Special Green Season

Special Green SeasonVisit Chiang Mai - Spending at a very special price till 31 October, 2008 TAT Chiang Mai Oppice has cooperated with Passport to Chiang Mai Magazine inviting tourism business’s alliance from Chiang Mai and neighborhood provinces launched special promotion during only this special green season from now to 31 October, 2008. Feel the charm of beautylush nature and cool hospitality of Chiang Mai people. Experience lively green nature; freshen up your fatigue day. Enjoy shopping, adventuring, sport and spa at a very competitive price, that you will be surprised by over 50 packages of accommodations, souvenir shops, spa, golf, and etc., together with special discount vouchers of interesting attractions, which will be available during this special green season. Call TAT Chiang Mai office now at Tel. 0 5324 8604, 0 5324 8607 to get the special edition of passport to Chiang Mai Magazine or download from www.tatchiangmai.org and www.passport2002.com

World Gourmet Festival 2008

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World Gourmet Festival 2008
THE 9TH ANNUAL WORLD GOURMET FESTIVAL AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL BANGKOKBangkok, August 2008: The 9th Annual World Gourmet Festival will take place 22-28 September 2008 at Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok. Since its inception nine years ago, the World Gourmet Festival has grown in prominence to feature an extraordinary line up of some of the world’s best chefs from all continents. Several food festivals are hosted throughout the world, however, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is the only hotel to bring award winning Master Chefs under one roof for a week long celebration of outstanding food, superb wines and to share tips and information on how to create award-winning cuisine. The full line up of chefs is as follows:• Jeffrey Jake, The Carneros Inn, Napa Valley, California, USA• Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, USA• Maurizio Quaranta, La Speranza, Alba, Italy • Glen Ballis, Nedal’nij Vostok, Moscow, Russia• Siggi Hall, Siggi Hall Restaurant, Reykjavik, Iceland• Celina Tio, The American Restaurant, Kansas City, USA• Michael Laiskonis, Executive Pastry Chef, Le Bernardin, New York, USAPROFILES:JEFFREY JAKETHE CARNEROS INN, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA, USAA Napa Valley native, Jake began his culinary career at the venerable Domaine Chandon as a sous chef. In his role as executive chef for The Carneros Inn, Jake is inspired by the abundance of fresh local ingredients that abound in Napa Valley’s Carneros winegrowing region. He oversees the Inn’s private dining restaurant; the sophisticated wine country restaurant FARM; local favorite The Boon Fly Café; and all catering and room service for the Inn. One of his main responsibilities is managing the seasonally-changing menus at both restaurants -- created primarily from the Carneros region’s bountiful array of top-quality produce, cattle ranches, and award-winning cheese producers, found within a 150-mile radius of the Carneros region to ensure food that is at the peak of its season and flavor. Many of the ingredients are sourced on-property including herbs, apples, figs, pears and pomegranates.Prior to his arrival at The Carneros Inn, Jake achieved national acclaim in his role as executive chef at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, where he played an integral role in organizing and executing prestigious, high-profile events that include the AT&T Pro Am Golf Tournament and the Concours d’ Elegance. Jake has also served as chef de cuisine at Pebble Beach, Beach and Tennis Club, Sonoma Mission Inn, and as the executive chef at The Old Bath House Restaurant, which was named “Outstanding Restaurant” by the California Writers Association during his tenure. Jake has also conducted cooking courses at the Culinary Center of Monterey and taught California cuisine cooking classes in Japan. Jake has been the recipient of a number of awards and accolades during his career, including Conde Nast Traveler “Best Resort in North America” award (The Lodge at Pebble Beach, ’03), three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle (Sonoma Mission Inn, ’97), and Gourmet Magazine’s “Top Ten Wine Country Restaurant” (Sonoma Mission Inn, ’98).
MICHAEL GINORHUDSON VALLEY FOIE GRAS, USAAn integral part of the World Gourmet Festival from its beginning, Michael joins us again for a record 9th time. Michael and his business partner Izzy Yanay established Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the major foie gras producer in the world today, and since 1998, have distributed its moulard duck products through a network of domestic distributors extending throughout the United States, and beyond to Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Venezuela. Hudson Valley Foie Gras received the 1993 Gold Merit Award from Chefs in America and the 1996 Award for Excellence from The James Beard Foundation. In 1996, Hudson Valley received the Five Star Diamond Award from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences and in 1998 the Award of Excellence from the American Tasting Institute. In 1996, Michael received the first Olive Branch Award from the Jewish National Fund for humanitarian and professional achievements. He was honoured with the 1997 Angel Award from The James Beard Foundation and in 1998 received the American Master Taster Award from the American Tasting Institute. Both Michael and Izzy Yanay were inducted into the James Beard Foundation 2001 Who’s Who of Food and Beverage. MAURIZIO QUARANTALA SPERANZA, ALBA, ITALY Born in Valgrana Small Village near Cuneo, Piedmont