Features 3 minutes 23 November 2023

How Yu Ting Yuan and Côte by Mauro Colagreco Bring the Best of Home to the Table

Discover how Chef Tommy Cheung & Chef Davide Garavaglia express themselves through their craft.

With a name that sounds like the word for "good luck," it's no wonder that chicken is a common sight in Chinese celebratory feasts and special occasions. However, finding the perfect chicken, worthy of the MICHELIN Star Cantonese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River, is no easy task.

Just ask the Yu Ting Yuan team, led by the hotel's Italian executive chef, Andrea Accordi, who embarked on a three-year journey in collaboration with a local poultry farmer and a Thai university to raise chicken exclusively for the restaurant. Much like S.Pellegrino, which has brought one of the finest sparkling mineral water for over 120 years, they use customised feeding and other methods, perfected through constant feedback and adjustments, to meet the exacting tenderness and flavour standards of Yu Ting Yuan.

“Authenticity in gastronomy begins with the ingredients,” says Chef Accordi. “It's also a chance to support local farmers and markets, which makes a real connection between the food and the people who grow it.”

The poultry is set to make its debut on Yu Ting Yuan's menu as "Crispy Chicken" (Cui Pi Ji), a dish that holds a nostalgic childhood memory for the restaurant's Executive Chef, Kwok Pong "Tommy" Cheung. "The dish holds a special place in our hearts, not only because of its delicious taste but also because it marked those moments of celebration and togetherness," says Chef Cheung.

Chef Tommy Cheung, the executive chef of Yu Ting Yuan. (© Yu Tung Yuan)
Chef Tommy Cheung, the executive chef of Yu Ting Yuan. (© Yu Tung Yuan)

Cheung's passion for his craft stems from his childhood immersed in his family's culinary background in his native Hong Kong. Over the past two decades, Chef Cheung honed his skills in the kitchen, including in renowned establishments such as Ya Ge, a one MICHELIN Star restaurant in Taipei, before landing in Bangkok.

"Cui Pi Ji is more than just a dish," he says. "It's a journey that spans generations, a testament to culinary skill, and a symbol of dedication to preserving the traditions of Cantonese cuisine. It's a piece of my culinary history that I'm excited to pass on.

Similarly drawing on a tradition of excellence, S.Pellegrino has leveraged its heritage of over 120 years to bring the finest sparkling mineral water to fine dining tables in Bangkok. The brand truly believes that the table is more than just a place for meals; it's a space that fosters connections and sparks creativity.

Italian-born Chef Davide Garavaglia also brings the best of his culinary creations to the table at Côte by Mauro Colagreco. This MICHELIN Star restaurant serves modern reinterpretations of French and Italian Riviera cuisine. Though he fell into cooking at the suggestion of a friend, he still has fond memories of watching his grandfather in the kitchen while the aromas of a simmering seafood bouillabaisse wafted through the kitchen.

The food at Côte, located on the riverfront at the MICHELIN-recommended Capella Bangkok, is inspired by Mirazur, Chef Colagreco's restaurant in France, which has been awarded three MICHELIN Stars and MICHELIN Green Star. In 2020, Chef Garavaglia, who was working at Mirazur then, was hand-picked to bring Chef Colagreco's cooking philosophy to the riverbanks of the Chao Phraya River.

"We take a natural approach to cooking and respect seasonality in our produce," says Chef Garavaglia. "Our philosophy of simplicity allows us to highlight the characteristics of the ingredients, letting them speak for themselves without much manipulation by the chef."

Chef Garavaglia and his culinary creation. (© Côte By Mauro Colagreco)
Chef Garavaglia and his culinary creation. (© Côte By Mauro Colagreco)

Much like the Mediterranean diet inspires Mirazur, the cuisine at Côte by Mauro Colagreco with a focus on seafood and seasonal produce. The result is a lighter cuisine that uses more olive oil instead of butter, featuring the best seafood – including Mediterranean red prawns – and locally sourced fruit, herbs, and edible flowers.

“The basic ingredient is where good, tasty food starts, so we always focus on the quality of the ingredients first. Then it’s up to our chefs to impart their knowledge and cooking styles into the ingredients to create the menu offerings that we have,” says Antony Scholtmeyer, executive chef of Capella Bangkok.

Except for one dish also served at Mirazur (Beetroot with Caviar Cream) and the same house bread baked in a charcoal oven (served with Menton lemon-infused olive oil produced exclusively for the two restaurants), the winner of the 2023 MICHELIN Young Chef Award presented by Blancpain creates dishes with a modern approach but with a connection to the culture and tradition of the French and Italian Riviera.

The Young Chef Award winner of 2023 focuses on bringing the best ingredients to diners. (© Côte By Mauro Colagreco)
The Young Chef Award winner of 2023 focuses on bringing the best ingredients to diners. (© Côte By Mauro Colagreco)

"I try my best to bring something that is personal and unique to the table," says Chef Garavaglia. "I try to be true to myself and express myself through cuisine."

Alongside other talented chefs of diverse backgrounds, both Chef Garavaglia and Chef Cheung continue to bring the best of themselves to the table, showcasing the flavours and traditions from their homelands. Through their culinary creations, complemented with S.Pellegrino sparkling natural mineral water, the inspiring community of chefs continues to enrich Bangkok's dining scene and contribute to its vibrant gastronomic landscape.

Explore the best fine dining experiences from around the world and enjoy a taste of the Italian appreciation of life at the one MICHELIN Star Côte by Mauro Colagreco at Capella Bangkok and Yu Ting Yuan at the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River.

About S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna
S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna are international trademarks of Sanpellegrino S.p.A., which is based in Milan, Italy. Distributed in over 150 countries through branches and distributors on all five continents, these products represent quality, and excellence by virtue of their origins and perfectly interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of pleasure, health, and well-being. Founded in 1899, Sanpellegrino S.p.A. is the leading company in the beverage sector in Italy with its range of mineral waters, non-alcoholic aperitifs, and drinks. Sanpellegrino has always been committed to enhancing this primary good for the planet and works responsibly and passionately to ensure that this resource has a secure future.

RELATED: How to Celebrate Like a True Italian

Illustration image: © Côte By Mauro Colagreco, Yu Ting Yuan


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