Samui Wining & Dining
Six Chefs – Six Senses

Presenting the fourth annual Charity Dinner at Six Senses Samui.

 

Six Chefs – Six Senses

If you’ve ever experienced the work of a world-class chef then you’ll know how special it is. It’s a rare treat and one that’s not to be forgotten. But just try to imagine six of them at once; each one a 5-star chef and a master of his art. Put them all together in one kitchen and ask each to create a special dish – six chefs making one meal with six courses. It’s the culinary equivalent of an all-star Hollywood blockbuster. And it’s become a once-a-year event that’s not to be missed with this year’s dinner being held on the 3rd September at Six Senses Samui.

 

For a long time now Six Senses Samui has pledged time and effort to deserving local causes. The first fundraising dinners were directed towards the Samui Centre of Learning in Lamai. But this year the proceeds will go towards much-needed materials and equipment for the 400 primary school students at Baan Laem Hoi School, in Mae Nam.

 

Six Senses is one of Samui’s most exclusive resorts, hidden away at the island’s most north-easterly tip, at Samrong Bay. As a part of the Six Senses Group, the resort has been a leading light in Samui’s Green movement for quite a while now, liaising with local schools and developing programs of work and exchange schemes with students. Their spectacular signature restaurant, Dining on the Rocks, is not only a Samui landmark but has also gained international acclaim for its innovative cuisine. The ‘restaurant’ is actually a series of nine interlinked wooden decks at different levels across the rocky cliffside and with a dramatic moonrise vista. Their Executive Chef, Nickolas Bovine (whose résumé includes time with Four Seasons in Hawaii and the much-acclaimed Koi Restaurant in Los Angeles), has diners travelling from as far afield as Hong Kong and Singapore, simply to sample his cuisine.

 

But, to fully grasp what this dinner is all about, you first need to take the idea of having six senses along to the students at Baan Laem Hoi School! Explain to them that when our five senses are all in play together then we begin to transcend. And then let the students firstly pair our five senses with five chefs, so each of them can come up with a dish to match. Creating a gourmet offering based on ‘smell’ or ‘taste’ is not too tricky. But it’s going to take some imagination to balance the right ingredients for ‘sound’. And the chef who gets the sixth sense is faced with a challenge – what sublime creation will conjure a sense of ‘beyond’?

 

It’s not going to be easy, creating custom-made gourmet offerings that evoke the sensations of all of our five – sorry, six senses! It’ll take the chefs a while to come up with something. And part of the fun of it all is that none of the diners know what dishes they can expect. But, whatever culinary bliss finally emerges, everybody knows it’ll be superb. So here’s an introduction to the other artists who’ll be working in the Six Senses ‘studio’ along with Chef Nickolas, and a word or two about each of them in turn.

 

Zazen Boutique Resort & Spa is one of the north coast’s most delightful resorts and with two restaurants, Zazen and Le Salon de Ti, that are the envy of many. Prior to coming to Samui, French Executive Chef, Cyrille Keyser, had worked extensively in Europe and America and at the prestigious Aman New Delhi where he was in charge of five different kitchens. Cyrille has been allocated ‘touch’; will everybody have to go ‘hands on’?

 

Rocky’s Boutique Resort at the southern end of Lamai Beach is another stunningly-pretty resort and with a legendary restaurant, The Dining Room, to match. Award-winning Executive Chef, Azizskandar Awang, previously served his time with household names such as Marriott, Hilton, and Renaissance but is currently about to deliver his special dish on the theme of ‘smell’. Durian pie, perhaps?

 

The romantic 5-star SALA Samui Resort and Spa, close to Choeng Mon, boasts another superb fine-dining restaurant, and with their Executive Chef, Nick Hall, having drawn the presumably easy straw of ‘taste’. He’s previously worked for 5-star establishments around Thailand, with his last appointment being at the exclusive Rasanandra Resort and Spa on Koh Pha-Ngan. And you can rest assured that this is one dish that’ll be … tasty!

 

Rainer Roersch is another creative culinary artist and his résumé includes periods of working at the Banyan Tree in Bahrain and the Banyan Tree Sanya in China before coming to the island in 2010 and becoming the Executive Chef at Lamai’s luxurious Banyan Tree Samui. The keyword for Rainer was ‘sound’. Celery? Pork crackling? We just can’t wait!

 

Bophut’s Hansar Samui is a comparatively- new addition to the scene, but one which rapidly made its mark. Part of the reason was its H-Bistro restaurant, created and managed by Executive Chef, Stephen Jean Dion. The expected 5-star accolade forms a part of Stephen’s work-history but with the rare addition of his also having spent two years as the private chef for the King and Queen of Jordan. And with all the promising possibilities of ‘sight’, Stephen’s offering undoubtedly will be fit for a king’s eyes.

 

And number six? The ‘sense of beyond’? Well perhaps it’s fate that this has fallen to the captain and commander of the host kitchen. Chef Nickolas will need to rise to the occasion, exercise his own sixth sense and create … well, something esoteric, whatever it turns out to be!

 

But here an appreciative word is in order for the event’s sponsors. Choice Foods Thailand Ltd. was established way back in 1972 to supply quality imported produce to Bangkok’s then rapidly-expanding hotel industry. They were the first-ever company to import chilled prime meat and fish, and are providing all the ingredients for the upcoming feast. And thanks also to the forward-looking FIN. Anyone that abbreviates their company name from Fabulous Is Needed has a point to make, and in this instance it’s revealed by the excellence of the FIN wines that are paired with each of the courses.

 

The evening begins with a pre-dinner cocktail at 6:30 pm, to which all are warmly welcome. This occasion is one of the most-celebrated events on the Samui calendar, even more so when you realise that the overall charge for the six courses with matched wines is just 3,500 baht per head. But it’s on the 3rd of the month – so you’d better head for the phone to book your place immediately!

 

Rob De Wet

The evening begins with a pre-dinner cocktail at 6:30 pm, to which all are warmly welcome. This occasion is one of the most-celebrated events on the Samui calendar, even more so when you realise that the overall charge for the six courses with matched wines is just 3,500 baht per head. But it’s on the 3rd of the month – so you’d better head for the phone to book your place immediately!

 


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