and growing up in the northern part of Italy Maurizio joined the culinary school in Mondovi in 1983. During his diploma course he started to perfect his culinary skills by working part time in St. Moritz, Switzerland, the Cote de D”Azur in France as well as in Central Italy. In 1995 Maurizo opened his first restaurant "Locanda dell’Angelo" near Cuneo which was well recognized by national restaurant guide. In 2000 he opened his second restaurant "Locanda del Pilone" near Alba and was honored with his first Michelin Star in 2002. Maurizio left the restaurant at the end of his contract in May 2008 and is currently working on plans for a new restaurant. Throughout the years, Maurizio has been through different trainings with several well-known chefs such as Sergio Mei, Giorgio Nardelli, Oriol Castra of "El Bulli" as well as the team at "Balzi Rossi", a 2 Michelin star restaurant in Ventimiglia.GLEN BALLISNEDAL’NIJ VOSTOK, MOSCOW, RUSSIAGlen Ballis was born in Melbourne, Australia where he received his culinary education at the local college. He started in the restaurant business some 25 years ago including running his own restaurant for two years in Northern Australia. Glen broadened his culinary expertise in Thailand with Banyan Tree Hotels and stints in Shanghai, Malaysia and Guadeloupe. He also supervised all restaurants at Harrods, London’s premier department store for some time.At "Nedal’nij Vostok" Glen describes his menu as fresh, light, with new smells, tastes and textures and unusual combinations from different cuisines. He believes that a chef’s experience plays a crucial role and he travels twice a year to get acquainted with new dishes and to bring new ideas back to Russia. According to Glen a good chef works with enthusiasm and is always ready to learn and grow. A chef’s work must be creative and he needs to able to pass the enthusiasm on to his team.
SIGGI HALLSIGGI HALL RESTAURANT, REYKJAVIK, ICELANDSigurdur Larus Hall, aka “Siggi Hall”has been a Certified Master Chef since 1982 and while he is now an Ambassador for New Nordic Food as appointed by the Nordic Minister Council he actually started as a trainee in classical french cooking in Reykavik. During the following years he worked both in Norway and Denmark but returned to his native Iceland in 1990. Siggi’s passion is to promote icelandic or nordic food to other cultures. He has been a chef and consultant for the Icelandic Trade Council and has lead the Icelandic Culinary Team from 1991-1996 in international competitions and he appeared in over 60 TV shows in USA, Canada and Europe since 2000. Such as CBS Early Morning Show, Fox morning show et alia. His signature restaurant “Siggi Hall Restaurant”, has been situated in Hotel Odinsve in Reykjavik old city center since 2000 and will be moving to the Reykjavik National Theater later this year. The restaurant has achieved many international and domestic awards and top ratings and was recently cited as one of the “100 most exciting new restaurants in the world” by Condé Nast Traveler. CELINA TIOTHE AMERICAN RESTAURANT, KANSAS CITY, USAA typical day for Celina Tio used to involve shopping lists, Julia Child and The Galloping Gourmet reruns, baking and cooking for family and friends. That was when she was eight. Inheriting her passion for cooking and learning her culinary skills from the men in her life - her brother, father and grandfather - Celina knew at that early age that she wanted to be a chef. Having seen a woman with a TV cooking show, the thought never crossed her mind that she couldn’t make a career of it.While growing up Celina would save her allowance and birthday money to dine at some of the finest restaurants in Philadelphia. At 15 she started her career in the hospitality business as a bus girl in a hotel restaurant dining room where she began to learn the fine details of service and to anticipate the needs of the guests. After two years Celina moved on to serving. Then at 18 years of age, and having been accepted to Drexel University’s Hospitality program, she begged her Kitchen Manager at Bennigan’s to let her work in the kitchen: her “official” culinary beginning.After graduating from Drexel University with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management and Minors in Business and Psychology, Celina contemplated going to culinary school but opted for the “hands on” experience of working her way up at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Philadelphia. She started as the breakfast cook and in just under two years - at the age of 23 - became the Chef of The Grill Room.From the Ritz-Carlton, Celina moved to Orlando to work for Walt Disney World where she opened two of their specialty restaurants: Spoodles, which features Mediterranean cuisine, and Citricos, specializing in dishes from the south of France. She was chosen to be the Task Force Chef for Palo, the fine dining Italian restaurant aboard the M.S. Magic. Celina was then Chef of Narcoossee’s for two years prior to accepting her current position as Executive Chef of The American Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri.Having been at The American Restaurant just over four years Celina has already garnered many accolades and has been featured in local and national press. The Kansas City Star’s food critic, Lauren Chapin, wrote: “Consider the skills necessary to ascend a peak: balance, calmness, concentration, focus and forethought ... Tio brings the same attributes to her professional life. Her dishes are composed and understated; her flavors balanced and concentrated.” Chapin went on to say that every dish she sampled was “technically flawless and perfectly flavored.” Celina has not only wowed local critics, but was