Chocolate… mmmmm. But did you consider it as part of a broader savory menu? I enjoyed an evening of chocolate-infused cuisine and, well, it really works!
Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket is treating guests to a new menu of savoury dishes with a sweet twist as Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts launches its ‘Chocolate on the Salty Side’ promotion.
In celebration of Swiss cuisine and the wonderful versatility of chocolate, the brand’s talented ‘food artisans’ have made Mövenpick chocolate the hero of seven dishes in its latest global campaign, which runs to 20 November, 2018.
From salmon fillets enlivened with dark chocolate to a savoury tarte tartin with a white chocolate flourish, each new creation offers up something distinctively flavourful and showcases chocolate in new exciting ways to guests dining at Movenpick Karon Beach El Gaucho Restaurant.
The seven chocolate-inspired creations include: marinated ‘beetroot salmon’ with root vegetables and 72% dark chocolate to enhance the meal’s rich earthiness; ‘tomato tarte tartin’ where ‘white lemon’ chocolate complements the goat’s cheese, pine nuts and coffee beans; ‘sea bass and green tea’ – a light foam of green tea, almonds, nuts and Mövenpick ‘Maple Walnut’ is the star; ‘minute beef goulash’, with a traditionally-made Hungarian goulash sauce, enriched with dark chocolate; ‘lamb shank and pesto’, slow-roasted and then refined with pistachio and hazelnut chocolate pesto; and ‘duck breast and potato pie’, with white chocolate, lime and pepper giving the pink-roasted meat a delicate yet spicy freshness.
Whilst the dishes have been infused with chocolate, it’s barely noticeable in most cases but makes for some subtle new tastes on European classics.
Less subtle are the exquisite desserts which are a blatant celebration of all things chocolate. Guests can finish their meal with a tempting ‘chocolate pavés au chocolat’, combining milk chocolate, crispy cocoa bean fragments, sizzling pecan nuts and slightly bitter matcha powder, all with a hint of green tea and paired with an espresso.
The quality of Swiss craftsmanship is world-famous and even the country’s chocolate is produced with legendary precision. Mövenpick chocolate is made in keeping with the tradition, as well as its own culinary values that date back 70 years, and is produced in Switzerland using 100% cocoa butter.
Tim Newton was a guest of the management of Mövenpick Resort & Spa Karon Beach Phuket
Is cooking endangered rays on ‘MasterChef Thailand’ OK?
Despite experts confirming that fishing, cooking and eating spotted eagle ray is completely legal in Thailand, as Thai law still does not include the species in the country’s protected animal list, many people say that the use of endangered species as cooking material on the popular TV show jeopardised the efforts to conserve these and other rare animals.
Earlier on World Wildlife Day, which highlights the conservation of marine biodiversity, the reality cooking-competition show “MasterChef Thailand” had selected stingrays as the main ingredient for the program.
But after the show had aired it was noticed that the rays used in the TV show were the rare spotted eagle variety.
The discovery has sparked hot debate on social media over the legality and appropriateness of consuming this endangered marine species, with one side strongly pointing out that the consumption of endangered rays was unacceptable, while the other side argued that such stingrays were not that rare and their consumption was widespread in the Kingdom.
Thon Thamrongnawasawat, a leading marine biologist at Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Fisheries, said the exact ray species that had been used on the TV show had not yet been confirmed, but it was very likely the fish were one of two spotted eagle species – Aetobatus ocellatus, which can be found in the tropical Indo-West Pacific region, or Aetobatus narinari, which live in the Atlantic Ocean.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), both spotted eagle ray species have conservation status, as they are endangered by unsustainable fishing and habitat loss and their populations are in decline.
Aetobatus ocellatus is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list, while Aetobatus narinari is listed as near-threatened, Thon said.
The marine biologist confirmed that despite the international conservation status of both species, their consumption on the TV show would have been legal, because these ray species were still not protected under Thailand’s animal conservation law.
SOURCE: The Nation
A toast to female chefs – Women in Gastronomy 2019 Bangkok
Leading female chefs and wine makers will gather in Bangkok for the International Women’s Day culinary forum at Banyan Tree on March 8.
The second edition of the global food forum Women in Gastronomy (WIG) organised by Gastronauts Asia will showcase an array of acclaimed female food personalities from Thailand and beyond. The full-day symposium will feature presentations and panel discussions, as well as a Bangkok street food lunch prepared by several of the chefs.
This year’s program will also introduce a new feature – women in wine – bringing together some of Italy’s most prestigious wine producers for tastings and more.
WIG 2019 will focus on Italy as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and Thailand.
The event will be headlined by chef Cristina Bowerman from Michelin-starred restaurant Glass Hostaria in Rome, one of Italy’s most celebrated chefs. She is regarded as an inspiring chef in the mainly male-dominated field of haute cuisine. Bowerman completed a course in Culinary Arts in the US and returned to Italy in 2004. She won a Michelin star in 2010 for her highly modern cuisine, and she’s the only female chef in Rome holding the accolade.
The special Bangkok Street Food lunch will feature distinctive dishes by Nooror Somany-Steppe from Blue Elephant, Saki Hoshino from 80/20, Jutamas Theantae from Karmakamet, Pichaya Utharantharm – a judge from Top Chef Thailand, Rungthiwa Chummonkhon from The Front Room, Pantong Pratumpak from Err, Naree Boonyakiat, Rangsima Bunyasaranand and Renu Homsombat and Portntip Eumanan from Banyan Tree Bangkok.
On March 8 and 9, guests can also experience special Thailand meets Italy 4-hand dinners by Cristina Bowerman and first winner of Top Chef Thailand Chudaree Debhakam. Cooking together for the first time ever, Bowerman and Chudaree will present an exclusive tasting menu revolving around seasonal, local Thai ingredients. The six-course dinners will be paired with top Italian wines in a private area at Vertigo rooftop restaurant. The dinner costs 4,900 baht per person or 6,900 baht with wine pairing.
The conference and lunch on March 8 costs 1,900 baht while the wine master class and tasting is priced at 1,600 baht. The full day experience costs 3,200 baht.
Find out more by visiting www.WomenInGastronomy.Asia, or call (02) 286 7821.
Olta is the newest ‘olternative’ in Bangkok’s Suan Phlu
Scottish Chef Jamie Wakeford, of noted Phuket restaurant Bampot Kitchen, is rolling out a new restaurant in Bangkok.
Themed as ‘modern British’, and named Olta, the outlet has just opened in the Suan Phlu neighborhood.
The Suan Phlu area is described as one of Bangkok’s latest dining enclaves, with new fashionable openings arriving every month. Currently, Suan Phlu is currently the IT restaurant area in the capital. This street is interesting for foreigners because it is in early stages of gentrification – the old shop houses are still there, along with the great street food stalls you expect, but now these have been joined by a new generation of funky modern venues appealing to locals, expats and tourists.
Suan Phlu is located on upscale Sathorn Road, close to many of the large five-star hotels – The Metropolitan, Banyan Tree and The Sukhothai. If you are arriving by BTS, it is easiest to get off at Chong Nonsi and take a short taxi.
Hitting the road to Bangkok, Wakeford is mixing up classic dishes and local taste with a talented innovative approach at Olta.
A cozy bar completes the offering. Looking for what’s new in Bangkok? Olta certainly should make the top of the list.
Best wishes to Jamie Wakeford and his new BKK team.
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