Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok welcomes chefs, winemakers, and food experts from around the world for the annual “World Gourmet Festival” Sept. 3-9
The annual “World Gourmet Festival (WGF),” now on its 13th edition, is again taking place Sept. 3-9 at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. 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.
This year, chefs who have confirmed participation are: Shiqin Chen (La Rei, Il Boscareto, Piedmont, Italy) — Shiqin 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 Institute 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.
Galvin Lim (Les Amis, Singapore) — Les 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 emphasizes the balance and contrast of flavors and textures whilst using a combination of various products.
Igor Macchia (La Credenza, Piedmont, Italy) – Igor’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 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 and has been honored with numerous accolades.
Víctor Quintillà Imbernón (Lluerna, Barcelona, Spain) — A true Barcelona native, Víctor 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 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. The freshest ingredients, healthy preparation and enticing Asian flavors make ONYX a natural fit for the health-conscious focus of the Westlake Village Hotel.. 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 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 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 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 flavors of the best products available.
Also confirmed to participate in WGF 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 a cigar and rum-pairing event with Patoro Cigars and Eastory Rums.
A portion of every ticket price, as well as proceeds from an auction, goes to HRH Princess Soamsawali’s Save A Child’s Life from AIDS Project under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society.