named one of thirteen “Chefs to keep your eye on” in Esquire magazine. John Mariani also praised his dining experience at The American Restaurant as one of seven “Best Meals in the USA” in his Virtual Gourmet column and recently wrote in Wine Spectator, “…Tio has matured into one of the more outstanding chefs in the United States today, with a style of her own ..." Celina was named 2005 Chef of the Year by Chef magazine and was recently garnered 2007 Best Chef: Midwest by the James Beard Foundation. Chef Celina still keeps her days busy with shopping lists and cooking for her loyal guests, friends and family, much as she did when she was eight.MICHAEL LAISKONISLE BERNARDIN, NEW YORK, USAAs executive pastry chef at New York’s four star Le Bernardin, Michael Laiskonis produces exquisite desserts that are an elegant balance of art and science. Recently awarded Outstanding Pastry Chef of 2007 by the James Beard Foundation, Laiskonis is celebrated for signature desserts that gracefully layer textures and flavors. New York Times reviewer Frank Bruni proclaims Laiskonis’ desserts are “exemplary…They are sophisticated without being pretentious, multifaceted but not unduly fanciful.”A native of Michigan, Laiskonis’ culinary training is primarily self-directed. As a fine arts student in college, he discovered his passion for pastries while working at a bakery. Initially fascinated by the science of bread, its Zen-like process, and its living, breathing nature, Laiskonis immersed himself in learning everything he could about baking and pastry. Realizing the architectural nature of dessert, with its foundation in flavor and form, Laiskonis was finally able to unite his passions for art and science. After two years, he was appointed pastry chef and sous chef under Rick Halberg at Emily’s in Northville, MI. In 1997 he joined Tribute restaurant, starting as a line cook before assuming the role of pastry chef. Influenced by this experience in both culinary realms, Laiskonis’ approach to dessert often combines tastes that are both savory and sweet. In his five-year tenure as pastry chef at Tribute, Pastry Art and Design twice named him one of the “10 Best Pastry Chefs in America” (2002, 2003).Now at Le Bernardin since 2004, 35-year-old Laiskonis finds the perfect venue to express his ideas through the alchemy of his unique desserts. Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin executive chef and co-owner, says, “Michael’s sensibilities perfectly complement the Le Bernardin style of light, inventive, elegant food.” In addition to his work at Le Bernardin, Laiskonis acts as a consultant and participates in numerous “celebrity chef” events. He served as the moderator of the pastry forum at eGullet.com and also participated as a challenger on Food Network’s first season of Iron Chef America. Since 2006, Laiskonis has consulted for pastry shops in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan and has also worked with the National Peanut Board developing dessert ideas using health conscious techniques and ingredients.Laiskonis has been featured in numerous television and radio appearances, including most recently The Today Show and The Martha Stewart Show. He was the recipient of Bon Appétit magazine’s prestigious 2004 American Food & Entertaining Award and Starchefs.com acknowledged him as one its Rising Stars in 2006. Laiskonis has received accolades from luminaries such as Patricia Wells in the International Herald Tribune, and has been noted by the GQ, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Quarterly Review of Wines, Forbes, Food & Wine, Gourmet, and Details, as well as in leading industry publications such as Art Culinaire, Food Arts and Chocolatier.The event is coordinated and overseen by Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok Executive Chef Nicolas Schneller and Shintaro Chef, Satoshi Sawada and Biscotti Chef, Danilo Aiassa.Each chef will host two evenings in one of the hotel’s restaurants; and a cooking demonstration either for lunch or dinner. You may catch them all at one time at the seven-course Gala dinner on Friday, 26h September 2008.The World Gourmet Gala Dinner promises to be a unique and memorable affair. A cocktail reception will take place from 7:00 pm followed by a seven-course dinner and entertainment. A live auction will feature exciting travel prizes that showcase sister Four Seasons hotels around the globe. Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok is proud to support HRH Princess Soamsawali’s “Save a Child’s Life from AIDS Project” under the auspices of the Thai Red Cross Society which provides medicine for pregnant mothers who are afflicted with AIDS. A portion of all proceeds from the Gala dinner will be donated to this charity.To enjoy this culinary sojourn, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok has created a Gourmet Package which includes deluxe overnight accommodation, full access to the Executive Club (including breakfast, evening cocktails and free internet access) and a featured dinner of choice for each night booked. Packages start at THB13,650 per night plus tax for double occupancy. For gala dinner, please add Baht 3,000++ per person.
For more information and reservations please contact the hotel on +66 (0) 2 250 1000 or reservations.bangkok@fourseasons.com. Individual dinner tickets can be booked through wgf.bangkok@fourseasons.com. The full Festival schedule is available on www.fourseasons.com/bangkok/worldgourmetfestival
For further information, please contact:Annabelle S. Daokaew or Yanisa RatanakositPublic Relations DepartmentTel: (02) 250 1000 / Fax: (02) 254 5390E-mail: annabelle.daokaew@fourseasons.com or yanisa.ratanakosit@fourseasons.com

