Last night was the first dinner of the Four Seasons Bangkok's World Gourmet Festival!
Our chef host was Graham Elliot Bowles, of Chicago's graham elliot. I'd read that Bowles's food is strongly influenced by American cuisine, apparently stemming from his youth as ‘Navy Brat,’ having lived (and eaten) from the Philippines to Hawaii, California to Maryland.
Deconstructed Caesar salad: baby romaine, white anchovy, Parmesan fluff, brioche Twinkie
I found this to be true, and to my enjoyment virtually ever dish was evocative of the tastes, flavours and ingredients I'd grown up with as a kid in the US. The strongest example of this, for me at least, was Bowles's Sweet corn bisque:
Sweet corn bisque with garlic marshmallow, pepper jam, Corn Nuts and lime crema
which, when poured, smelled exactly like the very American creamed corn, a soup I haven't encountered in a very long time. The garlic marshmallow was sweeter than I expected it to be, but this was countered by the subtle spiciness of the pepper jam. And I think this was the first time in perhaps 20 years I've consumed Corn Nuts.
The Barbecued pork belly:
Barbecued pork belly with cole slaw, potato salad, fried pickles, root beer
was similarly evocative, combining all the best elements of a southern American-style barbecue (another thing I haven't eaten in ages): cole slaw, potato salad and tender pork. The root beer sauce, although unusual, was comfortingly ketchup-like and delicious.
Bowles's dessert, Movie theater extravaganza:
Movie Theatre Extravaganza: popcorn gelato, Malt Balls, Twizzler puree, Cracker Jack
was heaps of fun, and included even more ingredients I haven't encountered since my childhood. The popcorn gelato was deliciously buttery and savoury, and although I'd almost certainly never even consider eating Twizzlers as an adult, the flavour was a perfect sweet/sour counterpoint. The Malt Balls and Cracker Jack provided a satisfying crunch.
The meal was accompanied by several Kendall-Jackson wines, of which our entire table really enjoyed the Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2006, and I couldn't stop sniffing the Grand Reserve Merlot 2005 (it tasted lovely too).
Graham will be hosting dinner again tonight, October 6. Some of the events are already sold out, so if you’re in Bangkok and interested, act fast. Call the Four Seasons at +66 (0) 2 126 8866, or email the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org.