Phuket’s top chefs join forces to benefit the Home & Life Orphanage Foundation

Posted on October 31, 2014

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Food and sharing go together like a horse and carriage. The upcoming “Enchanted Evening” charity dinner, which will take place at the five-star Centara Grand Beach Resort on November 1, is about to take this idea even further. The Phuket Gazette talks to the chefs involved in the event to learn how they are planning to add to the evening’s flare and why they decided to share their skills to benefit those in need.

The “unforgettable evening of art, entertainment, fine wine and gourmet dining” as Larry Amsden, one of the event’s organizers, describes the event, will see five of Phuket’s top chefs prepare a vast array of dishes to please the pallets of Centara’s guests and also benefit the residents of the Home & Life Orphanage Foundation.

“I have lived and worked in Thailand for over 10 years, great years. I feel it is important to give to those less fortunate in my adopted country,” explains Chef Lee Alan Wood from Radisson Blue.

“Thai people have been very generous to my family and me over the years. I sincerely want to contribute with my chef friends in any way I can.”

Chef Lee chose to present a mangrove crab salad with seared watermelon, curry mayonnaise, quinoa crisp and mustard sprouts, to reflect on the natural freshness of Thai food. “The delicate sweetness of crab and watermelon pair nicely with the curry mayonnaise and our resort-grown mustard micro greens,” he explains.

Chef Sandro Aguilera of the Iniala Beach House, who will be preparing pescaito frito – a marinated crunchy fish – and beet root ceviche to the table, reflects on his reasons for joining the event.

“I am very lucky to do what I love and to be where I want to be. We all are very fortunate and helping others costs us nothing,” he explains.

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Other chefs whose creations will land on the tables that evening include Chef Laurent Valette of the Centara Karon Blue as well as Anantara Phuket Layan Chef Umberto Piccolini. The latter has joined forces with Chef Belinda Tuckwell of the The Pavilion Resort to come up with a main dish – braised pork neck served with norcia truffle, codfish, artichoke and burgundy carrots. It is a concoction of Mediterranean flavors that both chefs admire.

When asked why he decide to join the “Enchanted Evening”, Chef Piccolini leaves no doubt. “What better way for a chef to help out than to join an event where he can express his creativity and, at the same time, do something for charity?”

In addition to the exquisite food, the event will feature live music performances, as well as a number of items donated by various Phuket resorts and hotels, such as room and dining vouchers, to be auctioned off. However, what promises to be the most interesting part of the evening will be the auctioning of the five chefs participating in the event, who will provide a personal dining experience for the highest bidder at a venue of their choice.

All proceeds will benefit Home & Life Orphanage Foundation, an orphanage built in the wake of the devastating 2004 tsunami, which is currently home to 25 children and in need of capital improvements.

Advance purchase of tickets for the charitable feast are 3,500 baht. At the door, tickets will be 3,900 baht. If an entire table of eight is booked, the cost is 3,000 baht per person.

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