Sands, starting at 8 p.m.
If you’re in the mood for turkey on Christmas Day, head for the Sands, which is offering a special BBQ dinner that not only features turkey but a wide selection of sea and land favourites prepared at a live cooking station. Dinner starts at 7 p.m. Saffron will be offering a Thai culinary journey featuring a set dinner. Dinner starts at 6 p.m.
New Year’s Eve is Tropical Disco Night that starts with three different dining options – a Tropical Disco Gala buffet with live entertainment at the Edge from 7 to 10 p.m., while Saffron will be offering at a set dinner of Thai favourites.
The scene shifts to the beach for a countdown party from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. for a full evening od dancing and partying. And then, at the stroke of midnight, you can raise a glass of Champagne to welcome in the New Year.
This month’s recipe – Tom Kati Kha Kai or chicken in coconut milk soup – comes from the chefs at Suan Bua restaurant located in Centara Grand at Central Plaza LadPrao Bangkok, which recently completed a $27 million expansion. The Thai dish is one of the most popular at the restaurant
Ingredients: 9 Ladles coconut milk 1 Stalk of thin-sliced lemon grass 15 grams of sliced galangal root 3 pcs Kaffir lime leaves 3 teaspoons of crushed bird chili (can be reduced if you don’t like spicy) 30 grams of sliced straw mushroom 7 teaspoons of fish sauce 5 teaspoons lime juice or lemon juice 1 teaspoon of sugar 50 grams of sliced chicken breast 2-3 bunches coriander leaves 1-2 pcs deep-fried dried Chili.
Preparation: Boil coconut milk in a pot, add the lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, chili and mushrooms, boil approximately three minutes, then season with fish sauce, sugar and lime juice to your liking. Add the sliced chicken breasts and simmer to cooked, sprinkle coriander on plate and serve with steamed rice.
If you can’t find straw mushrooms, fresh mushrooms can be used instead. You don’t always have to use chicken. Fish would work fine, too. For vegetarians, use tofu instead of meat, and season with white soy sauce instead of fish sauce.
ANANTARA PHUKET LAYAN RESORT is the ideal secret island escape. In addition to its serene atmosphere, the resort also boasts the best breakfast spread across the Anantara portfolio and one of the most international that is so much more than just your traditional sunny side up.
Set on the beachfront, Sala Layan gives holiday goers reason to get out of bed, with their lavish and unique breakfast offering dishes and treats like freshly baked pastries, including cronuts and filled croissants and Spanish hams paired with international cheeses.
They give guests a chance to embrace the local flavours of the island as well as the opportunity to taste dishes from Asia and beyond.
For a healthy start to the day, guests can experiment with the ‘Vitality Corner’ containing a nutritious selection of superfoods such as buckwheat, cocao nibs, bee pollen, chia seeds and spirulina shots.
For an added boost to the morning, guests can order fresh-pressed-to-order juice, which uses freshly picked fruits and veg in any preferred combination.
Smells of a Parisian bakery waft through the freshly baked corner, where croissants, focaccias, pretzels, quiches and even cronuts are made on a daily basis, some with a new flavour every day. The selection of homemade compotes, which are served individually in mini mason jars and delicately wrapped, are best enjoyed while looking out onto the resort’s sandy beach.
For guests who want to savour the flavours of Asia, they can choose from a variety of indigenous Thai dishes like khao tom and bak kut teh soup, or head to the noodle station, where the chef will cook a selection of wok fried or soup noodles to order, or head farther East to the Chinese and Japanese stations, where breakfast favourites like dim sum, congee, tea boiled eggs and Nori await.
Hidden away from the main breakfast thoroughfare, the atmospherically-lit wine room, which is used as a tasting area in the evenings, is transformed into a meat and cheese lover’s dream, featuring a selection of cold meats such as Mortadella, Parma Ham, Black Forest Ham and Coppa, plus cheeses such as marinated Feta, Gorgonzola, Edam and Camembert, have been carefully selected for guests to indulge in a taste of the Mediterranean.
There’s also a selection of smoked and marinated fish such as orange marinated salmon, peppered mackerel, smoked salmon and homemade smoked tuna.
Coeliac, vegans and those with lactose allergies don’t have to worry about skipping the most important meal of the day as there is a gluten free selection of cereals, pancakes, muffins and breads; a vegan array of delights such as brownies and carrot cake, samosas, aloo gobi and ratatouille; as well as dairy free and vegan milk options.
At the heart of all this, the egg stations serve a wide range of options like the smoked salmon eggs on toast, omelettes, or Eggs Benedict, each served in an individual pan, to the table with a mixed salad and hand cut chips.
For those looking for the more traditional breakfast, there are cereals, along with a vast range of fresh fruits and organic yogurts with homemade toppings. For the classic cooked breakfast, beef or chicken sausage, German bratwurst and a selection of bacon offerings are included in the mix, with pancakes, bread and butter pudding, assorted crumbles and more to wrap up.
