Thanyapura recently challenged two of Asia’s most sizable yet celebrated superstar chefs, Hong Kong’s Harlan Goldstein and Shanghai’s Eduardo Vargas, to fire up their grills whilst burning the calories and go head to head in a weight loss and exercise Heavyweight Chef Showdown.
The world class sports training facility saw the epically-built epicureans revisiting their salad days in more ways than one as they battled it out in a friendly sporting contest whilst receiving on-hand expert advice from professional coaches and specialists in regards to diet, health and lifestyle.
“Obviously I’m passionate about food, but I have had difficulty achieving a balance with my exercise,” explained Chef Vargas. “I’ve tried everything to shift a few pounds and now its time to go to the professionals. I’m ready for the challenge and can’t wait to visit Phuket.”
Visiting the tropical island for a weight loss retreat will be familiar territory for Chef Goldstein, who previously studied Thai cuisine in Bangkok. As well as pitting his fitness and commitment against Chef Vargas, the Heavyweight Chef Showdown served as a week long boot camp for Chef Goldstein before he heads back to Hong Kong for another weight lost contest with ‘Demon Chef’ Alvin Leung’ of Bo Innovation and MC Kitchen.
“I’m delighted to be in Thailand for the contest, hopefully a week’s professional training has given me the edge before I return to Hong Kong. As for this competition, I’m no stranger to a dedicated ‘chow-down’ so a ‘showdown’ was no problem,” said Chef Goldstein.
The Heavyweight Chef Showdown kicked off with a friendly bout of traditional Muay Thai kickboxing followed by a challenging session of reduced oxygen Hypoxia training to fire up the contestants’ calorie burning potential. Continuing to make use of Thanyapura’s sophisticated weight loss program and fitness facilities, the contest progressed with a fat-blasting power plate session before the Chefs headed off for a private training session with Thanyapura’s Aquatics Head Coach Randy Simon, and bike training with New Zealand’s leading triathlon coach Chris Pilone. The chefs then went head to head in a bike race, running competition and a one-on-one water polo match in Thanyapura’s Olympic-standard swimming pool.
The Chefs also benefited from Thanyapura’s ground-breaking mental approach to performance, sport and wellness, with mind training sessions with Thanyapura’s master of mind over matter, Andrea Capellari.
“These sessions are designed to enhance the subject’s focus by reducing and eventually eliminating subconscious habits like mental hyperactivity (restlessness) and hypoactivity (dullness),” Mr Capellari said. “Mindfulness and mental training are crucial for weight loss programmes and key to developing self discipline, awareness, self-belief, confidence and motivation.
“Despite being sceptical, I really enjoyed the mind training sessions,” said Chef Goldstein. “I’ve been pretty stressed out in Hong Kong trying to keep up with the hectic pace of the city so it was great to spend a few days just winding down and taking in the scenery.”
For once, the two chefs were on the other end of the kitchen while Thanyapura’s Executive Chef and Nutritionist served the celebrities a taste of all round healthy meals at DiVine Organic Restaurant with a menu including nutrient values, calories, fat, and carbohydrate content information.
“One of the reasons I wanted to go down to Thanyapura is because of DiVine,” explained Chef Vargas. “Normally I find it difficult to get inspired by weight loss menus, but I had heard great things about Thanyapura’s kitchens and the creative menu had some really intriguing ideas – I’m planning on trying to recreate a few of them myself.”
During their stay, the Chefs were provided with Thanyapura Integrative Health Centre’s (TIHC) wide range of individually tailored professional health assessment services including physiotherapy, de-stress programmes, age-defying routines and more. TIHC’s non-invasive state of the art testing allows the world class team of geneticists, doctors, sports scientists, and dieticians to provide recommendations for improving mitochondrial diet, implementing exercise program changes and administering supplements for competitive athletes which adhere to the World Anti-Doping Guidelines.