State of emergency declared in Bangkok

State of emergency declared in Bangkok
By The Nation
PM to have absolute control; PAD to go on protesting despite state of emergency; more people join protest at Government House, pro-government protesters regroup at Sanam Luang, 436 BMA schools closed
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Tuesday morning declared the state of emergency in Bangkok following a fatal clash between the pro- and anti-government supporters early in the morning which killed at least one man and injured dozens.
Reasoning that some groups of people caused disturbances in Bangkok that affect the peace and security, Samak announced the enforcement of the Emergency Decree on Public Administration in Emergency Situations in Bangkok.
The prime minister's order also appointed the army chief to be in charge of enforcing the emergency decree in Bangkok.
The announcement exempted the enforcement paragraph 1 of Article 9 which prohibits people from leaving their houses, meaning people can still go to work.
The state of emergency prohibits gathering of more than five people.
The state of emergency authorises the authorities to evict people from any place or prohibit them from entering a place.
The state of emergency also prohibits news publicity in a way that terrifies the public.
The Manager's website said the protesters occupying Government House were determined to stay on. Protest leaders also told the demonstrators that the government could soon shut down ASTV, the cable TV network belonging to the People Alliance for Democracy. The announcement sent some PAD members to the ASTV headquarters.
The state of emergency also allows the authorities to detain suspects for seven days and would prohibit people from making illegal entries into government offices.
After learning about the emergency situation announcement, the Democratic Alliance Against Dictatorship-led protesters dispersed from the area near the Rajdamnone Boxing Stadium but regrouped at Sanam Luang.
The leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy also were unperturbed by the state of emergency, saying the protest would continue at Government House.
Thai PBS reporter reported from the scene that more people came out to join the rally Tuesday morning.
After making the announcement, Samak appeared in good mood when he accompanied his party member to apply for the Bangkok governor election Tuesday morning.
At 7:20 am, Samak accompaiend Praphat Jongsanguan to apply as a Bangkok governor election candidate at the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration head office.
Democrat Party MP Sathit Wongnongtoey said the state of emergency would allow the prime minister to have absolute control.
Sathit said it seemed that the government foresaw the violence and state of emergency. He said the prime minster and People Power MPs indicated the violence would take place when they spoke during a debate on the political crisis Sunday night.
Supreme Commander Gen Boonsrang Niampradit said the people should stay calm and the government would take only necessary actions.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration announced that its 436 schools will be closed for three days following the announcement of the state of emergency in the capital.
The Nation

Bejing hopes on Thailand maintains stability

Bejing hopes on Thailand maintains stability
China on Tuesday voiced its "sincere" hope of political stability in Thailand after a state of emergency was declared in Bangkok in the morning, Xinhua news agency reported.
"As a friendly neighbour of Thailand, we have closely followed the developments there and sincerely hope that Thailand can maintain political stability," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regular briefing.
On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej announced imposing a state of emergency in Bangkok following violent clashes between pro- and anti-government protesters in the early Tuesday morning that left one dead and 44 injured.

