Samui Wining & Dining
A New Leaf
The Library’s latest culinary campaign offers you the
opportunity to put your taste-buds to the test – as a judge!


A New LeafFor several years now, the top-rated television shows around the world have put the spotlight on rising stars. And many allow the viewer to vote on their favourite acts. ‘American Idol’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘The X Factor’ have global appeal. And, without a doubt, there’re scores of people who would love to be one of the judges on the shows. But would you take on the deliciously wicked persona of Simon Cowell? Or would you be a little kinder and more sympathetic, like Paula Abdul?


Only you know how you would react. And there’s an opportunity to find out for sure right here on Samui. In this showcase, though, it’s chefs that are under the spotlight so an appreciation of fine food and artistic creativity would certainly help. And alongside the lucky diners at the event there will be five celebrity judges, each an expert in their chosen field.


It all takes place at The Library resort in the middle of Chaweng Beach. Highly acclaimed for its unique design and exemplary cuisine The Library has hosted a number of headline-making culinary promotions. And this year is no different. Under the banner of their ‘Mouthwatering Arts Campaign’, their ‘You Design, My Dish’ is open to anybody that is passionate about food and design. There’s half a million baht up for grabs in prizes and all five of the finalists dishes will feature in The Library’s ‘The Page’ restaurant menu in 2012. And the winner will host a charity dinner to raise funds for UNICEF Thailand at The Library in December.


Over the last few months, the judges have been examining and dissecting all the entries. And they’ll reduce the field to a final five for one of two wonderful events that you can attend and participate in. The first one takes place on the 19th of November, where the top five chefs will take part in a workshop with the judges and then prepare a grand dinner featuring each of their signature dishes. During the dinner, the five guest judges and the 50 people who attend the event will vote for a winner on that evening.


Along with the prize money, media attention and having their dish featured in The Page’s 2012 menu, the winner will also work with The Library’s kitchen brigade to create a mouth-watering menu for a charity dinner on the 10th of December. Each of the two events costs 1,800 ++ baht per person and places are limited so booking early is advisable. And there’s an opportunity to win tickets for each event on their Facebook page.


For the real ‘foodies’ out there, you might want to know what the five celebrity judges are looking for and who they are. And if you are attending the finals night on the 19th of November, it’s useful to know on what basis the judges marked the entrants and decided on the final five. Each dish was marked out of 100 and there were 30 points available for creativity and beauty; 30 points for taste; 20 points for technique and skill; 10 points for punctuality; and 10 points for cost control and value for money. There’s more to a great dish, and a fantastic dining experience, than just flavours, aromas and textures. And being able to bring a focus onto each element will be crucial in the final vote.


Joining diners on the 19th of November as the first celebrity judge will be Australian chef, restaurateur and author David Thompson. He made his name at ‘Darley Street Thai’ restaurant in Sydney which he opened after working for several years in Bangkok. He also opened and ran ‘Nahm’ restaurant at London’s Halkin Hotel – the first Thai restaurant in the world to gain a Michelin star. And he opened a second ‘Nahm’ restaurant in Bangkok last year. David is also the author of two highly recommended books on Thai food and Thai street food.


Next to David will be Khun Patiparn Pataweekarn, better known as Mos Patiparn or simply as Mos. He’s a Thai model, film and television actor and pop star. He’s released 18 albums, starred in hit movies, television shows and stage musicals and is one of the most readily recognised stars in Thailand.


Food stylist, writer and teacher, Khun Suthipong Suriya, is the third judge. He owns and manages the ‘Karb Studio’ which focuses on brand image and awareness for the food industry. He’s the author of numerous award-winning cookery books, is a guest university lecturer and is a frequent judge at culinary competitions.


Next is Khun Chalisa Viravan, a fashion and style expert who began her career with Elle Thailand. She’s described as fashion’s ‘Everything Girl’ from designer to stylist, personal shopper, blogger, consultant and writer and she recently teamed up with W Hotel Samui as their special fashion reporter during Elle Fashion Week Thailand. A familiar face in the Bangkok fashion scene she’s also a regular at all the very best fine-dining restaurants in the capital.


The final celebrity judge is interior designer, Khun Tirawan Songsawat. She acted as The Library’s project manager initiating the overall conceptual design during construction. And she was responsible for the unique look of the interior design and the artwork around the resort. Her belief that, “Simple décor doesn’t mean that there isn’t any design,” also applies to food as well as structures and her reputation means her keen eye for detail is always in demand.


Both gala evenings at The Library will be fabulous culinary events. And being a participating judge at the finals night on the 19th of November will definitely be a memorable occasion. All the finalists will be fairly evenly matched so deciding on a winner will be a challenge. And I suspect that the only words you’ll have will be ones of high praise.


Johnny Paterson


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