Amazing Chefs 2018 @ Sofitel So Bangkok
Thaifoodies' Intrepid food critic Babe recently attended the very posh Amazing Chefs 2018 launch party at the Sofitel So Bangkok. The event held annually is in its 7th year and 2018 saw 21 top chefs from around the world with 14 Michelin stars between them from September 14th to the 23rd.
This year's event will included seven dinners and seven culinary activities, including cooking classes, a Sunday brunch and a Diageo-helmed mixologist night.
Internationally renown Chefs that attended this year:
Paul Liebrandt (New York, USA) Paul is the subject of the documentary “A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt”, which follows his New York career, including a stint as chef and co-owner of 2 Michelin-starred Corton. Through the course of his career, he has also earned recognition as Youngest Three Star Chef (New York Times, 2000), The Best and the Brightest (Esquire, 2002), and Best New Chef (Food and Wine, 2009).
James Noble (Hua Hin, Thailand) From operating a two-Michelin starred restaurant in the UK to personal chef to Mick Jagger, the British chef-cum-entrepreneur’s culinary career is as stellar as they come. Departing from UK, Chef James had explored the journey to Thailand. These days, the founder of The Boutique Farmers can be found at his organic farm in Hua Hin, sowing, growing, and harvesting crops that are highly sought after by some of the finest kitchens in Thailand.
Mario Barrios (Netherlands/Europe) After leaving his native Mexico, Chef Mario interned at a number of 2- and 3-Michelin starred kitchens before joining the Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam in Waldorf Astoria as pastry chef, which was awarded 2 Michelin stars just seven month after opening. These days he runs his own consulting company as pastry chef at Entourage Group in Europe.
Simon Scott (Castres, France) The chef-owner of 1 Michelin-starred Bistrot Saveurs is one of only two British Michelin-starred chefs in France, the other being chef personality Gordon Ramsay. Prior to relocating permanently to France, he was the executive chef at the Savory Grill and before that assistant chef at the Ritz Hotel in London.
Rob van der Veeken (Eindhoven, Netherlands) For anyone else, predecessor Chef Peter Koehn’s shoes might’ve been too big to fill, but for Rob, it was a natural fit to take over the kitchens of De Karpendonkse Hoeve. The restaurant, located in Eindhoven, has been awarded one Michelin star every year since 1979, the year before the legendary Chef Peter joined the establishment.
Guy Lassausaie (Lyon, France) Chef Guy comes from a long line of Lassausaie family members who have worked the kitchens of the 2 Michelin-starred family restaurant founded in 1906. For his personal kind of cuisine rooted in his classical training, his love for the cuisine of Lyon and his travels abroad, he was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 1993.
María José San Román (Alicante, Spain) Renowned for her celebration of iconic Spanish ingredients, the chef and restauranteur is one of the great ladies of Spanish cuisine. In addition to leading the kitchen at 1 Michelin-starred Monastrell in Alicante, the mother of María Eugenia Perramon San Roman is also proprietor of the family-run Grupo Gourmet Alicante, a collection of six restaurants and artisan bakery workshops that sets a new paradigm in Spanish gastronomy.
Bastian Falkenroth (Düsseldorf, Germany) By the time Chef Bastian opened his 1 Michelin-starred U. das Restaurant in 2013, he was already well versed in the world of gastronomy, having worked with chefs Holger Berens, Nils Henkel, and led Patrick le Guern’s restaurant to be listed by Gault-Millau as best seafood place in Düsseldorf. His gourmet creations have also earned him the “Favorite Chef of the year 2017” title from Frankfuter Allegemeine Zeitung Newspaper.
Nicolas Isnard (Prenois, France) Chef Nicolas’ taste for cooking came from grandmother, from whom he learned to cook by her side. By the age of 22, his passions would land him a chef de partie job at Le Prieuré (1* Michelin), and from there, Le Vieux Logis (1* Michelin), La Rotonde (2* Michelin), then finally the head chef of Auberge du Vieux Puits (today a 3* Michelin restaurant) by the age of 25. In 2008. He is now chef-owner of L’Auberge de la Charme, Prenois, (1 Michelin star, 3 Gault Millau points) where he even found time to author L’œuf, a cookbook dedicated to eggs.
