Local chefs to contest Thailand’s biggest culinary challenge

Local chefs to contest Thailand’s biggest culinary challenge

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The chefs, from left to right: Chy Minour, Hai Vuthy, Ving San, Tung Sok Leang and Ming Touch. Photograph: supplied

The Pattaya City Culinary Cup 2012, which this year runs from July 26-28, is Thailand’s biggest hospitality art competition and showcase, and for the first time this year a Cambodian team will be participating in the competition.

The Cambodian team is comprised of five leading Siem Reap hotel chefs: two from Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa, one from Grand Soluxe Angkor Palace Resort and Spa, one from Sokhalay Angkor Resort and Spa, and one from Ree Hotel.

The chefs are trained by chef Willment Leong, the organizing chairman of the Culinary Cup, and the good news for local gourmets is that the chefs are training at Victoria hotel. This Sunday they will be putting their creations on show and on the tasting table at the hotel’s Sunday pool brunch.

Heading the Cambodian team of chefs is Ving San, executive chef at Grand Soluxe Angkor Palace and head of the Siem Reap Chef Association.

He has an impressive pedigree, having started as a chef helper at Sofitel Cambodiana back in 1992. He has also worked as long stint at Raffles Hotel Le Royal, including a four month training session in 1998 at Raffles Singapore. He joined Angkor Palace in 2006.

Victoria’s executive chef Hai Vuthy is a veteran of the trade, having first signed on at Phnom Penh’s Diamond Hotel way back in 1988. In 1997 he moved to Siem Reap, where he worked as sous chef at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor until 2005. He then switched to the Victoria as sous chef until 2007, and then became executive chef.

Also from the Victoria is Tung Sok Leang, pastry and artist chef. He commenced his career in 1997 at the InterContinental in Phnom Penh.

From 2001 to 2003 he worked at Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh , and in 2003 signed on as pastry and artist chef at Victoria in Siem Reap.

Sokhalay Hotel’s executive sous chef Ming Touch worked a long stint from 1997 to 2005 at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor in Siem Reap, and this included a six month overseas training stint at Raffles Singapore. He then worked for Sokha hotels and from 2006 to 20011 he worked in leading hotels in Japan.

The youngest cook in the team is Chy Minour, junior sous chef at the Ree. He worked at Angkor Century Resort and Spa from 2001, when he joined as a helper, to 2009 when he was chef departie. He then made the jump to the Ree.

The contest will be held at the Royal Cliff Hotels Group’s Pattaya Convention and Convention Hall, which for some reason is known by the acronym PEACH. The occasion also incorporates the Pattaya Gourmet Seafood Challenge 2012.

On the competition’s website, organising chairman Willment Leong has written, “To recap last year 's rules and regulations, the team of five chefs will have to prepare a gourmet buffet within a given time.

No mise-en-place (preparation) is allowed in advance.

“It will be a dream come true for many chefs round the globe to use the freshest ingredients and also a demanding test of their culinary skills.

“A panel of international judges, led by world famous and respected chief judge, chef Otto Weibel, is invited to witness this event. Chef Otto Weibel and the rest of the judges will select the best deserving team to bring home the coveted Pattaya City Culinary Cup together with US$3,000 in cash.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Olszewski at [email protected]

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