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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 01:31 GMT
Bangkok banquet beckons for rich
Food at the Dome restaurant
Organisers say they want to inspire Thai chefs
Some of the world's wealthiest gourmands will be jetting into Thailand this weekend, enticed by a banquet sprinkled with Michelin stars.

The gala dinner will be cooked up by six three-star Michelin chefs and served at a restaurant on the 65th floor of a luxurious Bangkok hotel.

The grand title of the event - "Epicurean Masters of the World" - is matched by its price tag.

The meal will cost diners 1m Thai Baht - about $29,000, or £15,000.

Tax and service are not included.

So far 15 people have reserved seats at the banquet, where they will be joined by 25 invited guests. The Dome restaurant at the State Tower in Bangkok says it is still taking bookings.

GALA DINNER MENU
Dish: Creme brulee of foie gras with Tonga beans
Wine: 1990 Louis Roederer Cristal
Tartare of Kobe beef with Imperial Beluga caviar and Belons oyster
1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil
Mousseline of pattes rouges crayfish with morel mushroom infusion
2000 Corton-Charlemagne, Jean François Coche-Dury
Tarte Fine with scallops and black truffle
1996 Le Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
Lobster Osso Bucco
1985 Romanee-Conti
Ravioli with guinea fowl and burrata cheese in a veal reduction
1961 Chateau Palmer
Saddle of lamb "Leonel"
1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
Sorbet "Dom Perignon"
Supreme of pigeon en croute with cepes mushroom sauce and cipollotti
1961 Chateau Haut-Brion
Veal cheeks with Perigord truffles
1955 Chateau Latour
Imperial gingerbread pyramid with caramel and salted butter ice-cream
1967 Chateau d'Yquem

The six top chefs are being flown in from France, Germany and Italy and will each produce one or two signature dishes for the meal.

The 11-course dinner opens with a creme brulee of foie gras, will progress through Japanese beef tartare with beluga caviar, to veal cheeks with French truffles, and be rounded off with gingerbread and salted butter ice-cream.

Each dish will be accompanied by a different fine vintage wine.

Deepak Ohri, the managing director of the Dome restaurant, says the diners will travel from around Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US, and include shipping, real estate and gaming magnates.

He would not reveal any of their names.

He said the profits of the enterprise would go to charity, and the main motive behind it was to showcase Thailand as an upmarket tourism destination and investment target.

"Some of these guests have never come to Thailand, and will see this city and maybe in future they will invest here," he told BBC News.

Heinz Winkler at the Dome restaurant
The top chefs include Germany's 3-Star Heinz Winkler

"One of the guests has recently invested substantially into Thailand but has never come here. He is coming and bringing a guest. This is good for Thailand and good for tourism."

He defended the event over its entirely European menu, despite its remit to show off the best of Thailand.

"What we want to do is to improve the standard and inspire Thai chefs to raise their level of inspiration," he said.

"There is only one Michelin-starred Thai restaurant in the world, and that's in London, has an Australian head-chef and a Singaporean owner."

He also rejected concerns about the environmental effects of flying guests, chefs and ingredients in from all over the world, just for a one-off meal.

If the effect was to promote quality tourism, he said, the result could be fewer tourists coming to Thailand, but paying higher prices.




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