It was billed by many, including BK Magazine, as potentially one of the biggest food events of the year, and now that the dust has settled it appears that Gourmet Theatre lived up to its name. The event was already one of the most talent-rich fine-dining experiences of 2024 on paper, with some of  the biggest names in Thailand’s food scene collaborating with all-star chefs and mixologists from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

Taking inspiration from its successful debut in 2020 in Hong Kong, Gourmet Theatre transformed The Food School into a full-on “walking chef’s table” that saw guests travel across the sprawling culinary institute to eat and drink inside the test kitchens used by chefs to prepare their dishes. Divided into two paths, named "Stage #1" and "Stage #2," each group of diners got around 9-10 courses accompanied by an array of boozy drinks.


"We basically took over the entire building to just serve food and drinks," said Weerawat "Num" Triyasenawat, head chef and owner of Udon Thani's esteemed Samuay & Sons. "There was food there that many Bangkokians had never eaten before.”

“It’s a concept that we’ve never seen, or tried, before,” adds Phanuphon “Black” Bulsuwan, chef-owner of Chiang Mai’s Blackitch, who joined Num in a four-hands experience as part of the Stage #1 path. “You sit, eat, drink, then walk to another station and do it all over again. There are so many famous chefs here. It’s exciting to exchange these experiences with them as well.”


Repping team Thailand were Chalee Kader (BK Magazine’s Chef of the Year in 2023) from Wana Yook, and Chudaree “Tam” Debhakam from Baan Tepa (BK Magazine’s number-one ranked restaurant in 2023), Weerawat “Num” Triyasenawat from Samuay & Sons, Phanuphon “Black” Bulsuwan from Blackitch, Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat and Kanyarat “Jib” Thanomseang from Kaen, and Susumu Shimizu of the recently opened but massively popular Denkushiflori

The visitors included Tam Kwok Fung of Chef Tam’s Seasons (Macau), Barry Quek of Whey (Hong Kong), Alex Peng of Akame (Taiwan), May Chow of Little Bao (Hong Kong), and Ryogo Tahara of logy (Taipei). 

The drinks front was no less powerful. Between bites, diners got to sip on cocktail creations from the likes of Bangkok’s Bar Us (BK Magazine’s Best Cocktail Bar 2024) and Changsha’s award-winning CMYK (Best New Bar of the Year in DRiNK Award 2023), and enjoy a special sake experience from Elliot Faber, beverage director of Michelin-starred Yardbird and RŌNIN in Hong Kong. 

“It’s a very exciting idea to have cocktails as a part of the pairing, instead of sticking with only wine for this really epic event,” said Tommy Wong, co-founder of CMYK. “We had to think: How can we make all these guests’ feel hungrier and more excited for the next dish? That’s the main challenge, and it’s a challenge, but a very exciting one.”


Stage #1

Line-up: Blackitch, Samuay & Sons, Kaen, Chef Tam’s Seasons, Whey, CMYK, and Bar Us.


On the second floor of the The Food School, the Stage #1 experience saw diners travel through a total of four rooms: three for food and drink pairings and one for cocktails (a collaboration between Bar Us and CMYK). 

First, Thai chefs Num and Black joined forces for a four-hands experience that delved deep into the rural ingredient list of the Isaan provinces—including a few presentation twists that belie the actual flavors diners expect until the first bite. 

“Sometimes, exotic cuisine is hard to understand,” says Black. “One of our ideas here was to present exotic cuisine in a comforting way, almost a Western way, but when diners eat it they will get flavors they have never tasted before.”


Following up the four-hands experience with chefs Num and Black was a mammoth six-hands experience with Thailand’s Paisarn and Jib (Kaen) and Macau’s superstar Chef Tam Kwok Fung (Chef Tam’s Seasons, with one Michelin star and listed on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants). Here, the worlds of Isaan and Cantonese dining collided—think poached chicken with sato served alongside fiery Isaan sauces. 



“The event allowed us to work together to create a unique dining experience that goes beyond a typical restaurant visit,” says Tam. “I had the chance to work with Jib and Paisarn back when I was working in Bangkok many years ago. Having the opportunity to present a six-hands menu experience with them felt truly special.”



The last food experience for Stage #1 highlighted the Singapore-inspired European creations of Barry Quek, chef at one-Michelin-star Whey in Hong Kong. Unlike the first two, the Singapore-born chef manned his station alone, but produced a no less engaging experience — speaking with guests and zipping back to handle food. 



As guests dart between food stations, they take a rest stop at a collaborated bar hosted by Changsha’s CMYK and Bangkok’s Bar Us. 


Stage #2

Line-up: Baan Tepa, Wana Yook, Little Bao, logy, Akame, Denkushiflori, Err Urban Rustic Thai, and Elliot Faber.


The Stage #2 path took over the third floor of The Food School, and its line-up was no less impressive. 

Two of Bangkok’s fine-dining heavyweights, Chudaree “Tam” Debhakam of Baan Tepa (two Michelin stars and BK Magazine’s number-one ranked restaurant in Bangkok for 2023) and Chalee Kader (BK Magazine’s Chef of the Year 2024) of Wana Yook (one Michelin star) helmed their own food stations — showing off some of their known signatures with a couple of twists. 


Then, a series of one-off chef collaborations saw Taipei’s Ryogo Tahara of logy (two Michelin stars) and Hong Kong’s May Chow (Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants’ Best Female Chef 2017) of Little Bao partner for their first-ever four-hands experience.



Meanwhile, Thailand’s Susumu Shimizu of Denkushiflori and Taiwan’s Alex Peng of Akame (Asia’s 50 Best Discovery) fused the worlds of French, Japanese and indigenous Taiwanese cuisines.



To round it all out, Elliot Faber, Hong Kong’s renowned sake advocate—and a recipient of the exclusive”‘Sake Samurai” award—partnered with Err Urban Rustic Thai, the famed casual restaurants by celebrity chefs Dylan Jones and Duangporn “Bo” Songvisava, for a one-of-a-kind sake pairing with powerful Thai snacks. 

The evening wrapped up with an afterparty downstairs that gave guests a chance to mingle with the chef talent and smash down a handful more cocktails before stumbling home. 


According to the Gourmet Theatre organizers, the event will return to Thailand next year and continue its expansion across Asia with various one-off events.


About Gourmet Theatre 

Gourmet Theatre is a unique dining event that combines two of the most crucial elements of a fun dining experience: good food and great company. Through a carefully curated list of chefs, mixologists and entertainment providers, guests will enjoy a unique gastronomic journey that goes beyond merely savouring the flavours of their favourite chefs and restaurants. 


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