Header images: May Chow, Manish Mehrotra and one of the dishes presented at #50BestTalks
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 got off to a spicy start yesterday with the #50BestTalks: Spice of Life interactive event featuring top chef speakers from David Thompson to May Chow.
Ahead of the main awards ceremony this evening, here are a few of the highlights:
1. Guests arrive by boat
#50BestTalks attendees including Asia's 50 Best chef Umberto Bombana arrived at Bangkok's stunning Sala Rim Naam via river boat from the Mandarin Oriental.
2. Photo call
Chefs, restaurateurs and international food media practised their red carpet poses ahead of the big Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony. Guests included the Asia's 50 Best Academy Chairs (from left to right, Crystyl Mo, Susan Jung, Evelyn Chen and Rashmi Uday Singh) and visiting World's 50 Best Academy Chairs including Nicolas Chatenier, right.
3. Spice talk
Ian Kittichai, chef-owner of Issaya Siamese Club in Bangkok, talked the audience through the key Thai spices and their uses inthe country's four main regions.
4. Tasting sessions
Chefs David Thompson of Nahm, Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah of Locavore and Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent each presented a spice from their country, a sample of which the audience was given to taste.
5. Spice off
David Thompson challenged 50 Best's Group Editor, William Drew, to take on one of Thailand's hottest chillies. Mr Drew, after gamely taking a bite, was rendered speechless for a few moments while he recovered.
6. Sustainability plea
Chef Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava of Bo.Lan in Bangkok gave an impassioned plea to the audience of chefs and food lovers to help preserve the environment and promote sustainability throughout the industry.
7. Cooking demos
Asia's Best Female Chef May Chow, Bo Songvisava from Bo.Lan and Manish Mehrotra of Indian Accent each gave a cooking demonstration to present one of their key dishes. Participants were then invited to taste the final results.
8. The results
#50BestTalks participants took to Instagram to show the dishes created by the three chefs. Here's one of the best compilations:
Exciting food from the cooking demo at #50besttalks by @littlebaomay @chefmanishmehrotra and @chef_bosongvisava @theworlds50best #asias50best #asias50bestrestaurants #spiceoflife #bangkok #asia50best #asia50bestrestaurants • • • • • • #liveauthentic #foodbeast #eeeeeats #eatfamous #feedfeed #dailyfoodfeed #onthetable #lifeandthyme #f52grams #tastingtable #huffposttaste
All guests were then treated to an endless buffet of Thai favourites provided by the Mandarin Oriental.
10. VIP guests
Thailand's Tourism Minister HE Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul (centre) greeted the local chefs.