Michelin chefs return to Shangri-La’s kitchens

By | Tue 29 Nov 2022

It has been a few years, but food lovers of Chiang Mai will certainly not have forgotten the battalion of Michelin starred chefs who paraded in Chiang Mai’s Shangri-La Chiang Mai’s kitchens between 2017 and 2019, producing some of the most memorable dining experiences we have seen in our small city.

Shangri-La Chiang Mai made a commitment to elevating the gastronomic landscape and introducing one-of-a-kind dining experiences before the pandemic hit, flying in Michelin starred chefs from all over the world every few months to open our culinary horizons and expand our eager palates. It was a glorious time for food lovers, many of whom didn’t have the luxury of jetting to every kitchen in the world which tickled their fancy. Shangri-La simply solved the problem by inviting some of the world’s most acclaimed chefs to Chiang Mai instead, becoming a unmissable social hotspot.

Just to refresh your memories, we had multiple one- and two-Michelin star-rated chefs fly in from Italy, France, Hong Kong and London, each working with Shangri-La’s chefs and suppliers to bring their world-famous dishes to Chiang Mai. Citylife had the opportunity to not only indulge in most of these dining experiences, but also to interview the chefs. Bar none, each and every chef – whether he or she had been to Chiang Mai before or not – talked of their excitement at exploring our local produce, meeting our suppliers, working alongside our local chefs and visiting our farms. They also enjoyed the challenges of presenting their most acclaimed dishes to Chiang Mai, while using some ingredients which were completely new to them.

The pandemic, naturally, put an end to our gastronomic chef train.

But now that 2023 is on the horizon, Shangri-La Chiang Mai has just announced that it is about to kick off the return of top chefs, the first of whom will be arriving in Chiang Mai shortly.

Chef Pasquale Palamaro, from the one-Michelin starred Indaco Restaurant which is part of Regina Isabella resort in Italy’s Ischia Island in the Gulf of Naples, is renowned for his love of seafood. As a native of Ischia, he draws his inspiration from the abundance found in the indigo waters which surround his home.

“Ancient stories of sailors and fishermen, multi-coloured fishing boats that furrow the island’s sea that becomes indigo at dusk, our mission is to narrate the soul of Ischia through food making…I think of my cuisine just like a boat of a thousand pastel shades resting on a beach crowded with children and a stormy sea after a thousand battles,” is the poetic description of Chef Pasquale’s food philosophy.

Chef Pasquale, however, has never been to Thailand, and while he is not yet aware of the range of our local producers, he is eager to explore the abundance of Chiang Mai, finding ways to complement our produce with his most acclaimed dishes.

“The majority of ingredients will be imported from Italy,” Chef Pasquale told Citylife. “This will include the fish and seafood. The dishes prepared will be part of the iconic dishes available at our Michelin starred restaurant Indaco, starting from the dish which is the one which won us the Michelin star, called ‘Aculei di Mare’ or sea urchin illusion. This dish is made with hamachi tuna tartare, mozzarella sauce, basil and lemon. Another special dish will be the ‘spaghetti di granchio alla carbonara’, or crab carbonara spaghetti, which is a revised version of the typical Italian dish usually made with eggs and air-dried pork cheek (guanciale). The rest of the menu will be a surprise for the eyes and the palate.”

Classic Neapolitan cuisine, with touches of the exotic Ischia, will be the theme of the special dinner where each dish looks as postcard-perfect as it sounds.

As Chef Pasquale is yet to arrive, we can only speculate, do some research, interview him long distance and drool over his food pictures. Suffice to say, this four and seven course food event promises to be something Chiang Mai has not seen in a long time and one any great food lover should definitely check out. As in the past, the chef will be presenting his dishes to diners personally, wine can be paired with each dish, vegetarian, vegan and non-seafood options are available upon request, and this promises to be yet another creative, delicious, fascinating and fun dining experience.

Here is the seven course menu to get you all excited:

Start off with charcoal-grilled and super fresh French Fines de Claire oysters on a creamy topinambur, or Jerusalem artichoke, puree served with a light nduja sauce, a spicy and spreadable pork sausage, an exciting start to the experience. This is then followed by an aromatic lemon-scented Hamachi tartare served in a sea urchin illusion – which sounds mystical – with buffalo mozzarella cream – which sounds intriguing.
The next course is a very special risotto using carnaroli rice, hard to find in our parts, made with prawns, tossed with citrus-flavoured butter and a sprinkle of vibrant beetroot powder. As is tradition, the next course is a pasta. None of this fresh pasta though, we are talking 24 hour-dried spaghetti with spider crab, made carbonara style – a unique twist to a classic dish

Ready for the main course? Chef Pasquale shows off his sea chops with this seabass and foie gras skewer, beautifully presented with an unusual Martini Dry-scented carrot cream and pineapple chutney

Before you dig into the decadent dessert however, enjoy the Pearl of Passion, a passion fruit pearl wrapped in xylitol powder, showing off some molecular gastronomy techniques, topped with Java pepper sprinkles.

The meal ends with the chocolate stone shells, creamy milk chocolate stone shells, with mango purée and caramel mousse peanut cream crumble.

If this doesn’t get your appetite whet, then you must have just eaten!

6th – 11th December 2022
Dhala, Level 1 Pool Garden

Lunch: 11.30 – 02.30 p.m. THB 1,688 nett per person (4 courses)
Dinner: 06.00 – 10.00 p.m. THB 2,388 nett per person (7 courses)