Culinary stars shine at top hotels around the globe

3 September 2009

Travellers in search of five-star cuisine are in for a treat this autumn as ultra-luxury travel company, The Leading Hotels of the World announces a series of outstanding gourmet events at its Member Hotels in the coming months.

In Bangkok, the celebrated contemporary Thai-style boutique hotel The Sukhothai will host top Swedish Chef Jonas Lundgren from September 3 to 5. Renowned as a culinary whiz at just 30 years old, the native of Stockholm won the much-coveted silver medal at the Bocuse D’Or 2009, a prestigious competition held annually in Lyon, France which is known as “The World Championship of Gourmet Cooking”.

Cooking for three-nights only, Jonas’s art inspired menu will include his awarded delicacies from the Bocuse D’Or 2009 competition and will be served at the uber glamorous La Scala restaurant. The sumptuous 6-course menu of Swedish ingredients will priced at USD 140 per person for food only and USD 185 per person for food with wine pairing. For table bookings, email

At Taipei’s exclusive The Sherwood, Tokyo’s legendary 3-Star Michelin Chef Hiroyuki Kanda takes on the guest chef role from September 20 to 26.

The European-style 5-star hotel has long been regarded as a showcase for gourmet dining having hosted Taiwan’s very first 3-star Michelin experience a decade ago with the acclaimed Alain Ducasse and twin brothers Jacques & Laurent Pourcel. The Sherwood is now seeking to revive this gastronomic tradition by presenting the celebrated cuisine of Chef Kanda whose Tokyo restaurant 'Kanda' has been awarded the coveted Michelin three stars on two occasions.

His 'Taiwan Exclusive Menu' promises an extraordinary gastronomic experience, matching Champagne, fine wine and premium sake with cuisine using top quality produce from the local farms. On previous visits to Taiwan, Chef Kanda has been so impressed by top quality ingredients such as green bamboo, abalone mushroom, San-Xing green onion, General pear and Roselle that he is incorporating them on his next promotional menu.

His Taiwan Exclusive is priced at around USD 400 per person already 315 spaces have sold out.

New Zealand’s famous Huka Lodge in Taupo will also host a “Mt Difficulty Winemakers Dinner” on Saturday 5 September for wine aficionados where a five-course meal will be paired with Mt Difficulty wines – wines that have been strictly sourced from vineyards situated in a very specific area of Bannockburn, south of the Kawarau River - an area with very special qualities for growing grapes.

This will be hosted by Matt Dicey, Winemaker and General Manager of Mt Difficulty and priced from NZ$730.00 + gst per person, this is inclusive of accommodation for the night (on a double occupancy basis) and country breakfast the following morning.

This will be followed by a 'Champagne Bollinger Dinner' on 19 September. A gala event and a celebration of the new partnership between Champagne Bollinger and Huka Lodge, five exquisite courses will be accompanied by and expertly matched to, the finest Champagne Bollinger.

Superb locally sourced ingredients will be expertly put together by Executive Chef David Griffiths and team, and to guide guests through the fabulous vintages that accompany each course is Clive Weston, Managing Director of Negociants New Zealand, the importers of Bollinger Champagne for some 25 years.

The gourmet Champagne Bollinger extravaganza is priced from NZ$730.00 + gst per person, this is inclusive of accommodation for the night (on a double occupancy basis) and country breakfast the following morning.

What’s cooking? Culinary Classes at The Leading Hotels of the World

In a world where more and more people are fascinated by the food they eat and experience on their travels, many Member Hotels of The Leading Hotels of the World host cooking classes, market tours and related excursions. Conducted by their highly skilled chefs, classes may focus on how to prepare refined interpretations of simple classics to extraordinarily innovative dishes found only on the menus of their restaurants.

Asian highlights include Banyan Tree Phuket where guests can earn the secrets of Thai cuisine year round in twice-weekly classes. They begin their culinary experience with a trip to local markets with the chef to gather ingredients, among them: fruits, vegetables, coconut milk, meats, condiments and curry paste.

A typical class menu includes yam nua (Thai beef salad), gaen phed goong (red curry prawn), pla raad prik (friedfish with sweet chili sauce) and kao niew mamuang (sticky rice withmango) and steamed rice.

Elsewhere in Asia, The Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam and The Datai in Langkawi, Malaysia both offer modestly priced year-round introductory classes to local cuisine. In addition to enjoying the results of their efforts in the kitchen, participants at both resorts are presented with the recipes they have prepared -- including notes on the ingredients, a chef’s hat and an apron, as well as a certificate of participation and a photograph of their experience to take home. Prices start from USD58 per person at The Datai and USD28 at the Nam Hai.

For a tour of the cooking classes available throughout The Leading Hotels of the World, visit

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