Setting a savoury tone

Each year, the Bangkok Chefs Charity project welcomes newcomers, who are normally assigned to make a parade of canapes that kicks off the prestigious gala dinner.

From left, chefs Kristoffer Baek, Sarah Briegel, Bastian Mantey, Thomas Jakobi and Andrew Brown.

The 2013 canape-creating team consists of five executive chefs _ Thomas Jakobi of Okura Prestige Bangkok, Bastian Mantey of St. Regis Bangkok, Kristoffer Baek of Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach Resort, Andrew Brown of Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok, and Sarah Briegel of W Bangkok.

Most of them had never met each other until this event brought them together for a good cause.

"In any way that we can contribute, it's an honour to be a part of the charity project. Canapes set the tone for the rest of the gala dinner," said Andrew Brown. "So you have to pack as much flavour as you can into a small bite but you don't want to confuse the palate."

His contribution to the canape menu include marinated salmon with crab and coconut salad, and duck rillet with minted cabbage and hazelnut kukkah.

The five chefs have different cooking styles and Sarah Briegel takes a modern approach to making canapes, one featuring foie gras, the other prawn, as the key ingredient.

variety of flavourful canapes will kick off the gala dinner.

"Lots of emails went back and forth among the five of us to make sure that we don't cross over in ingredients and ideas, until we came up with a variety of canapes for the gala dinner," said the only female chef of the charity event.

The sole chef from the Pearl of the Andaman, Kristoffer Baek previously lived in Spain. He is a specialist in Mediterranean cuisine, and so the almond gazpacho with sea urchin is prepared with Iberico. His other canape presents smoked cod on pisto and chickpea crisp. Pisto is also a Spanish dish made with tomatoes and vegetables. Thomas Jakobi brings Japanese-inspired canapes to the occasion because he represents the Okura Prestige Bangkok.

Hamachi fish is combined with rice crackers, cucumber and coconut juice for one canape, while another tasty finger food is crab macaroon with ginger and mango. "I heard of this event when working in Phuket before joining the Okura Prestige, and I'm very proud to be a part of the Bangkok Chefs Charity event," said the German chef. "I only knew Sarah before and this event introduced me to the other three chefs, with whom I can exchange new ideas."

Jakobi gets to meet a fellow German, Bastian Mantey of St. Regis Bangkok.

When asked to do canapes, the first thing that came to his mind was to do a northern German dish called labskaus, cooked with marinated veal, fish, beetroot and potato.

"You cook the labskaus and leave it for one to three days, and it tastes better and better," said Mantey. "I will also be doing scallop with vanilla carrot and lettuce mous-seline. It's very sweet, very fine, and well presented."

He has worked in Thailand for only three months, and is delighted to be a part of the Bangkok Chefs Charity team.

"We are all very thankful for where we are, to be in this position as a chef," he said. "We should give back, especially in helping people in rural areas. I saw the pictures how the chefs went to cook for the needy children in the North, and look forward very much to doing that this year."

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About the author

columnist
Writer: Kanokporn Chanasongkram
Position: Reporter