Foie gras to be star of Gala dinner

Bangkok-based executive chefs are preparing to add a Thai twist to the classic French treat, Foie gras, at this year's Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner

Foie gras is a staple for the Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner. At this year’s (the sixth) annual event, preparation for the duck liver dish has been assigned to executive chefs Jose Martin Ruiz Borja and Antony Scholtmeyer, who will be combining their cooking chemistry to create seared foie gras, smoked eggplant, tamarind and dried tropical fruit salsa.

Executive chef Jose Martin Ruiz Borja of the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel with executive chef Antony Scholtmeyer of The Sukhothai Bangkok.

Heading The Sukhothai Bangkok’s kitchen, Chef Scholtmeyer is used to working with this delicacy and has even made a foie gras ice cream, which was served as a savoury appetiser. He used the flavour components of the classic combination of duck foie gras and orange, but in an innovative approach.

“It is a luxury ingredient and also very versatile,” he said of the French culinary treat. “It’s great to serve either hot or cold; as a main ingredient or as an accompaniment to another ingredient.”

BOOKING DETAILS

The 2014 Bangkok Chefs Charity Gala Dinner & Auction will take place in the Royal Ballroom at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, on July 21 starting at 6pm. The event will again be presided over by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. The evening will kick off with a grand champagne cocktail and canape reception from 5.30pm in the foyer of the Royal Ballroom. Tickets cost 12,500 baht net per seat (for a table of 10). For more information or reservations, call Rachanee (F&B department) at the Mandarin Oriental on 02-659-0302, or phone Gourmet One on 02-403-3388 ext 508 or 081-732-1018.

For this year’s dinner the preferred cooking method will be to sear under high temperature to give a lovely caramelisation to enhance the flavour of the foie gras.

“Searing also helps to keep the natural flavour and moisture inside, which is very important, as foie gras is a delicate ingredient to handle,” the Australian chef added.

Charged with thinking of a Thai twist for the foie gras dish, Chef Borja, who is from Spain, proposed a touch of tamarind, which works well by adding a contrasting sweet and sour flavour to the richness of the foie gras. The tamarind blended with duck stock also helps to balance the acidity of the dish.

“Foie gras is a fantastic ingredient, not only the flavour, but also the texture. It is a fresh ingredient, enhanced by the tropical fruit salsa of the dish,” said Chef Borja of the Renaissance Bangkok Ratchaprasong Hotel. Cutting the richness of the foie gras is the salsa, which is made of dried Thai fruits and fresh passion fruit, while the eggplant gives it a nice smokiness. The two chefs said that they wanted to focus on a “sweet and sour” flavour combination for a fully mouthwatering foie gras. Chef Borja has been a part of the charity event for the fourth year running, which has allowed him to create different dishes each time, like last year’s sea bass for example.

“It’s always an honour to be a part of the event and a part of a team; to give back to Thai society,” said the Spanish chef. Chef Scholtmeyer, meanwhile, is back for the second time.

“I love the camaraderie with the other chefs and even though it is an incredible charity event it is also a great day to spend together,” he said. “The amount of money raised for such a great cause is a credit to all involved.”

Seared foie gras, smoked eggplant, tamarind and dried tropical fruit salsa.

SEARED FOIE GRAS, SMOKED EGGPLANT, TAMARIND AND DRIED TROPICAL FRUIT SALSA

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