Gourmets and culture-vultures in Dubai will be able to sample exotic Oriental specialities from the Far Eastern land of the free — Thailand, during the Thai Food and Culture Festival, which will take place at Dubai's Movenpick Hotel, from September 22nd to October 5th.

By Anupama V. Chand

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Published: Mon 20 Sep 2004, 2:23 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:01 AM

Thomas Tapken, General Manager of Mövenpick Hotel Bur Dubai said last week that the hotel is celebrating it first anniversary with a showing of true diversity in bringing to the UAE a traditional Thai Food & Cultural Festival. This interesting showcase of food and culture will be opened by the Consul General of Thailand, Apichit Asatthawasi and Tapken.

Mr Tapken said the main objective of the event was to introduce Thai food and culture to Dubai and to create awareness of the quality of food and culture. He noted that the festival was being held in collaboration with Amari Watergate Hotel in Bangkok, and had for its main sponsors the Royal Thai Embassy, Royal Thai Consulate, Thai Trade Centre, and Thai Airways.

The festival would include crisp and fresh delicacies as part of daily lunch and dinner buffets, with harmonious blends of mild and spicy, sweet and sour experiences that will aromatically and flavourfully, lead you through an exotic journey. Live cooking stations and demonstrations will magically whisk your senses on an imaginary flight satisfying the eye, nose and the palate at Dh 99 per person.

Celebrity Chef Wachira Putin brings with her a wealth of experience in preparing specialities with all the skill needed to put together world famous Thai cuisine. Chef Wachira Putin, who is a specialist in Thai and Japanese cuisine, helped from an early age with the daily meals for the family and visited the market to get the best bargains in quality and price. This, she believed has imbued her respect and passion for fine food, creating mouthwatering traditional delicacies such as ‘Tom Khaa Gai’, an example of Thai tradition of living in harmony with nature, when food is eaten as medicine and medicine is taken as food. Chef Wachira Putin said: "The very essence of the secret of Thai food is all in the freshness of the produce, fresh herbs and selective spices will take you on an amazing culinary journey."

She has also perfected the long-forgotten art of fruit carving, which was once reserved only for Royalty and the nobility. Visitors to the festival can also enjoy a full composition of intricate Thai Royal Dishes, a fusion of blends that create mouth-watering traditional delicacies such as ‘Tom Khaa Gai’, an example of Thai tradition of living in harmony with nature, when food is eaten as medicine and medicine is taken as food. A wide range of refreshing and freshly squeezed nutritious juices ranging from Aloe, Balefruit, herbal and Ginger will be prepared in age-old fashion to add to the feast of this exotic journey. The Chef will be accompanied by a creative team from Bangkok, whose creations will serve as the pivotal point of the festival. With their enthusiasm, knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of Thai food, Chef Wachira Putin and team will be presenting a series of personalised ‘Thai cooking classes.’

Thai Cooking Classes are available by prior reservation only each morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and include a welcome drink, demonstration and hands-on participation, all ingredients, recipes for all dishes presented, souvenir menu, apron and chefs hat, Thai contemporary Cookbook and lunch after the demonstration, priced at Dh 333 per person.

Hotel sources said that the best aspects of Thai cuisine were, apart from the wonderful tastes and exotic blends, the incredible beauty and colour of the presentations that formed an integral part of this local cuisine.

Visitors to the event can also view the ultimate in Oriental grace, simplicity of the movements and sounds of traditional Thai folk dancing and music, from 7p.m. daily. Thai dances depict ancient stories and legends, and convey special meanings. A light and sound performance daily, recounts the beautiful and graceful gestures as dancers beautifully stylized, glide feather light in a symphony of classical movement. The elaborate costumes, masks, exotic tones and rhythms lend flavour to the festivities making for a truly unforgettable experience.

Throughout the festival, visitors to the hotel can also experience the Thai Showcase of high quality arts and crafts. 'Orange Kookie' together with Thai Trade Centre, Exotica and Prae-U-Rai will be presenting a collection of household items, home textiles, delicate artificial flowers, fashion accessories, gifts and decorative items.

Another highlight of the festival is the grand raffle. Mövenpick and Thai Airways extend this extravaganza, giving the winners a chance to win a ticket for two to mystical Thailand including accommodation, sightseeing and more, as well as several other prizes.

Win or not, everyone joining in the celebration will leave with a free gift, hotel sources noted. Reservations are highly recommended, and those interested in enjoying this experience can call and book now on Tel: 04-336 6000. The event is open for lunch between 12 Noon and 3 p.m. daily, and for dinner from 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

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