10 out of 10

The Bangkok Chefs Charity Fundraising Gala Dinner returns, after raising 132 million baht for children's well-being over nine years

Less than a month from now, Bangkok will once again witness the Bangkok Chefs Charity Fundraising Gala Dinner, an annual feat of giving by Thailand's 5-star chefs to help improve the quality of education and well-being of underprivileged Thai schoolchildren in remote areas.

The 2019 Bangkok Chefs Charity dream team.

Organised by Gourmet One, Thailand's leading importer of premium food products, the Bangkok Chefs Charity project was initiated in 2009 and introduced to the fine dining scene a never-before-seen international camaraderie among the men in white. Once a year and exclusively for the occasion, the big-hearted chefs work together in pairs to create a world-class feast with the aim to help raise funds for needy students through dinner ticket sales, a series of auctions and donations.

This year, the 10th edition of the dinner, presided by Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, is set to take place on Monday, Feb 4, at the Royal Ballroom of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok.

The high-minded affair promises to indulge 350 altruistic guests with an 11-course gourmet meal crafted by 22 top chefs, some studded with the prestigious Michelin star, from the country's 5-star establishments, namely Anantara Golden Triangle Chiang Rai; Anantara Siam Bangkok; Angsana Laguna Phuket; the Athenee Bangkok; Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park; Capella Bangkok; Centara Grand at CentralWorld; Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok; InterContinental Bangkok; JW Marriott Bangkok; the Landmark Bangkok; Mandarin Oriental Bangkok; Millennium Hilton Bangkok; the Peninsula Bangkok; Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong; Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok; Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit; Siam Kempinski Bangkok; Thai Airways International and the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok.

For the special evening, the menu has been creatively designed by these top-tier professionals using the best-quality produce -- imported and local.

Culinary highlights of the 2019 event include pesticide-free vegetables from Jan-Ka-Pak, a vegetable shop under the umbrella of Chakrabandh Pensiri Center for Plant Development in Chiang Rai province; camellia oleifera tea-seed oil from PatPat, a brand under the royally-initiated Chaipattana Foundation; and organic hilltribe coffee from Phufa, the occupational incentive project initiated by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

"It is very important that we, as a fine food service provider, also support the sustainable produce and health-promoting ingredients from the royally-initiated projects," said Nuntiya Hame-ung-gull, Gourmet One's managing director.

"To let the public be aware of the many benefits of these high-quality products by the charitable foundation, which has carried out extensive agricultural development, goes in line with the Bangkok Chefs Charity's concept. As we aim to offer ultimate gourmet creations that are heavenly for the palate and as well beneficial for health."

Among locally-harvested greens to be celebrated in the grand feast this year are red cabbage, jalapeño peppers, cauliflower florets, sorrel cress and edible flowers from the northern province. The event will also showcase as always premium ingredients imported from the world's best sources including foie gras, oyster, chicken and eel from France, wagyu beef and baby lamb from Australia, lobsters from Canada, salmon from Scotland and scallops from Hokkaido, Japan.

Of the 11-course menu carefully arranged to provide a brilliant gastronomic sequence, guests can expect to find dishes such as turnip cake with oyster and cucumber; fuqui feipian millefeuille of beef with spices and sesame; crab and smoked tuna with green tea chiboust cream and tea oil vinaigrette; pan-fried duck liver with pistachio crumble, black cherry gastrique and truffle juice; slow-roasted duck breast with cherry, hazelnuts, golden egg and stone potato; oriental herb tea with smoked pigeon and enoki mushroom; and beef Wellington with heirloom carrots and smoked abalone sauce (see full menu on page 5).

The line up of exquisite dishes is smartly paired with a selection of fine wine supported by Central Wine Cellar, a subsidiary of Central Food Retail.

"We are delighted to continue taking part in Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner this year. Our appreciation goes out to all the chefs and hotels for yet another successful event. I'm sure the guests will enjoy the exquisite culinary creations accompanied with our selected wines for the night," said Nick Reitmeier, executive vice-president of international food and alcohol buying, Central Food Retail.

Adding more fun and colour to the charity event is the participation of 11 young cooking enthusiasts as well as a fashion show by children to showcase Phufa's hand-woven Pagakayaw hilltribe shawl, which will be up for auction during the evening.

The event's founders Nuntiya and Patcharin Hame-ung-gull of Gourmet One.

There also will be a grand chef auction. Philanthropic guests who make top donations will be granted an opportunity to choose their preferred chefs to cook a formal gourmet meal at their residence or venue of choice. All money raised during the course of the evening, without any deductions for expenses, will be presented to Princess Sirindhorn to benefit the charity programmes under her patronage.

From the previous nine editions, the Bangkok Chefs Charity project has cultivated through ticket sales, auction and donations more than 132 million baht.

The 2018 event, in particular, raised a total of 32.8 million baht. The highest donation of 11.8 million baht was made by Prayudh and Suvimol Mahagitsiri, followed by a 10 million baht offering from Anant and Piyanuch Raweesaengsun.

The majority of the money went to benefit the Royal Patrol Police schools under Her Royal Highnesses Patronage. The rest of the funds was utilised to provide scholarships for poverty-stricken students and contributed towards the purchase of teaching and learning materials and sports equipment for other needy schools in remote areas across Thailand.

In order to provide full educational support to less-fortunate children, part of the proceeds from last year went towards the construction of two schools in Chiang Mai -- the Bangkok Chefs Charity Border Patrol Police School at Ban Mae Long Tai in Om Koi district and Bangkok Chefs Charity Border Patrol Police School at Ban Mae Khor in Mae Cham district.

The 2019 Bangkok Chefs Charity Fundraising Gala Dinner will take place in the Royal Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, on Monday, Feb 4. The event will be presided by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The evening will start at 5pm with a grand Champagne cocktail-and-canapés reception in the foyer of the Royal Ballroom. Tickets are 12,500 baht net per seat (for a table of 10). For more information and reservations, call Gourmet One at 02-403-3388 ext 108 or 091-837-5555, or Khun Rachanee of F&B Department, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok at 02-659-0302 or 02-659-9000.

Nick Reitmeier of Central Wine Cellar.

Bangkok Chefs Charity 2019 Bangkok Chefs Charity 2019

A phenomenal camaraderie between hotels' executive chefs can only be found at the Bangkok Chefs Charity event.