Thomas Smith (Bangkok, Thailand) Over his 20-plus years of experience in the UK and France, SO Sofitel Bangkok’s Head Culinary Designer has worked in a number of Michelin starred restaurants, including London’s Savoy Hotel and Les Saveurs in Toulouse, as well as a stint at a six-star hotel in Dubai. Over the years, he also had the pleasure to collaborate with legendary chefs including Heinz Winkler, Michel Roux, Gary Rhodes, and James Martin.
Bruno Dinel (Strasbourg, France) After graduating from hotel school, Bruno initially pursued a career as a sommelier, but destiny intervened and he went on to receive his CAP (Certificat d’Aptitude de boulanger) professional diploma; he would later be recognized with a “Baker of the Year” award in 2007. Renowned for his mastery in blending modernity and tradition, Bruno is now maître boulanger-owner of Le Bistrot du Boulanger, awarded Bib Gourmand status in the Michelin Guide 2016.
Jacques Cocollos (Marennes-Oléron, France) Born to restaurant owner parents, Jacques is no stranger to the world of good food. After obtaining a tourism degree, he worked his way up from commis waiter to F&B consultant before moving to Ireland where he cultivated oysters for 15 years. In 2011, he moved to the world-famous oyster cultivation area Marennes-Oléron in his native France, where he has been exporting top quality oysters from his oyster farm and packing center to Asia since 2009.
Nicolas Elalouf (Hong Kong) When a job opportunity brought the Lausanne Hotel School-educated Swiss national to Hong Kong a decade ago, he fell in love with the bite-sized Cantonese cuisine. This led him to open Man Mo, the world’s first contemporary dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, which has since gone on to achieve acclaim for his fresh take on incorporating European ingredients into each of his recipes including Peking duck dumpling and the bestseller – foie gras siu long bao.
Leo Huguenin (Nancy, France) Employed at Maison Marchand, one of the oldest cheese houses in Eastern France, Leo is a professional caterer and award-winning cheese maker. His talents have seen him recognized with accolades including “Best Young Cheesemonger in the World” as well as the “Young Talent” first prize award at the International Hotel and Food Show (Sirha) in 2015 in Lyon.
Patrice & Phillipe Marchand (Nancy, France) The Marchand brothers are maintaining their family’s long tradition in fresh dairy produce specializing in cheese, an involvement that dates back to 1880. Philippe, an active member of the Select Committee of the French Association of Cheesemakers-Affineurs and member of the International Cheese Guild, is in charge of the cheese business, while Patrice manages the kitchens of the ‘Lez’art’, ‘P’tit Cuny’ and ‘P’tit resto du marché couvert’ restaurants in Nancy, France.
Stéphane Bonnat (Voiron, France) Hailed by critics as the “encyclopedia of chocolate”, Stéphane is the maitre-chocolatier of Bonnat. Established in 1884 in Voiron, France, the family-run company is the longest established chocolaterie in the world. Bonnat’s artisanal offerings include single-origin chocolates, some dating back to the Incan Empire. Recently awarded with 2 gold awards for Chocolate Maker and European categories at International Chocolate Awards 2015, Stéphane is also a member of the Village de Chefs Association.
Leonard Elenbaas (Netherlands/Europe) In his former career, the chef-owner of Pure Passie (Pure Passion) restaurant was a rifleman with the Dutch Marines. Now a demonstration chef and ambassador for Big Green Egg Europe, Leonard is following his passion to create tasteful and healthy dishes. He employs farmers and hunters who grow vegetables and catch game for his creations, and also runs a flour-producing windmill, a cheese and milk factory, and breeds his own Mangalitsa pigs for meat.
María Eugenia Perramón San Román (Alicante, Spain) Born into a family with a tradition for hospitality, Maria started lending a helping hand since a young age in the family-run Grupo Gourmet Alicante during her summer breaks. Following her return from Switzerland and armed with a hotel degree, she joined her mother María José San Román, first at Monastrell restaurant, before taking over the reins at tapas bar La Taberna del Gourmet, which under her management has won a slew of awards.
Be sure to check out the Sofitel So Bangkok!
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