North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival 2010

“Great Minds Think Alike”

That is certainly what is needed when organising a joint event such as the Culinary Arts Festival. We speak to the men behind the idea, which will soon become reality!

North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival 2010
(From Left to Right) Robert J Lohmann - JW Marriott, Mark Hehir - Anantara, Jason Nuell - Renaissance, John Ashenden - SALA

GM JW Marriott – Robert J Lohrmann

We have become very unique in the evolution of Mai Khao beach, which has always been understood to have been a natural part of Phuket. We have four very high-end branded resorts on a beautiful stretch of beach in a national park. There is no other area here within Phuket where you have four distinct resorts next to each other in one location.

We want people to be aware that we have our own destination here and that it’s integrated. We all share the same route in and out and there is a lot of choice in all that we can offer, both individually and collectively.

I am not aware of any other individual resorts that have put on a culinary arts event like this. Especially as a joint venture! We don’t think this has ever been done.  The chefs are certainly going to deliver a culinary experience. With all three events, they are all pulling together with one common objective “Culinary Art”.

We believe that once we have had it the first time, we are going to be very successful and have it every year. We have determined that we want to keep it simple to start with. So this year we have decided that we would not be bringing in any culinary competition in any way. We are just relying on our own resources that are very artistic in their own ways and on the individual events; each brings in their own style of culinary art.

What’s special about the ‘Brunch of your Life’ event is all the varieties of food that are going to be on offer. JW Marriott has probably the biggest number of restaurants and kitchens on Phuket. We will have different food styles coming from a number of those outlets. That is going to be combined with some colourful, playful beverage offerings. Another special thing is that the event will be being held in the daytime. The two previous events are being held at night.

Being true to our company name, we are a family resort, so we want families to come to the event.  It is also Father’s Day here in Thailand so we will be playing on that theme. There will be activities for children, art and crafts and games. This will allow parents to relax and enjoy themselves whilst the children are being looked after. There will also be live entertainment which the whole family can enjoy.

I think it is fitting to wrap up the weekend with a great family event. Being HM the King of Thailand’s birthday, we want to bring it back to our country and celebrate his birthday and what he has done for the country. So we really wanted the family feel with real family values. We think this ‘Brunch of your Life’ will be a nice way to finish on a high.

It has taken us all about 12 months to arrange. We have been working on it for some time; we have wanted to hold an event like this for about 18 months. There have been so many planning meetings and brainstorming sessions. Since the end of 2009 we have been talking about this. It’s about timing too. You have to consider how Mai Khao has grown. We are now ready to do this with the critical mass we have.  There will be new resorts which will appear here at North Phuket, who we hope to enroll and join these functions.

Through this event all the resort brands are going to become better known and will hopefully get the wow factor we want to achieve.

We have tried to keep the price low for all of these events too so that all types of people can afford to come. We want a real diversity. We do rely a lot on local people for these events so we have had to keep the price as low as we can.

GM Renaissance – Jason Nuell

We are holding the North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival to bring awareness to people about North Phuket. We want everybody who wants to visit Phuket to be aware that there is more to Phuket than the areas people already know about. We want to let people know about the culinary side that we have to offer here at the four resorts. We also want to market North Phuket as another destination within Phuket Island.

We have so many great things to offer here. We have four great top end resorts here and great culinary offerings.  We also have many stylish lifestyle products available here at this North Phuket destination.

We want to put this event on to showcase just what we have to offer here as an area of Phuket.

GM SALA – John Ashenden

We are not doing this to make people aware of SALA, the newest of the four resorts here in the North Phuket. We want this event to make people aware of this area a whole.

We are not aiming to bring a specific type of customer to the Culinary Arts Festival. We are looking to get local expat residents, also Thai residents; we also want to get our resort residents to come.  We will tell them about the event when they arrive. Bearing in mind most guests will only be here for 7-14 days, we have to time it right so we tell the people who are going to be here at the time of the event.

It was a collective decision, by all four resorts, as to what events we should have.  Being as creative as we are, we put together all the elements that we have. What with Renaissance and SALA being so close together we decided to have the longest table here. The table will stretch from the pool at Renaissance all the way to the pool at SALA. Local residents, both foreign and Thai, house guest and VIPs will be introduced to the ‘Long Table’ event and also be invited to celebrate the grand opening of the Culinary Arts Festival.