Five Crucial Steps for Ending Crisis

Five Crucial Steps for Ending Crisis
By The Nation
During an emergency session of Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej could have made history if he had chosen to step down or dissolve Parliament after the 12-hour debate. Instead, he ended up as an angry-looking leader who wanted to cling to power, come what may.
Less than 24 hours after the end of the debate, pro-government elements, armed with sticks and clubs, broke through unarmed police barricades. They moved towards Government House, where People's Alliance for Democracy protesters have camped for the past week.
The violent clash killed one man and injured nearly 40 people.
The police almost turned a blind eye to the pro-government elements' move towards the Makkhawan Rangsan Bridge during the early hours where they confronted and clashed with anti-government protesters.
Samak used the confrontation as the raison d'etre to declare the state of emergency. The situation, violent as it might look, did not justify a state of emergency as we did not experience widespread riots or clashes beyond the normal control of police.
Under the executive order, all the emergency power to restore order will be transferred to Army Chief General Anupong Paochinda, but Anupong made it clear at Army headquarters that the Army would use only dialogue and negotiations to restore order without resorting to using force.
This looked like a snub to Samak, who would prefer the Army to use decisive measures to quash the protest at Government House.
At this dangerous moment, we have the following recommendations for all sides to consider in taking the necessary steps to end the political crisis.
First, the prime minister must revoke the state of emergency as quickly as possible.
The longer this stern measure is imposed, the more damage it will create to confidence in the Thai economy and in the country as a whole.
Second, Samak must step down or dissolve Parliament to take responsibility for the fatal clashes on Tuesday and to bring an end to the political crisis.
The Law Society of Thailand has issued a statement expressing doubt over the clash, which looked as if it was a plot written solely to lead to the declaration of the state of emergency.
At the same time, the nine leaders of the PAD must turn themselves in to police to face allegations of treason against the state. Then the protesters must disperse in peace.
Third, all the coalition partners must consider pulling the plug if Samak insists on hanging on in office.
Fourth, an impartial committee must investigate the violent incident to find out who was the mastermind behind the clash between pro-government forces and the PAD.
Fifth, ASTV, the cable-TV broadcasting mouthpiece of the protesters, and NBT, the mouthpiece of the Public Relations Department, must stop disseminating news and information that incites further confrontation in Thai society.
We believe these crucial steps would help restore peace and order to society as a whole, for now at least.

I won't quit nor dissolve House: Samak

I won't quit nor dissolve House: Samak
By The Nation
I'm sorry to my opponents that I did not resign as expected : PM
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej insisted on Thursday that he has no plans to resign, saying he will stay on to protect democracy of the country.He said in a state-run radio programme broadcast nationwide that he needed to uphold the rule of law because Thailand is not a barbaric country. "How could I resign? I cannot resign. I will not dissolve the House," Samak said. "I will stay on to protect democracy of this country. The whole world is watching us.""I will not abandon the ship, and I will take responsibility for the crew on board,'' Samak said.The special radio programme was organized at 7.30am as Samak said he wished to explain the political chaos to people in upcountry who he said did not agree with what People's Alliance for Democracy has done. Samak said the talk is also aimed at convincing people in other provinces who planned to join the protests in Bangkok to change their mind. Samak said he learnt from reports on several TV stations about the speculation of his resignation. He repeated his accusations on PAD leaders who led the occupation of the Government House since last week that who they are and whether they had rights to oust him.Samak said it was the protesters who are violating the Constitution and the law by occupying the Government House. "People who have no (legal) status went into the Government House. How could it be right? How could the country stand if they don't hold on to the Constitution?'' said Samak. "A country without rule of law is not workable. It will be a Barbarian state," he said. Yesterday speculations spread that Samak planned to announce his resignation in his today radio programme. There were three scenarios for embattled prime minister; dissolving Parliament, resigning to pave the way for a new coalition government and resigning to result in formation of a national unity government. In the third scenario, Parliament will need to support an amendment of Article 171 of the Constitution, under which the prime minister must be a Member of Parliament.

Samak declines to say who will replace Tej

Samak declines to say who will replace Tej
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Thursday declined to say who would replace Tej Bunnag as the foreign minister.He said nothing when reporters shot him with the question after he went on air on Radio Thailand at the Public Relations Department.He waved his hands abruptly left in his car without answering reporters' questions.The Nation

No House dissolution: Samak

No House dissolution: Samak
While denying he plans to resing, Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej insisted Thursday morning he will not dissolve the House of Representatives.He said his government would have to go on working to protect democracy.The Nation