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Bangkok's pricey dinner

Bangkok is hosting a gala dinner flying in food and wine connosseurs to serve the attendees.

08 Feb 2007

Foodies are flying in to Bangkok from far-flung corners of the world this weekend to experience a scintillating 11-course gala dinner – with a one-million-baht (29 000 dollar) price tag.

Only the most well-heeled food and wine connoisseurs are expected to take a seat at the exclusive table in the Thai capital, where the feast will be prepared by six Michelin three-star chefs from Europe.

"We limit at 40 seats, and right now it's fully booked," said Kanokrat Petchpornprapas, a spokeswoman for Mezzaluna, the restaurant holding the event at the top of one of Bangkok's tallest and most luxurious hotels, overlooking the Chao Phraya River.

Diners are coming from across Asia, Europe and the Middle East to feast on dishes concocted from some of the priciest ingredients in the world, she said.

Alongside the foie gras, Kobe beef, Beluga caviar, black truffles and guinea fowl, the restaurant will serve a different wine with each course, including a 1955 Chateau Latour and a 1967 Chateau d'Yquem.

Notably absent from Saturday night's menu is Thai cuisine, renowned for its fiery flavours. Organizers say that is because they are hoping to inspire Thai chefs with the best food from other parts of the world.

Among the chefs whipping up the cuisine are Heinz Winkler from Germany, Antoine Westermann from France and Annie Feolde from Italy.

Much of the proceeds from the extravagant meal – which costs more than twice what the average Thai office worker earns in a year – will go to aid organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) and Thai development charity the Chaipattana Foundation, founded by the nation's king.

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