For those wanting to enjoy a more boozy brunch style breakfast, there’s free flow sparkling wine.
For guests staying at the hotel, breakfast is included but for non-residents breakfast is available daily for 1,050 THB for adults and 525 THB for children (under 4 is free) from 7 am – 10:30 am. Book in advance by calling +66 76 317 200.
THIS MONTH’S RECIPE — Rock Lobster Satay – is a special dish from Baan Vijitt restaurant by The Vijitt resort Phuket.
At Bann Vijitt Restaurant, a 62-year-old Sino –Portuguese mansion located in The Vijitt Resort Phuket, guests will experience a part of the history of this resort. The house was built as a weekend home for the owner’s family and now it is opened as a fine dining restaurant serving dinner.
Part of Vijitt’s over-all mission is to share a real Thai experience, menu and concept which focuses on the cuisine of the south of Thailand.
It has created an exclusive and unique menu to give guests an opportunity to sample some of the tastes and flavours that are unique to this part of Thailand. Many of the dishes are less likely to be found on the menus of the Thai restaurants.
The dish is fairly easy to prepare:
Fresh Andaman Rock lobster from Andaman Sea, marinate with Thai herbs and spices, cumin seed, turmeric, coriander powder, and then char gilled. Serve it with Thai peanut dip and cucumber, shallot, coriander in a sweet and sour sauce.
AUGUST’S RECIPE OF THE MONTH – Kao Soi Gai (Chiang Mai curry noodle and chicken) – comes from Sala Mae Rim restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, renowned for its sumptuous Thai cuisine, where you can savour the unique flavours of Northern Thai specialties.
A high teak ceiling complements Northern Thai artefacts and sweeping views of the Mae Rim Valley. Therestaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In addition to a daily Continental breakfast buffet, Sala Mae Rim’s menu also includes a variety of hot breakfast dishes prepared with local organic eggs, fruits and vegetables from the resort’s own organic garden and the Royal Project garden nestled in the nearby hills.
To accompany breakfast is a selection of local organic honey with flavours that change according to the season, such as rambutan, sunflower, sesame, longan, lychee and sabsua.
Chicken 100 gram
Fresh egg noodle 2 branches
Red curry paste 1 tablespoon
Chiang Mai curry powder (Hung Lay) ¼ tablespoon
Yellow curry powder 1 tablespoon
Coconut milk 1 ½ cup
Chicken stock 1 cup
Fish sauce 1 ½ tablespoon
Palm sugar paste 1 tablespoon
Thai coriander 2 leaves
Spring onion 1 stem
Heat the wok with the vegetable oil, then deep-fried the egg noodle. Set aside.
Blanch the egg noodle in boiling water and place in a soup bowl with Thai coriander.
Heat the wok and add half of coconut milk and stir gently until it heat.
Add red curry paste, Chiang Mai curry powder, and yellow curry powder. Mix well.
Add chicken and keep stirring until the chicken turns white. Then add another half of coconut milkand stir gently.
Bring to boil, then add chicken stock, fish sauce and palm sugar paste. Then, reduce the heat to low for
slowing cooking for 3 – 4 minutes.
Pour the curry soup over the egg noodle bowl.
Garnish with crisp noodle and sliced spring onion.
Serve aside with lime sliced, fried shallots, pickled mustards and chilli oil.
V VILLAS HUA HIN, MGALLERY BY SOFITEL will be celebrating Mother’s Day in Thailand with a very special four-course set dinner, created by visiting Chef Nicolas Basset from VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery by Sofitel for two days only, Aug. 12 and 13, 2016.
Nicolas Basset has traveled the world, from Brazil to Finland, absorbing various exciting culinary traditions and has enjoyed many valuable experiences while working with a number of Michelin star chefs, most recently with 1-Michelin Star Chef Julien Montbabut and 2-Michelin Star Chef Stéphane Buron during their visit at VIE Hotel Bangkok, MGallery by Sofitel.
The “Touch the Stars” four-course set dinner has been created with all the gastronomic knowhow and techniques that Chef Nicolas has acquired as well as his own skills and talents.
The menu includes such delights as assiette of asparagus, sherry, Mascarpone; pan-seared Hokkaido scallops, cauliflower, wild mushroom emulsion; Barbary Duck “Rosé”, butternut, peaches, rosemary; succulent butter-poached Maine lobster, vanilla and mascarpone risotto, bisque; and white chocolate délice, Tonka bean, pineapple & coconut for dessert.
The four-course set dinner is priced at 1,450 THB and THB 1,750 THB and includes two glasses of fine wine, per set per person. Dinner is served at 7 pm.
Advance reservations are required, more information contact the Villazzo Restaurant via 032-616039.