We are not aiming to break any world records here but it will certainly be a record for North Phuket and for Mai Khao beach.

GM Anantara – Mark Heir

It was decided by all four of the resorts General Managers of the North Phuket area that we should hold this Culinary Arts Festival. We threw around some ideas and it was commonly agreed that we should do something that we are all good at. We all felt that we all had great food to offer within our resorts so that’s how we decided on using a culinary theme. It was then that we had to decide how to do that. So we then had to choose what events to do to go along with the theme.

Our event is quite different from previous nights The Long Table Event.  Our event is more about showcasing Thai fashion and Jim Thompson with his silk. Therefore, the fashion show will be based around a Thai theme. Mention fashion and most people always think about France so we will be bringing in a French DJ, who has worked for many of the world’s best clothing labels in New York and Paris to name a few places. We are bringing an international flavour with that and mixing it with the Thai designers and Jim Thompsons. This is going to be a real structured fashion show which will turn into a party. It is being choreographed by a local company “Patama” who will be showing some Thai modern dance. This will be fused throughout the night.

The fashion show will be held in front of Anantaras pool and there will be about 100 seats available. The runway will be in a cross and the seating will be set around this. There will also be standing space and also a lounging area where the other guests can enjoy the show from. We actually want 400-500 people for the whole event so not everyone will be able to sit. This will not just be for VIP’s. They will already be seated so other guest can make use of the other seating available

Jim Thompson’s are just finalizing a summer collection so they will be showing a range of summer items from swimwear to coastal fashion and they’re bringing out a new range of colours so the show should be very colourful too.
In between the fashion show and dancing we have to eat so we are having a seafood orientated dinner.

This is the first event as a joint venture between the four resorts and we will have other events throughout the year that we will come together to host. Stay tuned because there will be more events to come to promote The North Phuket area.

North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival 2010
(From Left to Right) Paul Millist - JW Marriott, Nathan Chilcott - Renaissance, Jan Hollister - SALA, Justin Maiklem - Anantara

Executive Chef Anantara – Justin Maiklem

The ingredients all the resorts we will be using are local products so we are looking to support the local community with this event. All four resorts want to assist in the growth of the agriculture here in Thailand and we want to support this in anyway we can.

We are so close to the water here that we cannot afford not to have a seafood dinner at the Culinary Arts Festival. When you are dining under the stars, listening to great music and watching a fashion show, what better way to complement it than with a seafood dinner, with the freshest local seafood!

From a chef’s perspective, we are very excited about the Culinary Arts Festival as a whole. So much of the time, the chefs are competing against one another. Now we are all pulling together as one. We are on the phone all the time. If one of us doesn’t have something that they need or isn’t sure how to do something, we are all willing to help each other. The North Phuket area is only going to grow now!

Executive Assistant Manager Foods and Beverage of SALA – Jan Hollister

With the Culinary Arts Festival we are really trying to showcase the food here on offer in the North Phuket area. It is such a big aspect of people’s holiday that we really want to show the food that is on offer at these great resorts. That’s why we are calling it the Culinary Arts Festival. Hopefully we will be able to expand on that as the years go on.

At the Longest Table event we will be featuring some southern Thai dishes. We are trying to bring attention to the food from the region of Phuket; some dishes are special to Phuket. We will be applying the western style of cooking but using Thai products. You may not see so many Thai dishes but the ingredients we will use will certainly be Thai.

We are not attempting to break any records with the event, but the concept behind the longest table is that Mai Khao beach is the longest beach here in Phuket. This event is trying to bring some culture and showcase what North Phuket has to offer.

We want to show off the natural beauty of Mai Khao and we want to show the length of the beach. Hence the longest table! By joining the table between the two resorts we are also showing that we are working together.

Just to put some perspective on the long table, we will actually be bringing in tables from other areas to make the length that we want. We are bringing in tables from other resorts in Phuket and also from as far as Khao Lak. We are looking at having ten staff just to put the table together and around 50 staff for the event itself. That does not include any off-site staff. It has been a real team effort to even put this table together.

North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival 2010

North Phuket Culinary Arts Festival 2010

Single event pass: 1,400 baht net/person
Full weekend pass: 3,600 baht net/person

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