A four-day food, wine and wellness extravaganza dubbed the Asian Organic Gourmet Festival (AOGF) is being organised by the 137 Pillars Suites & Residences on Sukhumvit Soi 39 in the heart of Bangkok from March 22 to 25.
Now in its fourth edition, it will showcase the importance of buying locally sourced produce, how to prepare the food healthily without losing any flavour, and how to pair the finished cuisine with the right wine. The hotel, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, will bring together leading wellness consultants, a selection of top chefs and some of the finest wine producers.
This year, chefs Javier Rodriguez from Santiago del Estero in Argentina, Colin Chung from Hawaii and Peter Van Es from Australia are being flown to Bangkok especially for this event and will join chef Anchalee Ponrungsit and the culinary team at 137 Pillars Suites & Residences.
Rodriguez has worked in some of the world’s most celebrated one, two and three-starred Michelin restaurants including Tetsuya’s in Australia, Noma in Denmark, Maaemo in Norway, La Gloria in Peru, Restaurant Andre in Singapore and Viajante in England. He believes strongly in using the highest quality seasonal produce purchased from small local producers.
Based in Fiji, chef Chung can’t keep away from the sea and the delicious bounty it provides. His most recent book, “Kana Vinaka”, which means “eat well or good food” is not only about cuisine in the Pacific Island country, but also a not-for-profit initiative designed to enhance the lives, farming and eating habits of those on the islands.
Van Es’ passion is red meat. He has worked in many five-star establishments and even with the culinary master Michel Roux when he was at the world-famous and Michelin-starred Waterside Inn in Bray, England. He also does a lot for charity, and at a recent Oxfam Taste for Change dinner he delighted diners with a main course of beef cheek papillote with scallop, spinach, speck and foie gras sauce.
The festival’s main highlight will be the daily gala dinner at Nimitr on Level 27. This is where the chefs’ individual flair and creativeness will shine, as they put together a menu of the finest organic food paired with carefully scripted organic wine to create a culinary journey that will impress even the most sophisticated gourmands.
The invited chefs will also share their experience and culinary wizardry in special cooking classes scheduled to take place on the Friday and Saturday (March 23-24) from 11am.
Anchalee, executive sous Chef at 137 Pillars Suites & Residences Bangkok, said: “To be able to work alongside the hugely talented chefs that we have invited is a great opportunity for myself and the entire 137 Pillars team. We're going to put on a culinary show the likes of which Bangkok has never seen before, I can't wait.”
It’s not all about fine dining and celebrity chefs. There are also plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy throughout each day.
Running alongside the festival will be a farmers’ market taking place at the Jamjuree Lawn on the ground floor of the hotel between 11am to 8pm daily. The market will showcase locally grown organic produce such as rice and vegetables, as well as a whole range of refreshing drinks and delicious freshly prepared food.
On March 24, Roger Moore will start off the day on how everyone can find a balance in life with the 7 Pillars of Wellness and expert wellness practitioners Ron Veldhuis and Henrik Olofsson will also share their insight on how to lead a healthier and happier life through carefully choreographed presentations and demonstrations. Judith Coulston-Geissman will also be conducting a food as medicine nutrition class, and will join Anchalee for the wellness cuisine cooking class.
The art auction is also a highlight and this year there will be both live and silent auctions taking place daily, with unique artworks up for grabs, as well as other high-end luxury products.
The four-day event will culminate on March 25 with a gala finale brunch buffet that will take place at Bangkok Trading Post from 11.30am.
Part of proceeds will go to support the Beaumont Partnership Foundation which was established to help serve needy communities in Thailand and provide education to rural children free of charge. Last year in Chiang Mai, the event raised Bt236,000 which was donated to the Warm Heart Charity.
Prices are Bt4,200 per person for the gala dinner, Bt1,900 for the cooking class, Bt3,500 for the wellness day and Bt2,900 per person for the gala finale brunch.
For details and reservations, call (02) 079 7137 or visit www.137PillarsHotels.com.