It’s been an amazing first quarter in Bangkok as far as foodies are concerned – with the local restaurant scene seemingly in unstoppable growth wave, the visits of several top chefs from around the world, and not the least, the recent hosting of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants!
by Lookeast Team.
In March, several top chefs from around the world gathered in the capital to celebrate their achievements in the culinary world, as Bangkok hosts, for the first time, “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards.” Held in Singapore in the past three years, the much-talked about award ceremony moved to Bangkok, in an apparent recognition of the city’s growing reputation as one of the world’s top gourmet destinations today.
A series of events showcased what aficionados of the best in dine and wine can expect in Bangkok. With restaurants like The Blue Elephant, Never Ending Summer, Bunker (which has not even fully opened yet), House on Sathorn, and clubs such as Kudeta and others hosting one event after another, there was no doubt that the organizers wanted to show samples of only the best of the best that the capital can offer.
The activities culminated in the awards night where Chef Gaggan, of Gaggan Restaurant, reprised his victory last year as the No. 1 restaurant in Asia again. Other Thai restaurants also figured well in the rankings.
Gaggan, in an interview, pointed out how the awards have given due recognition to Asia as much as it does to those from Europe, France, Japan or New York. “The world is getting smaller and we have gotten bolder,” he said. As the world becomes one small community and people from different nations become more closely interconnected, so follows the food culture.
With Thailand’s long culinary traditions and food culture, it was only inevitable that the organizers give it due spotlight, and indeed, at the “50 Best Gala Dinner,” the visiting chefs made sure that some culinary treasures of Thailand, specifically ingredients from the Royal Projects, become integral part of the show. For example, Chef Nan Rangsima Bunyasaranand started off the first menu with peach and herb salad, where he made ample use of trout and other products and ingredients from the Royal Projects.
There was even a segment called ‘50 Best Explores Thailand,’ where the three amazing international chefs: Joan Roca, The World’s 50 Best Restaurant No. 1; Ashley Palmer- Watts, No. 7; and Peter Gilmore, No. 58; visited Chiang Mai to check out what it has to offer.
Joining them were Thailand’s top chefs: Chef Nan of Little Beast, Chef Nooror Somany Steppe of The Blue Elephant, and Chef Chumpol from Iron Chef of Thailand.
Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand is one of the country’s “food bowls,” abundant with produce from fields, farms, and orchards that are scattered around the countryside growing all kinds of vegetables and fruits from both the Tropics and temperate regions; coffee and tea, herbs and spices, and more.
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants is created by The Diners Club® Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, an influential group of over 300 leaders in the restaurant industry across Asia, each selected for their expert opinion of Asia’s restaurant scene.
The academy is divided into six voting regions: India & Subcontinent; Southeast Asia-South; Southeast Asia -North; Hong Kong, Taiwan & Macau; mainland China and Korea; and Japan. The divisions are designed to represent the Asian restaurant scene as fairly as possible.
Each region has its own panel of 53 members including a chairperson to head it up. The panel is made up of food writers and critics, chefs, restaurateurs, and highly regarded ‘foodies.’ Each panelist has seven restaurant votes. Of the seven votes, at least three must be used to recognize restaurants outside of the voter’s home country.
The ceremony was also streamed live courtesy of main sponsor, S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna via its content hub, www.finedininglovers.com